Work on the kitchen begun in earnest first thing yesterday morning and I thought you might like to see some pictures. They are messy and not very pretty, but working on the premise that the during is as interesting as the before and the after, I thought you'd enjoy seeing them.
On Monday afternoon, while Bella and Angus were at my sister's, my parents helped me empty the kitchen and dining room. It always amazes me the difference a person's things make to a space. Above, you see it full of the colour and clutter of every day life, and below, stark and bare.
The last thing to go here was the dishwasher, which we'll put back in the new kitchen.
An empty dining room. (Sorry about all the washing flapping about in the garden - Monday was a good drying day.)
Within hours of arriving on Wednesday - bang on the dot of 8.00 am, no more holiday lie-ins around here - they had stripped the tiles and removed the kitchen. Most of the cupboards went into the huge skip which is currently sitting on our drive (curtains twitched when that arrived!) but some we've kept to hang in the garage as extra storage.
The sink has gone, and today that whole back window and door section was removed to be replaced with brickwork and a new window.
I think the floor tiles you see were probably original to the house. The oven and hob is still hanging off that wall there because there is some gas pipe work in the wall which needs to be dealt with before the wall comes down. Incidentally, we gave that oven a good last meal on Sunday night, cooking roast lamb with all the trimmings and a sticky toffee pudding.
In the meantime, all our dining room furniture - chairs, table, sideboard - is in the living room.
It's a bit of a squash but really not too bad, and actually I think the dining table looks lovely in front of the window.
And our current kitchen is in the garage. It's inconvenient, freezing cold, there isn't room to prepare anything and no hot water so we have to boil the kettle to wash up, but it's more kitchen than many have so I'll stop moaning there. Also, I am very thankful indeed to have a large garage with a sink and an internal door to the hall, so access is really very easy.
I dreamt we had mice a few nights ago and since then have been obsessively keeping all food in lidded boxes and off the floor.
Preparing meals is tricky but not insurmountable. Breakfast and lunch are easy enough, it's just hot meals. On Monday evening I had a salad, Tuesday Chinese takeaway (it was our wedding anniversary - we know how to live), Wednesday a meal from the freezer with couscous, and tonight we dined like kings on chicken pie and apple crumble at my mum's. We went to the supermarket today and bought some ready meals - macaroni cheese, fish pie, cottage pie etc - for busy weeknights when we are back at school and work next week. They are so expensive! I honestly had no idea. Our trolley was half as full as normal but we still spent about the same amount.
So, that's where we are so far. The wall comes down tomorrow and the steel beam is ready and waiting. The people from Building Regulations will come on Monday to check the work and the kitchen will be delivered Wednesday. The room will be plastered and, if my plans work, we hope to have time to paint the kitchen while it's empty before the fitter comes the following week to install it.
I am spinning plates here. I hope I don't drop one.