I know you’ve all been wondering… Well, we took your advice and, after performing some financial contortions, we went ahead and had the hardwood floors finished before we moved in. And I love them. Bloody love them. Take a look and you’ll see why…
Also good: the kitchen floor, which is done in the kind of lovely big cream tiles that I would have chosen myself. Perfect!
And the gas cooker. There is something just very, very right about cooking on gas. After 15 years of using rubbish electric rings, I am so glad to hear that click-click-click-vooosh as the gas fires up!
And finally, the porch. This picture was taken as I sat comfortably, rocking gently back and forth on the porch swing. That’s the apple tree you’re seeing on the end there. Oh, and we’ve got rid of that rather naff bamboo blind. And the rolled up carpet will be gone this weekend.
Ok, now, we’ll start off gently. The fridge is bad. It is old and unloved. The door handle is falling apart — I’ve never seen a padded fridge-doorhandle, but this one is padded and all the padding is falling out. The door seal is held together with duct-tape and the even the shelves have been duct-taped in place. Last night, one gave way and the milk, orange juice, and cider all came crashing to the ground. M has retaped it back in place but, man, this fridge is in bad shape!
And now, onwards to the kitchen itself. Ladies and gentlemen, look carefully at those cupboards. Count them. Imagine trying to fit everything you need to feed a family of four in them. Because that’s it. That’s all there is to my kitchen. Think about fitting in all the plates and cups and bowls, all the knives and forks (anyone spotted there is no utensil drawer?), all the food, all the cleaning supplies, the microwave, the toaster… When we looked around the house, I remember thinking that there wasn’t much counter-space, but I just didn’t clock that there is NO cupboard space at all until I started unpacking. Look at how the dishwasher is positioned so that you can’t even get to all the corner space to the left of it — all that storage space is completely inaccessible!
Now, to be fair, there is a small pantry cupboard that you can’t see — it’s about 18″ wide and runs floor to ceiling, and I’ve got most of my food jammed in there. And we’ve bought some freestanding shelves to go in the space just right of where I was standing when I took this picture. But even still, this is a very badly designed and very small kitchen.
It will be rectified.
Behold, the family bathroom! Behold the original 1940’s decor! The daring pink and blue colour scheme! The classic tile (which covers the every wall, even the corner behind the door jam — what did they think people were going to do in this bathroom?!?)! The very blue bath! And the original blue bathroom accessories.
And lo! You can follow this bathroom in its journey through the decades, as it gained a 1980s faux marble sink (in a lovely fawn colour, such a bold statement against the pink and blue) complete with backstage-bare-bulb-lit vanity unit, and then some not-quite-matching blue floor tiles in the mid-1990s, and finally the very modern white low-flow toilet (which is very nice, but matches absolutely noth-thing). Oh, and the occasional random quirky cream tile where one of the pink ones had to be replaced. Mmmmm…. and the old mold marks on the grouting that will not come off no matter what I do to them.
Yes, it is ugliness personified. And altogether, it creates a mishmash so vile that I have an overwhelming desire to rip it all out with my bare hands that almost borders on a panic.
M, being a bloke, sees absolutely nothing wrong with it. It’s a bathroom and all the plumbing works. What is the matter?
He doesn’t need to understand. He just needs to follow my instructions and fix it. Soon. Every morning I start my day standing groggily in a hot shower, trying to rouse myself to consciousness — and when I do, I open my eyes to find I am swathed in a pink-and-blue cocoon that gives my tender early-morning nerves an unmerciful jolt. And, really, no one should have to suffer that if it can be at all avoided.
And the I just can’t decide…
And here we have the same 1940s bathroom loveliness… the classic sink, the same matching accessories (why? why a toothbrush holder in the powder room?), the same insane all-over tiling (how much spraying did they expect?!?) and yet…
And yet, I can’t decide about this. I think I almost like it. Almost… I mean, I have to say that it just doesn’t feel right when you’re bent over cleaning a red toilet. Toilets should not be red. And I’m not sure I’m keen on the college-team colour scheme-ness of it. It does look like some football fanatic has been let loose in the decorating aisle… But, it’s… ok. It’s got a certain charm. A certain… I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t bring myself to hate it in the way I feel I really ought to.
And M is over the moon with it. For some reason, he loves this bathroom. He spent the first day we were in the house using this toilet exclusively and then skipping about afterwards singing, “I’ve got a red toi-let! I’ve got a red toi-let!”
I don’t pretend to understand. It must be a man-thing. But I don’t mind. I almost… like it…?
Ok. This one stays.