My Parents’ Kitchen

No washing upBritmums Live, a two day blogging conference I attended, is now so long ago that it seems like a far away fairy tale. Did I really spend a whole, uninterrupted night in a hotel room, where on waking at 6.30 out of habit I could just roll over and go back to sleep for another two (!) hours? Oh yes and I suppose I attended workshops and saw friends and things. Although I have let time slip by, I did not want to leave the occasion unmarked on my blog, so today I bring you a poem I wrote during one of the workshops.

I mostly picked the sessions that focused on writing, and thus I found myself in Emily Beecher‘s “Storytelling” session on Saturday afternoon. There were lots of good things to say about this session, but the highlight for me was that she gave us a prompt and then gave us time to write something. 

She asked us to spend 5 minutes writing about our childhood kitchen and then set a timer. Below is what I wrote. What hit me as I thought about the kitchen in Holland in the house where I grew up and put pen to paper, was this: whatever you are doing in your day, you can give yourself five minutes and write something. Really, you don’t need much. You just need to set some time aside. And so I am writing this while stressing about a big work deadline – just giving myself ten minutes (on a timer) to share this with you all.


Dusky red and mustard yellow;
A warm hub filled with jars and pots.
Overgrown apron brushing my toes,
peering over the edge
of the turban-shaped tin
buttered and dusted
She poured liquid sponge in
and the wooden spoon scraped
– not too well, leave me some! –
filled it up, golden, waiting.
I licked spoon and bowl
watching through the glass door
as the heat slowly spoiled
the perfection
melting soft
on my tongue.


(c) Judith Kingston, 2014

Linking to Prose for Thought.


10 responses

  1. That’s lovely! Paints a very vivid picture in a small number of words.
    You’re right, there is always time to write. I write some of my best blogposts in 20 minutes flat (no timer though!) – it’s just all the linking and sorting out photos etc that slows the whole process down. May be why I’ve been a bit slack on the photo front lately!

    • You’re right, it is always the photos that make it take endless ages. I used to just not do photos if I had little time, but I have come to realise that they are essential to make a post look inviting. Hence the late addition of a picture of my parents’ kitchen…

  2. Love this! Especially:

    ‘as the heat slowly spoiled
    the perfection
    melting soft
    on my tongue’

    I can really ‘hear’ you reading it and it takes me right back… And I still lick the bowl (with Mushroom’s help) now… It’s true, it really only takes five minutes… Having a timer is a bit scary for me though!

    • Well, i only set a timer to make sure i got back to work! But it can also help to delineate time for writing. If I don’t actively set it aside, i cant settle and just keep thinking about the other things i should be doing.

  3. I love this, it evokes so many memories and also the senses – I feel like I can smell the cake cooking! I love the last line. This really reminds me of my own memories, wonderful. I am trying my best to write each day, even if it is a scribble of ideas in my notebook. I am annoyed I didn’t get to the storytelling session as it sounds fab x

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