Getting started with a table

It felt like we’d been traveling for ages when we returned to Kitzingen last Thursday. Three wonderful weeks of discovering French natural wines and a trunk full of bottles. One of my most precious boxes being from Anthony Tortul whom I’ll be writing about in the future when I drink them. Anyway. I was burning to start working on our new home and it was the perfect timing to arrive: the last pieces of furniture were carried downstairs when I steered the car in the yard so I could instantly start bringing our boxes from London in the apartment. 

It’s a strange feeling seeing the home your parents have been living in for over 30 years being completely empty. It will take a while to feel not like some kind of a visitor but actually at home. It’s a really nice apartment and we’ll show you more of it as we start making it look more like ours. The next six weeks will be about that. We’ll work for the winery in the morning and in the flat the afternoons. Until harvest is about to start and our son is about to get us busy.
Of course I made a proper plan for all the tasks keeping in mind how to deliver software in an agile way: deliver fast, prioritize doable bits, adjust the plan as you go along. Task number one: a table for our dining room.

The table before I started working on it

In the roof storage of the winery we had found two massive tables a few months ago. They were built in the late 40s I think and used as working tables for packing parcels and stuff like that. Both tables were built without using any nails or screws, solid carpenter work. Of course they were terrible dirty having spend two or three decades under the roof and of course they are very raw and rustic – you see that they have bee working tables. Also they are over three meters long but that’s what we liked, having a huge table for our family and friends to sit on.

Grinding our new dining room table

I spent about a day removing old nails (either pulling them out or cutting them off), grinding the wood and pickling it so it gets a deeply dark brown. It was a lot of work but it started looking very promising yesterday morning. After rubbing it with tons of wax and polishing the surface it actually became pretty neat but having a test seat we noticed that work tables have a slightly different hight than dining tables. So another round of sawing was necessary to cut the legs by about 10cm /4″. And now it works and I got my birthday presents standing on the shiny surface today. Including a basket with all the ingredients necessary to mix a Bloody Mary – tomato juice, vodka, beef stock, tabasco, lemon, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary salt – and a super hipster Mason shaker (being funded on Kickstarter last year). Yummy. So this is how it looks now:

Bloody Mary on our new table

I also spent a lot of time preparing the sleeping room for painting, my job for tomorrow afternoon. And I got us two desks set up in the office where our new work life will start tomorrow morning. Lot of things accomplished already and really enjoyable doing physical work with my hands (besides hitting the keyboard of my MacBook). The barbecue tonight (we have a stone/concrete one on our terrace) tasted as good as it can after hours of sweating and it was the right time to open a bottle of the La Roche Buissière rosé we brought from our holiday in France.


Having had a wonderfully sunny (birth)day I’d like to thank everybody for writing, calling or swinging by today – cheers!

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