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The Kitchen, She Is Discontinued

Thursday, May 19, 2016

... or perhaps not. Not if we were lucky. But there were only certain shapes and sizes available to us.

We had to accept that the existing carcasses of the cupboards would all have to be replaced. Not only that, but we would probably have to have glazed doors rather than solid wooden ones. We had, of course, asked whether we could purchase the display units from the showroom, but had been told that they had already been sold.

Anyway, after several phone calls to the Granville store and waiting until the weekly deliveries arrived, we managed to assemble enough cupboards, doors and other bits and pieces to construct a whole kitchen's worth of nice, wood-fronted units. Now I personally am not a fan of glazed doors on cupboards. As far as I am concerned, doors are there to stop other people seeing what an untidy state the inside of the cupboard is. Putting glass in defeats the object of having a door in the first place. But it is what it is, and it is glass doors. I'm thinking perhaps I can get some transfers to put on the glass, or in the very French style, some gingham material to make little curtains with to cover the inside of the glass.

There were one or two other problems. Firstly, the power supply for the dishwasher meant that the top drawer of the set of three wouldn't fit. Rod got round that by combining the top two drawers. This is actually a Good Thing, because the saucepans can now be stacked in the extra-deep drawer. First win.

Secondly, the special linen bag that niftily fits into a pull-out unit at the end, specially made to hold baguettes of French bread ... is just too short for a whole baguette to fit into it. Perhaps we shouldn't have had the little drawer above, but it's a very useful little drawer and I'm keeping it. As things stand you have to break the end off the loaf. And once it has been broken off, it would be a pity not to eat it. Don't you think?

Thirdly, the taps. We got some nice wooden worktops from Ikea (yes, they have reached rural France) and inset the sink, to find that the original taps didn't stick out far enough from the wall for the water they provided to fall into the sink. The modern way is for the taps to be fed from below, but if you look at last time's picture, you will see that these taps, which had probably been installed when everything else was done, back in the nineteen seventies, are fed from behind. And the wall is two-foot-thick stone. Not the sort of thing you want to be drilling through if you can possibly avoid it. "Leave it with me," Rod said. So we did, and in the meantime used jugs to transport the water to where it was needed. Eventually he found a way round it, with a bit of banging and hammering no doubt.

In another flash of inspiration I had decided to have another work surface on the other side of the kitchen, with a gap underneath. We currently have a tallish fridge/freezer blocking the way round the foot of the table, but as we got it second hand in the year 2000, we have to accept that it may not last for ever. The space under the work surface would be the ideal place to put a small fridge and a small freezer, We have the power points there (as well as everywhere else). The work surface rests on the chair rail. The chair rail is 83 centimetres above the floor.

Standard fridges and freezers have a height of 84 centimetres.

Back to the drawing board. Luckily the legs supporting the work surface at the front are telescopic and can be wound up a bit further. The chair rail will now sport an extra inch of wood above it. "Leave it with me," said Rod when we were there this March.

And he did find a cooker hood slim-line enough that we can still open up the cover that fits over the cooker hob. What a guy!

As a post script to our first trip to the DIY emporium last September, we were asked to follow Rod back. He had a call to make at the Lidl - great, I bought paella, and other irresistible delicacies - and then he wanted to show us the paving slabs his mate could lay outside the lavvy, so the old man wouldn't have to spend his time hacking through sweet peas when we arrived for our holidays.

It was a hot day, and the middle of the afternoon when we parted at the paving slab supplier's depot. Theoretically our car had air conditioning, but the coolant had needed topping up. "We won't need air conditioning in September," said the Old Man. Top-ups can be quite expensive. The outside temperature reached 30 degrees Celsius that afternoon. We were hot. More importantly, so was the satnav. "Too hot!" it told us. "Cannot function! Aaaaargh." We were driving along a road previously unknown to us, through the middle of the empty French countryside.

If you were in northern France last September and came across an English car with the front passenger window wound down, an arm stuck out, waving a satnav in the breeze to try and cool it down enough that it would tell us where we were and how to get where we wanted to go, that would have been us.

Oh, the display kitchen? They offered to sell it to Rod when he went back, after we had returned to Wales. After we had managed to put together enough units to fill the space available. Apparently it hadn't already been sold, after all.

Ta da!

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  • no profile photo CD10172547
    1408 days ago
    Hard work really pays off! You sent through alot to make it bbeautiful! Congrats
    1409 days ago
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