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we're all going on a.... - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2009-06-12 13:50
Subject: we're all going on a....
Security: Public
Location:home
Mood:calmcalm
Music:news 24
Different people enjoy their holidays in different ways. Some people like to lie on a beach until they're nice and toasty. Some people like to visit new cities. Some people like to wander in the country.
For myself, I like to sleep. If I can have a straight week of lie-ins and not have to drag myself into work, I'm a happy old soul.
I've now, theoretically at any rate, been on holiday for a fortnight. I say `theoretically' because, apart from one day last week, I haven't had to go into the office. However, for a week and a half I've shared the flat with the lads as they completed the kitchen. They're lovely lads, but I've had to be up early every morning to make sure the cats were safely out of the way and provided with food and water and catnip and stuff. It was a little difficult to concentrate on things while the lads were banging around, so I didn't manage to put much onto the novel. And going out for walks got old fairly quickly because the weather wasn't up to much and the joys of the Barnet Triangle tend to pall rather quickly. I suppose I could have gone further afield, visited museums, that kind of thing, but money's tight and I need to save even the price of a ticket.
By the end of last week, I'd decided to call it a day on the holiday and go back to work this week. But then I remembered there was an Underground strike on Wednesday and Thursday, and the thought of travelling through that made me change my mind.
Things are, of course, quieter now the kitchen's finished and the lads are gone, although I had to be up early on Wednesday because the new fridge was being delivered (it actually turned up at half past one int he afternoon) and Bogna, for reasons best known to herself, woke me up to have breakfast with her yesterday. So this morning was the first lie-in I've managed in two weeks.
The (still sadly LJ-less) OJM is fond of telling me that I'd complain if I was hanged with a new rope. To which I can only reasonably reply that I'd probably complain no matter what kind of rope was used. But I was worn-out when I came into this holiday, and I don't feel I've had any rest, so I'll be going back to work next week in roughly the same state as I left it a fortnight ago. My boss, of course, will reason that I'm fit and refreshed after two weeks dozing on a li-lo somewhere and he'll dump on me all the work that didn't get done while I was away. By Thursday, I'm going to need another holiday.
Hey-ho.
Anyway. There have been requests for pics of the kitchen.


I guess I should show you a couple of `before' pics to give you an idea of what's been done. Only Thog and the OJM have seen our kitchen in the flesh. These pics were taken not long after the OJM visited.







These next ones were taken during the build.







And the finished article.









I'm already a bit annoyed with the cooker. The burners on the hob only seem to have two settings: high and low, and it's hard to do any fine adjustment, whereas I could adjust the ones on the old cooker within a couple of degrees. Each one also has a different rating, so the bottom right-hand one is for simmering, the top right-hand runs a bit hotter, the top left-hand a little hotter than that, and the bottom right-hand is a wok burner. This seems unnecessarily complicated to me; for one thing, it means you have to reach over the hob to get to the two burners I'll probably be using the most. I'm also going to have to relearn all the timings I've learned over the past twenty years or so. The old cooker had burners like the back end of an F-16; I could put a pan of potatoes in cold water on one, go off and have a cigarette, and come back and they'd be cooked. On the new hob, I could go away and watch a couple of episodes of Scrubs. I'll have to experiment.
As for the oven, I have no idea. It came with an instruction book the size of an average novel and you can't do anything simple like just switching it on and cooking stuff; you have to dial in various cooking `modes' first. It'll become second nature eventually, of course, but at the moment I'll have to cook with the instructions in my hand.
Still, onward and upward.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2009-06-12 16:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The new kitchen was a must-have.

I can't stand all these newfangled appliances they manufacture now. I like old fashioned stoves, washing machines (not the wringer, mind you; although I did own one when I was in my twenties, washed all our laundry in it, wish I still had it -- quite a collector's item now; oh, and I'm not so old that wringers were the fashion in my day!).

Your kitchen is lovely. No wonder Bogna stirred you awake to have breakfast with her . . . Was it really breakfast you shared or are you using the term as euphemism for consensual celebration in your new kitchen?
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-06-12 23:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
By that, you mean, "Oh my God, how could people live like that?"
Actually, the old kitchen was usually a bit tidier than that; the `before' pics were taken just after our new boiler was installed and the place was a wreck. Must have been a Saturday because the washing machine was on, so I'd have been in the middle of moving stuff around and tidying up and scrubbing stuff when I decided to take some pic to remind myself what the kitchen used to look like.
Still, it's amazing how you can get used to squalor. I'll send you a pic of what our living room has looked like for the past five years or so, since we embarked on this project. And the bedroom upstairs, which started out as a space of almost Zen simplicity, now looks like a jumble sale. Give us a fortnight and the new kitchen will look just like the old one.
No, it was only breakfast, I'm afraid. And she woke me up because she couldn't find where I'd put the plates.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2009-06-12 23:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Blue Donkeys by artist Blair Thrall
"No, it was only breakfast, I'm afraid"

I'm sorry.

As for your flat looking like a jumble sale -- what we call "yard sale" -- you should see my office and guest bedroom. Perhaps I should take some pics of the rooms and send them to you. They'll make you feel as if you are Martha Stewart by comparison.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the rubber gloves hanging from the sink cabinets. Nice touch.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-06-12 23:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm sorry too, believe me.
If you think your pics will make me feel like a former Domestic Goddess and jailbird, go for it. I'll send you a pic of what the Little Room With All The Books looks like at the moment and it'll make your office look like a Shinto shrine. Seriously, I do my best to keep the place tidy, but I'm only one man.
I never did find out why those gloves were there. Which is probably for the best.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2009-06-13 03:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"I never did find out why those gloves were there."

Even when Bogna asked you to turn your head and cough . . .?
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-06-14 19:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Naughty!
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-06-12 23:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You see, this is how we wind up in the Terminator world. You start off having to program your oven to cook a chicken, and the next thing you know the damn things are calling down nuclear strikes on the world's major cities. Our old cooker may have been rusty and worn-out and covered in an impenetrable layer of cooking fat and cat hair, but it never entertained thoughts of mass destruction. I look at the new oven, and who knows what dark dreams it's dreaming?
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2009-06-12 23:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
LOL! Spoken like a true fantasy writer, or someone wildly psychotic . . .
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-06-12 23:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I suspect it's more the latter than the former...
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teacher_bear: FoodieBear
User: teacher_bear
Date: 2009-06-12 19:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:FoodieBear
How pretty! I love the cabinets - it just looks so much more spacious than your old kitchen.

I understand about the hob and the oven. We bought a stove with a ceramic hob - nothing like the one my ex mother -in -law had back in the UK. It stains really badly and is the devil to keep clean. The oven is combination, either regular electric or fan assisted. Maytag is a top brand and they claim it is "European" fan assist technology. The heck it is! Everything takes half as long again to cook, even at higher temperatures. Nothing like the fan assisted ovens I had back in the UK!

Hang in there - you will get used to it. Sorry to go on about our stove. I had put my complaints on the back burner of my mind until I read your post. LOL!

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Kat
User: artykat
Date: 2009-06-12 22:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sad I have to learn your true feelings on Hutch's journal! LOL!

I never did understand the point of the fan, as it didn't cook faster. Convection oven? What's the point?

And Hutch (since this is, after all, your journal, I think your new kitchen looks fantastic! I love it and am quite envious. Your original kitchen looks similar to ours, only we have a burnt orange counter (surface) that is really ugly. I'm sorry you had to lose your vacation sleep for it, but it is brilliant!
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-06-12 23:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As the philospher Bon Jovi tells us, I'll sleep when I'm dead.
I'll tell you what's amazing about this thing. Bogna's been planning this for five years. We've had the cupboard doors stacked under the bed for at least that long. When the new fridge arrived, there was a centimetre and a half clearance on either side for it. One of the blokes who delivered it said, in that understated North London way, "Fucking hell, that's some good measuring." Bogna thinks it and it happens. And then I pay for it.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-06-12 23:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Actually, there's less space. The right-hand wall, the one that used to have the shelves hanging from bits of string, is now a solid wall of cupboards, and there are worktops on three sides. It feels a bit claustrophobic, and I guess it'll keep feeling that way until I get used to it.
A ceramic hob was an option, way back in the planning stage, but I learned to cook with gas and I'm sorry but you just don't get the same degree of control with electric. The oven's electric, and that's bad enough.
Also there's no eye-level grill, which is probably annoying me far more than it should. I'm going to have to grill everything in this damn Terminator of an oven.
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teacher_bear: FoodieBear
User: teacher_bear
Date: 2009-06-14 01:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:FoodieBear
I would LOVE a gas hob as I always cooked with gas in the UK but where you live we have to have propane delivered by tanker and we have no storage tank or gas pipes to the house so electric it is! Dang it!
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-06-14 19:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm slowly getting the hang of the hob - the different-rated rings are for different-size pans, which is fine in theory but in practice means the burner I'd be using most for frying and stuff is at the top left, so I'll be trying to cook by reaching over the pan simmering on the front-right burner.
The oven is electric, which again means I've got to relearn how I cook. I know what gas mark 6 does to a chicken if you leave it in for a certain amount of time; now I've got to try and think of that in degrees Centigrade.
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pds_lit
User: pds_lit
Date: 2009-06-12 21:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Swanky, swanky kitchen! It looks great!
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-06-12 23:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Unfortunately, it makes the rest of the flat look like a pigsty. It looks like the kitchen of tidy people, which Paul will testify we're not.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2009-06-12 23:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Minute
The cat litter inside your shoes was a tip off.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-06-12 23:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I hardly notice it any more.
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