Don’t go upstairs empty-handed


Work in progress


The kitchen is in the dining room. And the conservatory. And the spare bedroom. Some of it is now in landfill, the rest is supporting plants in the greenhouse. For the past week or so the mantra was ‘don’t go upstairs empty-handed’ as plates, pans and packets of food were decanted ready for the Great New Kitchen Adventure.

It had all been very exciting, flicking through glossy magazines, choosing bright shiny new units and sparkly worktops to set us on course for Master Chef-standard cooking in a fantastic, modern kitchen.

I’m hanging on to that vision as I cough my way through the cloud of plaster, crumbled artex and about a century’s worth of muck which came down with the ceiling. We have no sink, no cooker, no washer, the house is covered in a fine film of dust, the cats are traumatised and this is only day three of the three-week project.

I hadn’t realised how attached I was to the old, tired kitchen with its scratched steel sink, marble-effect worktops and quirky brown speckled tiles until I saw it being carried out and dumped in the skip, it has served us well, old friend. We could have left it there and had its replacement fitted within a day, but no, we wanted rid of the artex, the pock-marked floor and wobbly ceiling, the electrics needed a new spark of life. It would be worth it, we said.

So it’s salad, microwave meals, takeaways covered in that film of slightly gritty dust for the next couple of weeks, as well as being guests of friends who have taken pity on us and serve us food without dust. It will be worth it, we tell them. And it will!


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