Surviving Kitchen Renovation – A Trifle Stifling

It’s going to be some time before I stifle or do anything else remotely trifle-related in my kitchen. Not just because I’m sadly on a strict diet which doesn’t include trifle, but because I have no kitchen. Actually, that’s not strictly true. I do have a kitchen. But it looks like this:

Missing everything except the kitchen sink, which is circa 1955.

Enough to make anyone weep. It’s been uninhabitable since early July. It all began last December when the relic we’d been cooking on died. Him Indoors started having all sorts of bright ideas about taking advantage of the situation and renovating the kitchen. My eyes widened in horror. We had a 6 month old baby and had only just lived through Conservatory Building and Bathroom Renovation. So easy for a man to have a bright idea. We bought a mini oven to “tide us over” and started hunting out a structural engineer to cast a critical eye over the bits we wanted to knock down.

Fast forward 7 months and typically, the very weekend the kitchen had to be cleared for the builders, I was in bed bravely fighting off a potentially fatal bout of tonsillitis. You’d think this was a wonderful convenience, but it meant that Him Indoors and my DIY Dad packed everything……and now I completely understand why my mum has spent 38 years grumbling that she cannot find anything.

I cannot find ANYTHING. All our food is packed into wire baskets and although I can see things, I can’t reach most of them due to the weight of other baskets piled on top. This has proved to be a marvellous diet aid as I can see the Reeces Peanut Butter Cups (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!) but I’m damned if I can get at them.

Can someone come round urgently to help me liberate the peanut butter cups? (In the orange box in the bottom left basket)

My sewing crates have been relegated to a distant windowsill with larger crates of pans and other heavy stuff plonked in front. I can see them, but should I wish to reach them, I must negotiate a bike, a chair, a mini stereo system and a slow cooker. My sewing machine lives on the tumble dryer. Thank goodness for rubber feet, that’s all I can say.

Only accessible with qualified climbing instructors and safety equipment present.

We are slowly smashing everything we own. We have no worktop, only a sink unit in the middle of the floor and a washing machine next to it. This means that items abandoned on top of the machine get vibrated off onto the floor (Him Indoors is still being educated on this matter). Poor washing up stacking has also resulted in fatalities as precious items slide off the drainer and meet their end on the bare concrete. The only bowls left in our house belong to our cats. We have one glass. DIY Dad (who has been staying with us for three weeks now working on the kitchen) got so fed up of eating his bran flakes out of the weighing scales bowl that he brought his own plastic picnicware.

So, how to survive a kitchen renovation? Well I haven’t yet. It may still finish me off. But I’d recommend a prescription from your doctor or leaving the country for somewhere sunny for the duration. Failing that, an enormous readymade trifle should do it.

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