Is it old age?
There is no denying it now, I am officially old. After my recent birthday I am now closer to 50 than 40 and it definitely puts me well in to the fuddy duddy category in my office.
As I am older there is one thing that I seem to crave more & more, that I can only surmise, must be a generational thing because all of the youths in my office think I am mad. It is not to lose some of my grey hairs or a few inches off my waist (although I know I do). It is not even to be able to sit down in one of the sofas in my office without making a noise or groaning as I rise. No it may surprise you to learn that the thing I crave the most is a dining room!
There was a time in my life that all I wanted was a large open plan room and I appreciate how lucky I am to now have exactly that. It is the normal cliched kitchen/dining room/lounge with the bi-folding doors on to the garden that I see in loads of properties and I know it is something that lots of people still crave. You may recall a couple of years ago that I spent a year of my life having the enormous upheaval and spending a great deal of money to achieve this and for the majority of the time I am absolutely over the moon with the work and the lifestyle it provides.
It is that one time when everyone is round or you want to sit down and have a family meal that a separate dining room would be lovely.
The majority of the time it is brilliant. Take for instance a lazy Sunday morning. The telly is on with some children’s programme while I make pancakes for breakfast and we sit at the breakfast bar while toys and stuff is strewn everywhere. The open plan room means that whatever we are all doing we can be in the same room, still interacting with each other, keeping an eye on what may be being watched on You Tube on the iPad and just pottering around.
Like lots of families it is often difficult for us to sit down together and have a family meal during the week. By the time I get home from work my daughter has already eaten and then in the evening my wife and I are invariably going out to the gym or something so it tends to be dinner on our laps in front of the TV. As I also work Saturday this is usually the same over the weekend although we do however always make an effort to eat together on a Sunday. Whether it be at lunch or early evening I think it is important for us to get together to cook and then eat a meal.
What usually precedes eating is the normal Sunday ritual of clearing the dining table of the weeks worth or stuff that has accumulated as it tends to become a dumping ground that is walked past. It is unusual to be able to actually see the table underneath various school bags, hand bags, colouring pads, clothes, toys and LOL’s (no idea!). It usually leads to cross words about why things are not put away and where things are going to stored and it has been known when it is just the 3 of us eating that we sit up one end whilst the remainder of the stuff is piled up at the other end of the table!
Like I have said the young guys in my office all crave for their first home with the open plan room that I describe but it is only after you live in this style of room and have an expanding family that you realise there are drawbacks with this style of living.
What a luxury it would be to have a designated dining room all nice and separate and clean with a lovely sideboard with the best china and cutlery in ready to go. And how nice on those special occasions like a birthday or Christmas to be able to have a room to be able to entertain guests in while the chaos, stress and mess of the kitchen is hidden.
But would it then become a room that is barely used and sits empty for the majority of the time? I unfortunately am not fortunate enough to be able to have a house big enough to be able to have rooms sitting idle just for special occasions but I do get the opportunity to see these types of properties and look lustfully towards their formal dining rooms. I do appreciate that this makes me sound very weird!!!