Monday, 26 November 2012


We are now in our second week of living with no kitchen and, most problematically, no kitchen sink.  I know it is a very First World sort of whine - "Making a cup of tea is such a FAFF!" - after all, we have running water in the house, just not in the kitchen.  But.  But.  I reserve the right to whinge.  To make a cup of tea I have to fetch water in a jug, fill the kettle (after first finding the kettle and then finding a working socket to plug the kettle into) and carry milk into the garage to find a mug.  Then, once the tea has been consumed, said mug must be conveyed to a sink somewhere else in the house for washing.  Hardly worth the effort.

This is my kitchen at the moment.  The units are all built and lounging around in the dining area, waiting to be fitted in their proper places.  My oven is in the hall beside the downstairs loo and my cooking facilities, such as they are, are still in the garage.  We are a tad mixed up at present.  I never thought I would wistfully look forward to doing the washing up in the kitchen sink, but I do.  I really do.

On a completely, randomly different note, I was walking past a shoe shop today and noticed these alarming items in the window.  (The angle of the photo is poor but take it from me, those heels are HIGH).
Are these serious?  Are girls really wearing shoes like these?  And if so, when?  And why?  I did wonder if they are actually self-defence equipment, allowing you to perforate a potential attacker while continuing to look fabulous.  After all, what are the chances of getting through a whole night out without ripping your tights to shreds (or your friends' tights for that matter) if you were wearing these?

What do you reckon - does anyone out there fancy a pair for the Christmas party season?

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Theft by housebreaking

When I left home to go to work on Friday, my kitchen looked like it did in the last post.  When I came home, it looked like this:

The rest of it is in a skip in our driveway.  What I sadly failed to take a photograph of was the lovely graffiti applied to the dining room wall by the boys the night before the wall came down.  I'm sure the builders were not at all disconcerted when they arrived to find "They're watching you!" and "BEHIND YOU!!!"  scrawled in blood red marker pen on the wall.

Whilst the kitchen is currently rocking the (very) minimalist look, my garage currently looks like this:

In estate agent-speak, our garage is now a "storage facility come laundry with built-in bijou kitchen annexe".  The kitchen annexe being the microwave and toaster you can see there sitting on top of a trunk full of books and beneath my husband's grandmother's old jelly pan.  On a completely (almost) different tack, as my new hob will be an electric induction one, that jelly pan will no longer work for me.  Anyone know a sneaky technique for conning an induction hob into believing a pan is ferrous when it isn't?

New kitchen arrives on Wednesday and is due to be fitted by the end of next week.  I foresee a week of toast, soup and takeaways.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Exhausted by junk

I am officially very, very tired.  The great renovation project is proceeding apace. Sort of.  No actual work has been done this week (by the builders at least).  I, on the other hand, have cleared every single item out of our dining room and kitchen and stashed it in our garage.    The cupboard under our stairs is now holding about 30% more stuff than it was ever designed to hold.  I can hear it groaning from here. 

But getting the dining room stuff into the cupboard was nothing compared to attacking the kitchen.  Have you ever cleared out your kitchen?  It's like entering the Twilight Zone.  Every time you empty a drawer of a couple of hundred bits of plastic clips and old pastry cutters, it fills up again when you turn your back.  I must have filled half a dozen cardboard boxes with cake tins, spatulas and a strange contraption intended to ensure that you cut perfectly straight slices of bread (which it doesn't).  I started out rationally, sorting,tidying and discarding as I went.  Eventually though I ran out of time and patience and just started throwing things randomly into boxes and then stashing them in the garage.  Hence we may, in twenty years time, stumble on a cardboard time capsule, cowering on the very top shelf and containing a Swiss Army knife, a bag of farm animal shaped cookie cutters, nine packets of paper napkins and some batteries.  And we'll wonder why the heck we bothered to keep those for all those years.

Anyway, in the interests of the documentary aspect of this here blog, I took some "before" pictures for posterity:

Of course, these aren't genuine "before" pictures because the kitchen is empty and therefore tidy.  Which normally, it isn't.  Oh, and there was once a window in the gap beside the washing machine in that last photo - it was removed last week, ready for blocking up.  Now am I off to the garage to make myself a cup of tea and try to remember which box I put the biscuits in.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Psychic powers

Tail end of ongoing bickering between First and Second Born this morning, overheard as they got their bags out of the car:

FB:  SHUT UP!!!!!!!

SB:  I didn't say anything!

FB:  Okay, but I know what you were thinking.

Friday, 2 November 2012

It's a room! Sort of!

Work on the house is proceeding.  It feels like it is going slowly but then you look out of the window and it looks like this. 

And the inside looks like this.  You can sort of see that it is going to be a room.
I tried to get a photo of the cat climbing around on the roof timbers before the roof cladding went on but he is not terribly well disposed towards me at the moment.  He disapproves of all the noise and disruption, he DEEPLY dislikes the nail gun the joiners were using and most of all he hates being expected to eat and sleep in the playhouse when we are not around.  A fully carpeted playhouse, I might add.  Even though I had a catflap installed specially for him.  And put a chair in there,  And a basket.  And his favourite blanket.  And food and drink.  I suspect if he had opposable thumbs he would be packing up his belongings into a spotted hankie on a stick and leaving home to look for more caring owners. 

On a more positive note, I have discovered that if you want to gently discourage guisers at Halloween (if, say, for the sake of argument, you don't mind guisers coming round and you really  meant to get organised but due to various stuff going on you had completely forgotten to get any treats in to hand out) then you could do a lot worse than filling your driveway and front garden with a skip, several large bags of cement and multiple piles of wood.  And mud.  Lots of mud.