Shortly after we settled into Wild Rose House – i.e. as soon as we had the coffee machine unpacked – we compiled a list of things to fix or alter. We categorized items as short, medium and long-term projects, further subdivided into price of raw materials. Although generally anything costing more than – ooh, $100 – was deep-filed.
Before the weekend, in what’s becoming a family ritual, Husband and I sat in our bay-window for a ten minute infusion of Vitamin D and caffeine and decided to review our short-term list.
Miraculously, it seemed to have tripled despite copious reallocation of items to the medium and long-term lists.
“Ok look,” I said, “could we maybe focus on one thing and just . . . finish it? Because I know we’ve been busy doing stuff, but it feels like we’re churning.”
So I suppose it’s my fault we agreed to swap the kitchen pantry and fridge over the weekend.
Now, you might think- but no. Before you prepare for that mental leap, you’re probably wondering why swapping the fridge with a cupboard even makes The List, never mind its top priority assignment.
The main reason was that the only available space for the fridge was in the kitchen entranceway. Not only did this block much of our precious sunlight into the living room, but you had to walk around the fridge to get into the kitchen. Although ideal for hiding behind in the event a masked terrorist crashed through the door spraying automatic machine-gun fire, we figured the likelihood of that occurring in Oamaru was negligible.
A secondary – even quinary – barely-even-qualifying-as-a-consideration, was Andrew’s irrational hostility towards my eclectic collection of fridge magnets on proud display. These include plaques printed with Hallmark sentiments, furry picture frames, various animals, and my magnetic poetry arranged in crude rather than creative expression.
I hope that addresses your question.
NOW you might think this operation – the swapping of pantry and fridge – sounds straightforward. And I grant you: on the surface, it does.
However, there were complications. The pantry was as deep as the fridge so Andrew had to saw it in half lengthways to justify the swap. It was also fitted – which suggested the wall behind the pantry was unpainted. As it turned out, the alcove housing the pantry was not even lined with plasterboard.
Naturally, the fridge was about 1cm wider than the pantry and wouldn’t quite fit into the vacated slot. Andrew suggested making room by ripping out the thin cupboard next to the oven, but I jealously covet all storage space. In any case, where else am I going to put my sandwich tray in the shape of a pig? However, Andrew reckoned he could saw a centimeter off the bench/cupboard on the far side of the oven and shove the entire arrangement across.
Yet another issue was an inconvenient absence of power point(s) adjacent to the pantry alcove into which we could plug the fridge. Andrew proposed putting in a power point, and – since he was feeling all electrical – he’d add another couple of sockets to the main bench area. And sure, while he was at it, he’d move the light switch.
I’d like to point out here that the location of the light switch – in the middle of the wall beneath the overhead cupboards – didn’t bother me. I’ve always considered myself quite fussy – secretly prided myself on it, to be honest – but in certain areas I’m pedestrianly low-maintenance. Granted, it took me a while to actually FIND the light switch but when I did, I just thought, “Oh right, THAT’S where it is”. Then I accepted it. Adjusted. I mean to say: it’s a LIGHT SWITCH. As long as it a) works; and b) remains pleasingly simple to operate, I’m happy as.
But when he saw it Andrew said, “Who’d put a light switch there? Stupid. That’s going to annoy me.”
He became borderline obsessive. Whenever he was required to operate it, he’d announce: “This light switch really annoys me”.
It got to the stage where he’d go, “This light switch-”
And I’d say, “Wait! Let me guess. It annoys you?”
“It REALLY annoys me. I’m not sure you fully grasp quite how annoying it is-”
“OH I’M STARTING TO GAIN SOME APPRECIATION OF THAT.”
In summary, he decided to move the switch to where grand design intended light switches to be: beside the entrance.
Essentially rewiring the entire kitchen necessitated knocking a few holes in the wall – which had to be boarded up and/or plastered, sanded and painted.
“You know, there’s no point buying paint to touch up a few holes,” said Andrew. “We might as well do the whole kitchen while we’re at it.”
In fact, painting the kitchen was another task on our short-list, since it was a shade that would most aptly be titled ‘Green Goblin’s ghastly revenge’. If the photos don’t communicate the pure grisliness of it, you’ll have to take my word that it gave off a nuclear energy.
That, in a nutshell, was our mission for the weekend.
Have I forgotten anything?
I don’t think so.
“Sounds like more than two days’ work,” I said dubiously.
“Nah. We’ll have it finished by Saturday night,” Andrew confidently predicted.
At our antenatal appointment Thursday morning, I told our midwife: “He’s making me paint the kitchen this weekend.”
“Well, take it easy,” said Jen. “And no climbing ladders.”
“We don’t have a ladder,” said Andrew. “She’ll have to stand on a box.”
“I didn’t think pregnant women were supposed to paint?” I said, hopefully.
“You’ll be fine,” said Jen. “Just make sure the area is well ventilated.”
I can’t understand how my midwife has no problem with my snorting toxic fumes, yet tells me off for wearing high-heels.
(I suspect it’s because she wears crushed velvet and Birkenstocks. Also, I think she’s a Wiccan.)
(And while I’m on the topic, I find it COMPLETELY IRRESPONSIBLE that my midwife is the ONLY care provider who has given out to me for wearing heels during my pregnancy.)
It took most of the weekend to shift bench tops and rewire, patch, plaster and sand the kitchen. Between us we sugar-soaped the walls; then cut-in and rollered – twice. We also managed to paint the bay-window seat (three coats) and I sugar-soaped and painted the bathroom edges.
We’ve ticked two items off the short-list.