Arguing About the Kitchen

The mains power supply went out on Tuesday night last week. A series of brown outs by the morning became a boiler error and two lights in the front room that wouldn't come on again. It is one of those annoying things about being rural. The electric network company turned up, two men older than Methuselah and as knowledgeable as Sponge Bob. They fixed next door's supply and where on their way on their cherry picker when Carol pointed out that we had no electricity. She pointed out our front room lights weren't on, they said it wasn't their problem, it was an internal wiring problem. Carol pointed out that they worked before the main power problems, they sucked air through their teeth, shrugged and raced away arms flailing. Now we have to wait on an electrician. We spend many days waiting for window fitters, cupboard builder, plumbers and joiners, and there seems to be a universal truth that craftsmanship seems to be a thing of the past. However, people who respond to your request for craftsmanship with teeth sucking seems to have spread far and wide. Cute is isn't. Damn annoying, it is. When we saw the kitchen below on television's Back in Time for Dinner (that BBC2 programme where the Mum couldn't cook for toffee and spent every period from the 1930s onwards cremating food and gurning at the camera...yeah, her) we said, 'That's it, that's our kitchen'. Yes, we want to go back to the 1940s again. However, kitchen fitters want to fit off the peg cupboards and we don't have an off the peg house. We have the kind of house that makes people suck air.

back in time for dinner, food

Thankfully we know a man who can build cupboards and fit them, as long as we give him an idea of what we want. So we draw it out, put mood boards together, become the clients from hell who keep pulling out Pinterest ideas. Yes, we're that kind of couple but let's face facts, whatever we build in our kitchen will be for the rest of our lives. Sure it may get painted again, it may change colour but we don't want flat pack, we don't do flat pack, we've been there, done that and frankly you're lucky if you get ten years out of it. Many a flat pack kitchen has failed on us a week and half after the warranty has run out. 

food, kitchen

Our kitchen will have one large cupboard at the far end, then a sink unit - to get to the sink we wanted we would argue in the kitchen, in the front room and in bed. Carol wants steel. Andrew wants porcelain. Belfast sink? No, they get scratched. Set in sink? No, falls through. Berk. Wally. Pratt. Pillock. Thus goes the argument and one sulks, one tuts, one patronises, one won't get a word in edge ways -- the typical kind of marriage of love, respect and not holding back. Our man with the plan keeps telling Andrew, 'Give her what she wants'. Andrew is too stubborn but in the end there is compromise. There is always compromise. The front room was a compromise and look how that worked out -- bar the bloody lights that electricity northwest have blown. 

decor, kitchens, renovations, home

Shelves are decided, sinks are agreed on, placement of sink is agreed on, to the left, under the windows to come. We have yet to decide the colour of the cupboards, we both agree that green is out, but we have agreed to wallpaper behind the oven and then seal it with varnish. We need this splatter proof wall so we can have make up gammon and eggs. We're using maps on one wall in the bathroom, that was an inspired argument.

food, home

So, in the coming months, even this week, new windows will appear in the kitchen, a freshly plastered ceiling. The lights may be fixed in the front room or else we'll be onto the electric power grid people to yell at them and get them to pay for new ones. Even though Sponge Bobs Methuselahs said that brown outs have nothing to do with mains power having a fault. Yes, this time we sucked air through our teeth. 


  1. I'd have gone with the Butler sink especially in a 40's kitchen. Look forward to seeing the finished kitchen. Craftsmen are few & far between these days