Kitchen showrooms have given us a sinking feeling
THE kitchen in our cottage is a bit of a domestic battleground these days. At one time, when we both worked, we often shared the night-time stint of meal preparation. But ever since my wife gave up work to become a babysitter and a lady who lunches, the demographic has shifted.
My nightly culinary creativity courtesy of my "bible" – a book promising something like 1,001 meals in moments – has been usurped.
Mrs D is now unquestionably the wearer of the kitchen apron as, by the time I get home, everything is done and dusted dinner-wise.
So I knew I had an uphill struggle on my hands when the day came that we decided our current kitchen was becoming no longer fit for purpose.
A new one was essential. But what would it be like? What should it have in it?
One look and you instantly become a realist.
There is no chance of some multi-cupboarded, multi-drawered, expansive-work-topped place to cook.
When your walls are 29 inches thick it is a bit limiting.
No matter. I had a wish list of certain things I wanted to see in the new one. My wife had hers.
I wanted one of those cool-to-touch, rapid-to-heat induction hobs set in a worktop with a built-in double oven (you will notice the kitchen-catalogue jargon creeping in here).
My wife was adamant she wanted a tall larder fridge with a much bigger freezer section than we currently have.
We agreed that what we no longer wanted was a replacement for the thick, white-porcelain sink and drainer we had chosen for the current kitchen fitments.
That was a big mistake. They stain, chip and are totally unforgiving if you drop a glass in them.
So over the past few weeks we have been doing the rounds of kitchen emporiums and have been visited by numerous kitchen planners.
It has not been a fulfilling voyage of discovery.
Each and every plan we have been given has certain good points – but not enough of them.
And, slowly but surely, my wife has managed to vanquish my dreams of induction hob and built-in oven, on the grounds the latter would not ever take a full-size Christmas turkey.
I pointed out that it was just a once-a-year shortfall – but to no avail.
The capacious freezer plan has bitten the dust, too. There is no room.
So, after an arduous two hours in yet another kitchen firm's premises, we were both ready to give up the ghost.
Then we had an idea. Why not replace things the way they are? Why not, indeed? Simple, as a meerkat might say.
It is so simple that I feel like celebrating – with a takeaway.