I had lunch around five o’clock, courtesy of Celia who has furnished me with keys to her flat and given me the run of the kitchen.

The fitters arrived twenty heartstopping minutes late; traffic. I asked Danny to text me if they are delayed again. My nerves won’t take this. Mother was an inveterate worrier, a champion worrier, a worrier of awe-inspiring breadth and depth. Had there been an Olympic sport in worrying she would have brought home gold time and time again. I don’t think I’m in her league, at least I sincerely hope I am not, but something of her dedicating worrying seems to have rubbed off, and comes to light at times like these.

So once the fitters, Danny and his brother Nico, had arrived, I turned my worrying energy in the direction of the floor tiles; would they arrive early enough for Danny and Nico to lay them today? had the driver got Danny’s number if I was out?

Then when those two worries were allayed, I went onto tomorrow’s delivery. Then I had to put that worry aside when Danny pointed out, a trifle sourly I thought, that there was only one bag of tile adhesive. I had ordered two. A phone call to the suppliers (Tile Giant in case you’re interested) resulted in them admitting the fault but saying they couldn’t get another bag to us before tomorrow.

I am so glad I decided to take these days off and loiter while the work is being done. I made a mercy dash to the branch on the Old Kent Road – yes that’s the cheapest property on the London version of Monopoly and in my ‘hood’ as chaps and chapesses say these days – and brought home the goods. Thank goodness I am not living in the west coast of Scotland. On the other hand, if I were, I should probably be living in a larger property where I could have stored everything and so had the tiles, adhesive and grout delivered some days in advance of the project.

Danny made my heart beat faster and my stomach rumble louder when he suggested a third bag might be needed. Fortunately it wasn’t. Tempted though I was to join Celia and Charlie for lunch at a more conventional hour, I thought I’d stick around while the tiles were laid. I’m glad I did. I was too late for one very light one to be laid in a prominent position, but managed to check some of the other, though not all, questionable arrangements.

By the time Nico had finished the light was going. We tried to turn on the kitchen light to see more clearly. Nada. Something has happened to the electrics, and most of my flat is powerless. I foresee an early night. This laptop was charged, but is running down; the ‘phone I need for the alarm in the morning; there’ll be no reading in bed tonight.

Fortunately Tony the Electrician is coming tomorrow, so normal service should be resumed in twenty-four hours. Ironically, I gave away a load of candles yesterday, and Octavia, Celia and I were discussing at the weekend how we never had those candlelit baths others seem to love so much. I say ironically, as a candlelit bath is very much on the cards tonight.

I am longing to see the floor in daylight. Without the cupboards, my kitchen looks so much bigger. If only I had Gilbert and George’s prediliction for eating out. But tonight, although I intended to eat in a local restaurant, my heart wasn’t in it, and I have ended up having a picnic in the sitting room, and drinking cider from the bottle.

Some of us are just meant to slum it.

8 thoughts on “Kitchenless

  1. Hope tomorrow’s a better day, Isobel. Projects never seem to go as smoothly as one would like, but I’m sure all will be well in the end.

    • Oh dear, I didn’t mean to sound so negative. It wasn’t a bad day at all. None of my fears were realised; the floor is laid the delivery of the new kitchen is due this morning and the fitters will be grouting the floor tiles. The electrician will arrive after the school run to sort that side out. But I have been up since six and I am already tired!

  2. Isobel, this is the wrong post for this comment, but I plead my surgery. MANY thanks for your recent mention of Jeanette Winterson. I listened to BBC book club with her and have just finished WHY BE HAPPY. I simply cannot believe the power of that woman! She is a marvel. She is helping me along in my healing, on many levels. Profound thanks again and best of luck with your championship worryfest.

    • You had never heard of her before? It is a great book, and her survival, let alone her success from such beginnings is astounding. Have you heard of Lemn Sissay? His story is equally mind boggling and his poetry is great.

  3. MasterB’s calendar is in the house! It is wonderful, Isobel. Thank you so much!!!! I will gratefully enjoy it as I have this year’s calendar. Love April!
    I am an Olympic worthy worrier, I think I have mentioned it to you before. Nothing like having workers in your home to bring out the worry button. I am sorry but I had to laugh when you mentioned your stomach rumble… that’s where my worry goes when stuff is being done in the house. It will all be fine… really! And you will love your new kitchen. I am excited to see more pictures!

    • Oh that’s great. I am always relieved to hear when the calendars have arrived safely, and of course delighted when they get the thumbs up.

      I have been out and about today, returned home briefly, and am now at Celia’s, profiting from her generous hospitality and use of her home while she is away for a few days. It is bliss to get away from the dust. I feel grubby all the time,

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