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Absolutely bloody ages ago, my Farthing Wood Friend talked me into redoing our kitchen. I agreed at the time because he told me we would do it quickly, and that we would Make All The Decisions and get things done mega fast and it would be great.

This was clearly not the case, because we only got our new kitchen last week.

And what I had completely, totally and utterly underestimated was the ridiculous impact that redoing the kitchen would have on my brain. I was expecting to prove to myself how boring I am by getting excited about taps. And I was expecting to get really protective over my new work surfaces. But what I wasn’t expecting was how the bit in the middle would make me go a little bit loopy.

It started pretty much straight away; I was working from home on the first day of the works, and came down at lunchtime to find my kitchen ripped out, my electrics and water off, and nobody anywhere in sight. I had a completely empty, weirdly multi-coloured, and not entirely plastered room in front of me, and I had to have a sit down.



The next 36 hours didn’t make it much better; there was the bang-crashing interrupting my conference calls, the night we had to spend without heating and hot water, and my deeply-held convinction that the entire kitchen was soaked in damp, and falling down, and about to catch fire.

Everytime I went downstairs to clamber over some boxes and get something out of the fridge that was in the middle of my dining room I’d be asked a question I absolutely did not know the answer to. And worst of all, the fact the water kept going on and off made me terrifyingly conscious of the fact that I could not have tea on demand, but would have to plan for it instead; and once the tea was gone, it was gone.

So I took to hiding upstairs in our unheated spare room with the kettle and a two litre bottle of overpriced water, and refusing to leave the room unless I absolutely had to.


On the third day, I just gave up and went to the office, because clearly my being on hand was having absolutely no positive effect on the kitchen, and was not doing wonderful things for the good old anxiety disorder either.

And once I was actually out of the house I felt a lot better. Yes, my brain might have wandered into “oh god, the entire back wall is going to fall down” territory, but at least I wasn’t hearing the crashing that seemed to confirm the fact. And instead of sneaking downstairs when I thought I wouldn’t be noticed and pawing at all the cracks in the plaster, I could monitor progress through a series of picture messages that my Farthing Wood Friend kindly sent – and which were all cleverly angled so as to only show the Good Things.

And come Monday, the workmen were done. And I had a whole 48 hours of “hurrah! I have a functioning oven!” joy.


Then I realised that I had agreed to do the tiling. Which definitely seems like a really bad idea. Because I am clumsy, and I drop things, and I am about to be entrusted with a few hundred ridiculously expensive ceramic tiles and a brand new kitchen.

It does not seem like the kind of thing that is likely to end well.

But thankfully, I have remembered that youtube exists. And if youtube could teach me to knit well enough to be able to create the infamous CardiBastard, then it can definitely teach me to tile well enough to cover a nice bit of new plaster.

I just might need to put a lot of cushions on the floor.