Writing (or not) without a kitchen…
Clearly I could do nothing during lockdown, but in January this year I took myself off to one of those vast out of town warehouses. I picked up a catalogue then, drawing a deep breath – and an even bigger chunk of money from my bank account – sat with Michelle, who took me through the exciting process of buying a new kitchen. (This picture is utter fantasy – I think my entire flat would fit into this!)
Starting from Scratch
I was going back to the bare walls, so there was the choice of oven (yes, I chose the one that cleaned itself!) and a space age hob. It was only later that I discovered I was going to need new pans for something that modern and my mother’s beautiful stainless steel pans were gratefully received by my daughter (who has a gas hob that isn’t fussy). There was a much needed new fridge/freezer and I went for a smaller dishwasher and sink so that I could fit in an extra cupboard. (Needless to say, this picture is also a fantasy!)
Then there were the worktops. Hyperventilating at the cost of some of them, I eventually made my decision.
Now we wait…
Eventually, all was chosen. The money exited my account. The bad news – I was going to have to wait until May for it to be installed. And there was a bit of a question mark in Michelle’s voice which suggested she was being optimistic. She was. I finally got a date for the end of June.
Eventually the time came and I packed the contents of my kitchen into boxes. By the time I was done, my study was knee deep with china, glass and an unbelievable number of cache pots for plants that I found lurking in the cupboard I’d forgotten about at the top of the fridge.
There was stuff I hadn’t seen since I moved.
Stuff that I wondered why I had bothered to bring with me. The charity shop did well.
Writing in a bunker equals writing under stress…
Bad news. I got the call to say that they couldn’t deliver the fridge/freezer I’d ordered. Could I come and choose another one? Back to the out of town warehouse where I discovered that the new choice might be delayed, too (it wasn’t) and good news, I didn’t have to pay the extra cost for a more expensive version.
And yes, I was trying to write while all this was happening. Cue hollow laughter.
The day arrived…
My dining table, now in the living room, was loaded with my microwave, toaster and kettle and I bought a washing up bowl so that I could do the dishes in the bathroom. Oh, joy…
On the Sunday night, I turned off the fridge but I had bought a box of little uht milk pots from Lakeland and waited for Monday and the arrival of Andy. On Tuesday – yes he was delayed, too – my Greek yogurt and frozen cherries breakfast became a distant memory.
I ate a lot of toast. With scrambled egg, with sardines, with Marmite, with mushrooms and tomatoes…
Focus: is writing under stress a good thing after all?
The good news was that with the living room sofa out of reach, I couldn’t fritter away writing time reading or watching re-runs of crime series on the television.
I was confined to my desk – literally, since I had the contents of my kitchen in boxes taking up most of the floor. It wasn’t fun, but it did keep me focussed on the work in progress and despite the thumping, drilling, sawing, progress was made. More of that in a later blog.
Andy told me that the new pendant lights for the dining area hadn’t arrived. Michelle told me that “someone” had sent me an email in January to say they were no longer available. I didn’t get it, and no one had bothered to follow up the fact that I hadn’t replied. (Eye twitch.) I was refunded and an alternative solution was found.
Andy was brilliant and this is the result of all his hard work. My sleek new kitchen. Which now needs redecorating.
Rinse and repeat: more writing under stress to come…
I’ll be going through all this again in a couple of weeks – only with more furniture and books – when Allen arrives to redecorate not only the kitchen, but the dining and living room. Not so much noise, or stuff to be taken away to be recycled and the fridge is available for fresh milk, but there will be the smell of paint.
I still haven’t made up my mind about the colour. So far it’s a toss up between Farrow and Ball’s Pink Ground and Pale Hound (although that looks very different on the FB site – it looks pale green on the colour card). I’m off to buy a test pot. And return the overorder of tiles.
I’ll keep you posted.