Saturday, May 28, 2016

Our summer-planning, bird-watching blackboard wall

In the house I lived in for the first six years of my life, our parents (both teachers) put blackboard foil on one wall of the kitchen (it was dark green, like the blackboards at school, and I remember it being very big, though it probably wasn't), and we spent a lot of time drawing and writing on it. My lasting memory is of my older sister using it to teach me to read long before I was meant to learn it, which was not what my parents had envisaged - they were not the pushy type and had not installed it for educational purposes. She turned out to be the strictest teacher I ever had.

We are now picking up the blackboard-in-the-kitchen tradition. John decided that the deep wall between the kitchen and the sitting room (previously they were two separate rooms) would be the perfect place for some blackboard paint, and it divides the two areas nicely.

Right now it serves as our 'summer diary' (though he immediately started worrying that having this all-at-once view of the months ahead would make the time pass even faster) and, in the lower left corner, our bird watching log, with the names in Irish. We keep a copy of Ireland's Garden Birds on the window sill where we can see the bird feeder and bird bath.

My friend also gave me a roll of blackboard foil, which we are planning to use in our studio and on the side of a tall kitchen cupboard. The teacher-daughter (and part-time teacher myself) me is very pleased, and so is the artist me, though so far I haven't picked up the chalk yet.

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