The Big Reveal

After opening stocking presents with much hilarity Becky, Ian, Mat, Tess, Poppy, Jackie and I enjoyed a relaxing morning. Some of us watched part of Rocket Man and, after lunch, The Queen’s speech.

We had an enjoyable FaceTime session with Louisa, Errol, Jessica, and Imogen. I seem to have at last got the hang of this.

Lunch consisted of Jackie’s usual excellent spread of cold meats, cheese and salad.

After The Queen we opened our main presents. This led to the great reveal of Jackie’s present obtained through my secret trips with Elizabeth to the workroom of Matthew Chalk of Blackstone Chalk at Dunbridge outside Romsey.

With some trepidation on both our parts, Jackie began to free her gift from its wrappers.

“It’s a cupboard”, she exclaimed.

“What am I going to do with it?”.

“Is this smaller package part of it?”


“Yes. Open it. It’s a shelf”.

“It fits inside”.

I had measured the required structure, drawn a picture, and photographed a rather different, much earlier, model of similar proportions that stands at my side of the bed. Matthew had worked from this with recycled oak, and a brass handle with catch from a collection of antique door furniture left to him by his uncle. The door piece had lain in the River Trent for more than fifty years.

Matthew and Ian carried the heavy structure upstairs and Ian and I removed Jackie’s IKEA model and transferred it to a guest bedroom. Our son-in-law then vacuumed a certain amount of dust from the corner, gathered up an odd couple of dropped earrings, and we placed the new cabinet where it is to stay.

Later this evening we will all sit down to a roast turkey dinner complete with


We will consume various alcoholic drinks..

Published by derrickjknight

I am an octogenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs. In these later years much rambling is done in a car.

70 thoughts on “The Big Reveal

  1. Completely delighted by Jackie’s various expressions of concern, bewilderment (a cupboard?) and eventual delight at her new bedside cabinet. Well done Derrick – and craftsman who made it. The use of wood that has lain untouched in a river bed for fifty years is pretty amazing. I’m sure the found earrings were welcomed back as well. Opening those Christmas gifts is so much fun isn’t it – we did ours in two sessions but minus The Queen for, as we discussed yesterday, none of us has TV stations any more and so we are no longer on her loyal subjects list.

  2. Quite a reveal, Derrick! How thoughtful and marvelous! I’m sure Jackie is thrilled. Merry Christmas to you both and your families. I’m sure dinner was delicious. πŸ™‚

  3. I reckon that what you do with a cupboard with a shelf is you put things in it. Especially if the cupboard is made so lovingly. As an old woodwork teacher – inter alia – I am impressed with the character of the wood.

  4. I love the big reveal! πŸ˜€

    A wonderful, thoughtful gift that exists because of your love for Jackie! (I’m all good-teary-eyed! πŸ™‚ ) I love the story of the the wood and the parts that came together to create a beautiful gift! πŸ™‚ But, guess what?!?! Jackie’s smile is beautiful-er!!! πŸ™‚
    HUGS and ❀ to both of you!!! πŸ™‚
    PS…we are all trying to recover from Christmas meals that were VERY similar to yours! πŸ˜›

  5. That’s a wonderful gift, with a great story behind it, and a great future as an heirloom. Glad it all went well.

    I forgot the bread sauce and wasn’t as ambitious with the veg, but we seem to have enjoyed a similar meal. I’m glad to see Jackie uses Yorkshire Puddings as I always feel guilty about serving them with turkey.

  6. Aw, you can keep a secret well, Derrick! I especially loved the wrapping paper and fabric draping Jackie’s treasure. You even wrapped the shelf. πŸ˜‚ That in itself is art! Lol. Very sweet.

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