Monday, September 25, 2006

The best laid plans of mice and men …..

In the past I have always lived by the rule that if you want a job done right, you do it yourself, especially where houses are concerned. Don’t get me wrong, I think there are a very talented group of craftsmen out there who do a grand job of supplying and fitting the fixtures and fittings that any house needs, it’s just that being a bit of a control freak when large sums of money and a “vision” are concerned, I prefer to organise these things myself.

So, can somebody please explain to me why, in view of what I have just said, I was tempted to err from this path to the seduction of the “we organise everything” promises of a large company? Convenience I hear you say? I think not baby puppy!!

There is one irrefutable rule of life, if you get a large company involved, things go wrong. The kitchen was no exception:

The first delivery went back to the depot undelivered because they didn’t tell us when they were going to arrive.

The second delivery comprised half the kitchen because the rest had vanished

Said vanished cabinets were tracked down to Sidcup and returned 2 days later

The cabinets, now returned with a stern warning about wanderings, included the wrong cooker housing

Manager of store delivers the correct housing himself and inform us that the centrepiece of the kitchen is out of stock until October.

I lose my will to live.

The week itself was a fairly enjoyable one, although I have to admit I got very little of my “To Do” list done as I spent most of the week looking after Harry. This wasn’t my initial plan but after he snuck into the kitchen and stole one of the fitter’s sandwiches on the first day I decided the supervision was the order of the day to prevent him being nailed to the nearest wall.

What we DID manage to do, however, was install the old kitchen in the barn. As you can see, the old workshop is now looking a lot more, well, workshoppy. You can’t fault the facilities, there’s not a lot workshops that have solid oak cabinets to hold the oil and spare parts. There are currently plans for many, many power tools and, no doubt, enough gadgetry for Keith to fabricate his own space shuttle if the mood took him. I, on the other hand, am just glad of the temporary peace and quiet.

If any of you are still wondering what the outcome of the week was, see below.

The cabinets are now in, the appliances work, the manky old strip light has been replaced with some lush spotlights, the electrics are now legal and the granite is due to be fitted on Friday. I have to say I’m in love with the kitchen, it has so far turned out exactly as I imagined it and all the hours spent sourcing parts was more than worth it.

Still left to do: tiles and paint and a few accessories here and there - more photos to follow when these are finished and time is going to be tight, there will be 6 hungry mouthes to feed come the end of October when we sit down to a lovely meal to celebrate Sal's 29th!!!

We cooked our first “proper” meal there this weekend though and I couldn’t have wished for more, stood in front of the stove with the dog curled up on the floor and Keith pottering around and being affectionate. Humble dream I know, but it had been my dream for a long time and at that moment I couldn’t have been happier if I had won the lottery.

Of course the peace was soon shattered by the dog jumping up to steal some dinner, sending my into his water bowl while Keith hollered from the general direction of the sofa – but you can’t win them all.

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