Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cupboard love

My new kitchen is perfect. Clean cream cupboards and silky black granite tops. The aga altar and the dropped in round and white ceramic bowls. The pantry to hide in when family matters matter too much. The oaked wood floors good enough to dance upon. A polka, I think, would be the best and liveliest of kitchen dances; though the choice is wide and a foxtrot too, is tempting. My kitchen is perfect. That first day, I put away, wiped away, tidied away to make it so. This, I thought, this is how I will live. Stylish and clean, glossy even. Easy. Cream painted walls smooth as a woman's thigh. A matching cream, intimate and leathered sofa; here, I will lie about in many "me" moments, hold magazines between crimson manicured fingers and read of political skulduggery. At the very least, I will do that. This window sill; here, I can mourn lost cities and swallow down the comfort of bitter, milky coffee. A fellow London exile stopped by. He left me two Starbucks china mugs - complete with medium strength Columbian dregs. He said: "I heard you might need these." My kitchen is perfect. New but with a history. "Did you hear the one about the architect? He finally came round to the pantry." My kitchen is perfect: it's official.

Life happened. Already. That did not take long. Now, a padded snail on rockers rides my wooden floor. My kitchen is perfect. Strawberry jam and dirty boy feet mark my sofa. "This is our sofa Mummy," and my kitchen is perfect. They eat their snacks on Starbucks stools. "We don't like the table. We like it here." A green cardboard frog with concertina legs and a red and lolling tongue sits on my shelf. Though desperate looking, he carries around a scrawled and thought filled bubble: "This is fun." An old decoupaged fire screen stands on my hearth, snipped and pasted before blindness ripped away my mother's sight. Washing waits patient on the side (good job my mother cannot see it) and a small boy's muddy coat hangs by one arm from the aga. Tears cool and slide across china plates onto my water smashed and disappointed granite; the china from the children's roasted chicken tea. My kitchen, my beautiful kitchen, is perfect.

19 comments:

aims said...

Sigh. At last.....

The Rotten Correspondent said...

See? It was all worth it. Especially that pantry...

occasional northerner said...

Please don't make me even more jealous first thing on a Monday morning immediately after my holidays!

Mopsa said...

It takes moments, mere moments, to transfer from showroom to real room. None the worse for that, though.

Hilary said...

It sounds so lovely,hope you will all be very happy in your new home.
You haven't really got a cream sofa have you-in the country with small boys you need something with brown swirly patterns!

aminah said...

congratulations!!!! enjoy!!!

Stinking Billy said...

Like Hilary I worry a little for your cream sofa in a houseful of kids, it should be in my home where the mimimum age is 69. But I am really happy for you.

Stinking Billy

Iota said...

I hear a sigh of relief on your behalf whispering across the North of England, the South of England, North America...

Well done, Wifey, and may your kitchen be your haven.

Norman said...

Welcome to your new home. Home at last, - eh?
It'll soon get that "lived-in" look. Enjoy. You've waited long enough.

sunshine said...

This is beautiful to read! Remember several posts ago when you declared that you really didn't care what the kitchen looked like anymore? Oh, yeah, you do!

I especially like that the aga is referred to with no capital letter -- much as one would write "son" or "husband" -- just a lower case member of the family!

The whole picture of the kitchen sounds absolutely stunning. Let's start a pool on how long you will continue polishing the granite 100 times a day. I don't have granite, but admit to polishing my new countertops and sink at least five times a day for at least a month.

The thinker said...

Ah - clean, tidy perfect kitchens are for those that live alone. Clutter, untidiness and mud for a family filled house. You'll have a perfectly clean kitchen - soon enough - when all offspring are away at uni and you're an 'empty nester'. Have you a cat and dog in front of the AGA yet? Has it finished sweating?

Cal said...

Oh I want your kitchen. Kids and all!

mountainear said...

Glad you've got there at last.

dollshousegirl said...

welcome home

Motheratlarge said...

Congratulations and good luck with your new home. It sounds beautiful. How amazing - an aga, granite work surface - and a pantry to, of course. Enjoy it all! And thank you for making me feel better about the clutter everywhere in my home.

patsy said...

Sounds absolute bliss..it falls to few women to be able to design a kitchen from scratch...enjoy! I totally understand the need for a pantry, full of shelves to be filled. As a Taurean,I believe stocking up in case of famine/visitors is a necessary vice. Are you by any chance of similar persuasion...?

Daniel said...

To our dear old Wife in the North:

Didn't you say your cream colored sofa was leather? So, relax everybody. The sofa can be wiped off when company comes, so it will look as good as new. (She knows what she's doing).

Pig in the Kitchen said...

ahhhh, black granite. I have left my black granite worksurfaces behind in England, but my how i loved them. when the kids were in bed I would buff them to a shine and stroke them. and on bad days i would lay my forehead on them and they would soothe me.
I envy you your black granite and your perfect kitchen WITN.
Pigx

rilly super said...

oh wifey darling, we have a sofa in the kiten too. Often the whole family squeezes onto it and we all watch the au pair getting the dinner ready. Mealtimes are family times, I always think...