Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Resolution


No reason for this picture, other than my inexplicable fondness for these jolly orange builders' buckets.


The builders are busy with the small fiddly things now, and it's taking time; making anything fit accurately in this wonky old house takes much patient measuring and trimming, nipping, tucking and adjusting. Concentration is fierce; cups of tea are more often refused than accepted, as the two perfectionists cannot be distracted.

While I was taking my friends to the railway station 40 minutes away this morning, waving them off while thinking worriedly how cramped their seats looked for a five-and-a-half-hour journey, things were moving along briskly at home.


I now have a new back door, a Belfast sink, and the start of some worktop. Much remains to be finished, but I can see what it's all going to look like soon. My decision-making over the past few weeks has come home to roost - too late now if I don't like something. Mostly, I do.

Tonight:



I haven't changed my mind much over the weeks, but today I did. I decided not to have the large, useful but boxy larder cupboards intended for the top of the utility room, but to go for a Welsh dresser-style affair* instead, painted in something delightful and Farrow & Ball-ish. Less practical, but more pleasing to the eye, and less smothering of the lovely slate floor. I'm stalking eBay. Thankfully, the functional but dull cupboards hadn't been ordered yet.

A dresser must also have magical properties - to hold the huge stack of stuff that is piled up temporarily all over the house: the baking tins, racks, trays, mixers, juicer, jam pan, cat food, dog food, vases, washing powders, dog towels, and much, much more.

 
In reality, I know a major throw-out (well, recycling/gifting/freecycling) is on the cards - after all, how many sizes and numbers of bread tins does a single woman need? Especially a single woman who has accepted that home baking and successful weight management are not natural bedfellows? Will I ever use the pasta maker again? The juicer? The mandolin?  The sandwich toaster? The expensive extendable shelf and roasting pan, packed by accident, that belong to my lovely Siemens oven, left behind in Newcastle? I'm embarrassing myself just listing a fraction of the stuff I keep.

Downsizing is a slow process; it takes a while to realise and accept that vigilance and a degree of ruthlessness is required, and ruthlessness doesn't come easily to some of us. But the utility room demands it, and I shall obey. Hoarding, clutter and hardly-used gadgets will be things of the past. I hereby resolve to simplify my bloated batterie de cuisine - bowls, boards, knives and a few other basic tools are all I really use on a frequent basis - and the rest can be sent packing.

See? A New Year's Resolution, made early.

Maybe I could hold a virtual garage blog sale... but you all have pasta makers languishing at the back of your cupboards already, don't you?

16 comments:

Arthur Ransome said...

I have never succumbed to a pasta maker as it looks too much like hard work. However, my mother's ancient potato ricer (a family heirloom that my sister wanted rid of) has ceremoniously been taken from the old kitchen to the new where it will doubtless continue to lurk in the cupboard and not be used. My mother used it to make her fabulous potato scones but neither my sister nor I have inherited her talents. Sad but true.

judy in ky said...

No pasta maker resides here; I have given up "fancy" cooking and am looking to simplify. Your place is coming together so well. You are lucky to find such perfectionist workers.

John said...

I bid $15 for the pasta maker and $5 for the bread tin, whatever that is.

Von said...

No Rachel I do not.I never got on with it, it never learned to love me, we went our separate ways years ago and what a relief it was!!! Now if I need fresh pasta I buy it from the experts, so much more satisfactory as I live in an area rich with Italian skills, food and even a monthly past night to raise funs for the Bocce Club! The simple life so often involves letting others do the work!

Susan said...

Yes, of course Madam.

Mine too (les pasta maker) lounging dustily dans la cupboard, never used, but ... just in case the fresh pasta making bug bites me ... there it will stay. Here ya on the bedfellows. Kisses to the Team, things are looking tres lovely much love xoxo Susan + les Gang

Bow Street Flowers said...

Keep the mandolin!

dinahmow said...

Pasta maker? no, not here. I used to make it (long ,long ago) but these days I take the lazy option -store-bought.

Rattling On said...

Oh, I certainly do have a pasta maker in the back of the cupboard... and a wooden rack for drying the pasta I don't make. Funnily enough I cleaned out a few of my cupboards yesterday and the gadget store is next. I too feel a major cull coming on. Again.
(PS I have loads of trouble commenting on your and a couple of other Blogger blogs. No idea why and it's very random. Today is a good day!!)

Preseli Mags said...

Pasta machine? Er, yes to that one. Haven't used it for decades. I'm impressed with your builders. They refused tea? Send them round here!

frayedattheedge said...

I love the sink - we have a cheap and cheerful stainless steel one in our utility room - very boring! I have never succumbed to the lure of a pasta maker - although I almost did recently when I saw one in the supermarket on a special offer!
A lot of the snow has gone, and fingers crossed the next lot will miss us. The garden is full of sparrows, frantically stuffing themselves at the feeders!

the veg artist said...

No pasta maker or mandolin here - boards and knives are my 'thing'.
What I do have is a fabulous shallow, floor-standing cupboard which I use as a larder. I stalked eBay for months after my extension was renovated two winters ago, and finally found one that fitted the space. I looked using "school", "railway", and "church" as search terms, not kitchen, as cupboards meant for books were always made shallower. It was even finished in Farrow & Ball type paint and the lovely people delivered it and helped hubby put it in place. It is like my own private branch of Tesco, it hold so much food, all in satisfying rows with labels facing front. The best £350 (!!!???!!!) I have ever spent. If it helps to keep you sane, it will be worth it!

Frances said...

I thought pasta came in packets!! : ) Lovely sink..you could wash a small dog in there..look out Tosca!

Toffeeapple said...

No pasta machine here either, I do have a mandolin which is used quite frequently.

Your utility room is looking good, love the sink.

jabblog said...

I wouldn't want to cover that lovely floor, either. As for 'gadgets we really must have and will be so useful' - too many to name but 'they might come in useful one day.' Really?

Anonymous said...

Do you realise how lucky you are to have perfectionist builders? Never heard of such a thing.... :)

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ah... you're a cruel one.. but what has to be done... has to be done.. it is slow weeding tho.. I agree..

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