Kitchen home improvements look like a fridge full of pizza
I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen. Not just waiting for the kettle to boil, the toast to pop up or the microwave to ping. But cooking, preparing raw ingredients, mixing up concoctions which often I’ll surprise myself at how edible and tasty these what’s in the fridge or cupboard today little numbers turn out. But I cook first and foremost because I enjoy my food.
The kitchen located towards the rear of our creaky Victorian house has stood for a hundred years on the hill. In a previous life, it housed a Great Western Railway Works factory worker and family. The dark stone doorstep block leading into the scullery has laid at its entrance since the house foundations were first set, and much like the river that erodes its coastline, you can place your foot in the same groove hundreds if not thousands of heavy booted footsteps crossing its threshold have passed through before. It’s just one of the many features of this old house that help make it our home.
The house location was perfectly positioned for the railway works. If each morning you headed out the back gate and walked down the hill you’d arrive in less than ten minutes at one of the largest railway works in the world, operated from 1843 to 1986. In its heyday, it covered more than 300 acres (120 ha) and could turn out three locomotives per week.
The kitchen is more than our engine room; for us, it’s the heart of the house. It’s where you head to if you’re feeling slightly chilly — the place you’ll be guaranteed warmth no matter what time of day. The orange box radio high up on a shelf crackles to life each morning keeping all who enter informed as to what’s happening around the world. It’s a familiar and comforting setting and a great place to start your day.
Along with the comfort of a warm kitchen comes a reassuring morning routine that requires no thought or effort, I’m operating on autopilot, I could probably do this in my sleep. My soft blue dressing gown ties drag along the floor as a kitten or two materialise silently from wherever they decided to sleep the night before attached to the dragging ends. Their early morning games lesson has begun as they attempt to drag me to a halt. But with slippers on, I push on through. It’s going to take a lot more to hold me back from switching the kettle on for that first cup of tea of the day.
Ozzie and Ziggy, the kittens, get fed. Teabag squeezed, a drop of milk, your first cup of tea is ready to go and the day can begin. However, I often catch myself with a cup in hand unconsciously stood staring transfixed into the opened fridge. I’m just looking for what I have no idea. Is my stomach trying to tell me something?
This time of morning is typically the time I get to play with the kittens. Putting some early morning effort into throwing the wide selection of soft play balls that are littered around the house. Today’s favourite appears to be a little as it happens orange fluffy thing. It’s not quite a ball; a powder puff would be a better description. I wonder if for the last couple of minutes that’s what I’ve been throwing following a late night daring covert kitten raid on one of the bathrooms. Maybe I’ll stop throwing it now!
The kitchen plays host to all the household through the day. Either independently for a quick session of fridge staring. I’m pretty sure others do this too! Or en masse as we assemble to prepare meals, and share our day. If tea is not your favoured brew, you’re in safe hands. As you’ll invariably find coffee percolating away, filling the house with a coffee shop barista aroma, and the kitchen table always has space for one more, even when it’s hidden beneath my latest project pile.
I find myself once again in front of an opened fridge door for a spot of staring. As a fan of cold pizza, a quick scout of the contents before the others have risen can deliver on occasions quite the assorted exotic pre-breakfast platter. Today however the tall shiny silver box of curiosities is barren. I’ll have another look tomorrow.