The Richards have gone and there’s an eerie silence, disturbed only by the tip-tap-thump of Socks Akers as he skitters across the new floor and clatters against the unfamiliar cupboards in what’s starting to look like a show kitchen from Homes and Gardens (Yorkshire edition).
It’s week three, we’ve had the Great Emptying, scattering kitchen contents throughout the house in random places so we can’t find a damned thing. We’ve had the Great Water Carrying, which was preceded by the Great Turning Off of the Downstairs Tap, and punctuated by the Great Chuntering, which still continues. There was even a suggestion of the Great Whiff of Calverley, but this was quashed thanks to a friend who went above and beyond the call of friendship and washed our knickers for us (thanks, Jaz!)
The work started with the arrival of the Richards. There was Richard Arlington, from the kitchen suppliers of the same name, Richard Builder Boss, Richard Electrician, Richard Plasterer, Richard Joiner and Harry the Apprentice, who will graduate to being a Richard when he passes his exams. They were a jolly lot, the Richards, though none of them took more than one sugar in their tea and Harry didn’t drink tea at all, he’ll learn.
It now seems an age since Noel was standing in our old Artex-coated kitchen in a boiler suit and mask brandishing an asbestos testing kit, on him it looked good. Fortunately there was no asbestos, just more than a century’s worth of muck which the Richards despatched pretty quickly.
While the rest of the house remains in chaos, slowly disappearing under layers of dust and debris, a new kitchen has emerged. It’s magnificent, no dirt, no dust, no Artex, just spanking new kitchen with lots of empty cupboard and no water. Yes, there’s the catch, we are so near to our super kitchen, but if we want a cuppa, we’ve got to get the water from upstairs. It’s good exercise, though.
So just a couple more days, Richard Worktop arrives tomorrow and then the best Richard of all, Richard Plumber. Their visits will be followed by the Great Tap Turning, the Great Washing and the Great Celebration. Three weeks isn’t really a long time in the grand scheme of things, but it’s an age when you don’t have a kitchen and are living on salad!