Tim Davey Sinking into despair in the never-ending kitchen hunt
Our cottage kitchen is a bit of a domestic battleground. At one time, when we both worked, we shared the night-time meal preparation.
However, my wife has since given up work to become a lady who lunches/ babysitter.
My culinary creativity courtesy of my "bible" – a book promising something like "1001 meals in moments" – has been usurped.
Mrs D is now the wearer of the kitchen apron as, by the time I get home, everything's basically done and dusted dinner-wise.
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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's no chance of some expansive, multi-cupboarded, multi-drawered, expansive work-topped place to cook. When your walls are 29 inches thick it's 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'll notice the catalogue jargon creeping in).
My wife was adamant she wanted a tall larder fridge with a much bigger freezer section than we currently have.
Both of us agreed that what we no longer wanted was a replacement for the thick white porcelain sink and drainer we'd 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 emporia 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 induction hob and built-in oven dreams, on the grounds the latter would never take a Christmas turkey. I point out that's just a once-a-year shortfall, but to no avail. The capacious freezer's bitten the dust, too.
So, after an arduous two hours in yet another kitchen firm's premises, we were both ready to give up.
Then we had an idea. Why not replace things the way they are? Why not, indeed? Simples, as a meerkat might say. So simple that I feel like celebrating. With a take-away.