A Tale of Two Kitchens

You normally never hear a woman say, 'I'm just getting my big hammer and going to the kitchen'. Gender roles aside and who and whom does what, and whether Doctor Who has breasts or not, it has come to that glorious moment when a much loved, and much hated, old kitchen bites the dust. It would have been easy for me to be the man of the house and say, 'I'll do it, love, stand aside, man coming through' but then I have never been one to be the man about the house (see mansplaining which I have been told I am useless at). I am more the man in the border with mucky knees. Soon the house is ringing to the dull thuds of a kitchen cabinet shattering, the sounds of a sink biting the dust and the proliferation of sayings that would make The Terminator think twice before messing with Carol. 

A tale of two kitchens

Now, to get to the sink above we have had to go through living with this (see below), which makes the sink above ever so more beautiful. In fact, this is the first properly plumbed in sink we've had since 2014. Don't believe us? Read this. This is a post from 2014 when we turned our kitchen into a hell hole with the idea it would all be over by Christmas. They say to rip a plaster off you must do so quickly, however, the same does not apply to kitchens. Not kitchens in old properties that have tendencies to reveal things you wished you never knew. They are akin to ripping a large plaster off over years, waiting for the hair to grow back and resealing the still extremely sticky plaster before starting all over again.

The old secrets in a kitchen #lifeonpigrow

Floors have been tanked, walls have been uncovered and then plastered over again when we found doorways leading nowhere and stone work falling out everywhere. We lived with a plasterboard ceiling for two years -- this actually was fortunate as a year after the new heating system was fitted we had a leak and this meant only a new piece of plasterboard and not plaster. I can hear the hammer falling on the old kitchen, there goes a couple of doors, a corroded tap or two. How can the sound of a hammer be so gleeful?

Goodbye to the old kitchen

Half an hour later and the kitchen that was is the kitchen that isn't. The old kitchen is stacked on the path outside the house waiting to crammed into our now small car. We got rid of the 4x4 because frankly they have all the eco-value of a sperm whale that smokes five hundred a day. Also, 4x4s of a certain brand have a tendency to spend much of their working life in a garage. Our car mechanic drove our 4x4 more that we did -- much of these journeys involved on and off the ramp to fix it. It takes two journeys to get rid of the kitchen. We have been to the tip so much recently with things beyond saving (we weep with you too) that the workers there know our names. Our new kitchen is taking shape. I'm not going to lie here and say we did it, we didn't, there are some jobs we can't do and if we did the garden would never get tended. Even writing this takes us away from the garden and my knees are itching to get muddy. Our handyman, Glyn, does all our work in the house nowadays because we trust him and because when we make vague gestures of what we want, which involves wafting our hands in the air, and includes pinterest pins, scribbled drawings on the back of letters from the bank, and conversations about shelves, he follows us in this journey and says, 'I like the way you decide things, they always change by the end of the conversation'. So, here's the kitchen as it stands today.

New kitchen taking shape

A larder which has one of our oak worktops in.

Drawers for stuff, we have some lovely handles for these from a forge over in Huddersfield.

Oak worktop in the Pig Row kitchen

Plenty of storage with optional hammer to hit people who try to take stuff out of the cupboard to eat without asking. Yes, you Little D who has transformed from an inquisitive child into a marauding little boy who if he had the hordes of Genghis Khan with him would lay waste to all shops with chocolate and crisps in, and not a greengrocer this side of the Watford Gap would be safe.

Plenty of storage being built in

New shelves revealing all that painstakingly pointed stonework I did behind them. 

New shelving in the larder.

There are doors to go on, that conversation lasted around one hour. The cupboard door knobs are winging their way to us as we type. The baskets to be used in the cupboards are downstairs on a chair. There's Danish oil for me to use inside the cupboards in a box under the table and a paint chart on the sofa for us to argue over whether we want green or white, or puce or elephant's breath, and a million other decision before the reveal. Then there are other doors to take off as they are rotten, broken or just beyond saving, and then there are new doors to source because what we want isn't off the peg or made of MDF because none, and I mean NONE, of our doorways are the same size which makes being drunk in this house like a game of pinball. BOING. BOING. BOUNCE. MISS THE DOORWAY, HIT THE WALL. LEAVE DINT. Thankfully, the cupboard Glyn is building for us would survive half an hour with my wife and a big hammer.

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