We make plans, but things have a way, as Robbie Burns put it so well, to gang aft agly. Knowing that work was likely to tail off in November, I booked myself onto a walking holiday in Crete, a part of Greece I have never visited. This was back in the spring.
A call from the company organising the trip to tell me it was cancelled, left me wondering what I might do. Various ideas came to mind, but somehow, my holiday has turned into having a new kitchen installed, and paying a very nice man called Brian to do some much needed work on das Boot. I may still nip over to NI, and I have a hankering to visit Marseille where I lived for a year a very long time ago, but Knossos has given way to Wickes.
Some people, tell you their kitchen is falling apart when it isn't. Mine is. Twenty something years of hard graft have taken their toll.
The first step was a visit from The Planner, a man as lovely as Brian but a great deal younger called Ronnie. He measured, we chatted, he went away. Next I was summoned to a meeting with him. I thought it might last an hour. By the time I left, my head was reeling with measurements, prices, possibilities and I needed a lie down.
It seems I have cheap tastes, at least in kitchen doors, as having looked at kitchens with no prices on them, the one I like is at the lowest end of the price range. Still more expensive than a week in Crete though.
I could, and probably shall, do a whole post on tiles – floor and wall – and paint, so I shall not talk about them here.
This week I had a visit from The Fitter. Jatinder arrived with his tape measure and a pencil tucked into his turban. He does a good Paddington stare over the top of his glasses when I say things he finds ridiculous. He calls me Dear. He is a man used to rule, and this is my home and I can be as determined as the Minotaur, so we have some disagreements when his favourite phrase seems to be 'you can't have that'. He is a slave to the 'line'; the aesthetics of the kitchen matter more to him than they do to me. I want something where I can cook and keep the far too much stuff that I have. There is a lot of measuring and re measuring before we reach a compromise. By the time he leaves, much much later than I had imagined, I both trust and respect him. I hope my instincts are correct.
Tonight there is a very long message from Wickes on my answer phone. I listened to the first part of it, then realised I should have sat down with a pen and paper to Make Notes. So I shall listen again in the morning.
I am dreaming tiles and paint colours, dreading having the contents of my kitchen in bags and boxes for weeks in the sitting room. And looking forward enormously to it all being over.