A tale of two boxes

IMG_6018All the kitchen units are built and the worktop is in place.  Huzzah and hurrah!  Still no photographs to show our progress though. We have the tiles but HWIOO has not yet summoned the enthusiasm to start slapping them on the walls. But as a consequence of today’s development my giant three dimensional puzzle, otherwise called home, has suddenly developed rather a lot of space and we have to make a trip to the tip to do a spot of recycling.  The contents of the boxes labelled kitchen have now all been packed into the various cupboards although I have no doubt that when time permits there will be some judicious rearrangements.  Actually the Number One Daughter thinks that I rotate the crockery from cupboard to cupboard just to see how awake the rest of the family are and to confuse HWIOO. She claims that over a five year period that at Christmas the plates have never been in the same cupboard as the previous year.

Currently, I would advise anyone who comes to my house not to open the cupboard by the radiator unless they wish to suffer a baking tray related injury.

“I think there’s the same cupboard space here as in the old kitchen.”  I announced airily.

“Are you sure?”  HWIOO looked slightly puzzled.

“Well I’ve emptied all the boxes.”  No need to mention the booby-trapped cupboard at this stage in proceedings.  Of course, that was the moment I discovered a large box packed to the gunnels with herbs and spices.  Now, the fact that half of them are at least two years out of date and an unappealing shade of grey or brown is neither here nor there. I’m no different to many other domestic goddesses. The fact is that the herb cupboard is now rather fuller than I might have ideally liked – anything under the cupboard might end up covered in an eclectic mix of curry powder and Italian herbs if I open it too quickly.  However, the door shuts and the offending box is empty – which is odd as the volume of the box was definitely bigger than the available space. So that’s one box.

As I’m typing this post I keep thinking of things I haven’t unpacked so there must be at least one more box in storage that should be here – not that there’s space for anything else – so the cupboard out in the courtyard is going to have to become an overflow kitchen area sooner or later.  I have got rid of the salad drier-spinner thingy that I thought was the bee’s knees when we were in France one year and which I have used approximately twice in the last twenty years.  I have also deduced that I possibly don’t need three salt cellars, six wooden spoons or three tin openers.  I’m not sure why I have thirty assorted teaspoons but I can tell you that none of them are silver.  I’ve checked.

The second box pertaining to the title of this post was half full of books.  And trust me, a half full box of books is much better than a full box of books when the bottom suddenly gives way.  A rather large and lovely tome on British cathedrals bounced off my left foot along with a shower of monastery and castle guides.  When I’d stopped staggering around the newly created space in the living room clutching my foot and making inarticulate umphs of anguish I was quite impressed with the orderliness of the packing.

Today we have started to develop a new routine.  Get up in the morning when the alarm goes off.  It’s important for people with CFS to get up at the same time every day as having a lay-in isn’t very helpful.  Breakfast was followed by three hours work- but importantly for HWIOO, different kinds of work with a ten minute break after each job.  It’s slow and bitty but possibly better than three hours doing the same thing followed by exhaustion.  The car has to be moved, despite having a parking permit, just before midday.  So by eleven thirty-five I was sitting in the car ready to go.  Of course by that time the clouds opened into a torrential downpour but never mind we were out and about.

IMG_6019Today we followed the advice of my Derbyshire Correspondent (who lives in Yorkshire) and went in search of well dressings. Well dressings seem to be peculiar, in the nicest possible way, to Derbyshire. Apparently it originally had something to do with making sacrifice to the wells to ensure a continuing supply of fresh water – in an era and location without Typhoid we probably aren’t appreciative enough of the fact that we get clean water from our taps- though I am very appreciative of my new kitchen sink! Obviously water worship did not go down terribly well with the Church given it’s pagan roots.  According to the Derbyshire Well Dressing website the event became a way of giving thanks for salvation from the plague of 1349 (Tissington) and the seventeenth century reinforced this (Eyam).

IMG_6021The dressing itself is a clay board into which a team of dedicated well dressers press petals and other natural materials to make a picture.  The petals are preserved by the moisture in the clay and last for about a week.  Bakewell’s well dressing featured on Countryfile a couple of weeks ago and nearly every village in the vicinity seems to be having a carnival and a well dressing festival of some kind. The dressings begin in May and finish in September.  Many of the images depict scenes from the Bible but the pupils of Great Longstone opted for England’s ten most popular birds.  We went to Great Longstone as advised by Naomi who sent some rather wonderful photographs and instructions as to the location of cake and ice-cream (the Right Little Madam would approve.)

Tomorrow, assuming that my foot stops throbbing quite so alarmingly we are off to see the Number One Daughter.  The Littlest Madam has broken her wardrobe door.  Every time she sees it she points and announces, “Granddad mend.”  She has clearly watched and learned.  Just wait until she sees my lovely and soon to be totally and completely finished kitchen.


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