The Kitchen, the dog, the racist passer-by & the plasterer

I am having my 37 year old kitchen replaced. My landlord, the local council, overlooked me for years by telling my address didn’t exist every time I tried to get them to do it. Eventually a surveyor came to look at something else and I took the opportunity to drag him into the kitchen for a look and now there’s  new kitchen being installed.

Kitchens take ages to be replaced. First they rip out the old one and take all the wall coverings off. This takes about 5 hours and it’s noisy. The day they did it was the day after I’d returned from London, it was raining and I couldn’t take my dog very far when I walked him so he barked most of the day. To soothe him I play music and sing to him but he was having non of it.

On Monday they removed all the asbestos from the kitchen. I was left with a blue plastic cover as a temporary ceiling and a floor that reminded me of a nightclub in Middlesbrough that we used to call the Claggy Mat.

The rewiring was done on Tuesday which means that, for the first time in 21 years I’ll be able to have an automatic washing machine. I’ve already picked it out and I’m ordering it the day the kitchen is fitted to be delivered the next day. I will be a washing addict for a few days and then curse myself for generating a pile of ironing.

In between times the plumbers have come and gone doing small bits and pieces and they’ve now finished apart from when they come back to replace the temporary sink with the real one. The temporary sink wobbles like wobbling is going our of fashion and the water from the cold tap tastes like poison.

Today the guy came to replace the ceiling and do the plastering. I left him with the barking dog to buy a few bits and pieces as he carried his stuff in. As I walked past the daughter of a former neighbour I heard her say that there was a black  man on a doorstep “doing things” and that she might just call the police. I gave her, as they say, a good tongue lashing. He was a plasterer that just happened to be black and she had no right to judge him.

When I got back to the flat I told him what had happened and we both laughed at her ignorance and agreed that when it came down to it then all that mattered was love and respect and if people didn’t respect others whatever their skin colour then they weren’t worth wasting your breath over.

The guy is a brilliant plasterer. The ceiling looks fantastic and it’s going to look amazing when the paint is on.

Tomorrow the person who’s laying the floor will be coming in and I’ll no longer be reminded of the dive of a nightclub that I used to frequent.

I expected to feel really stressed throughout this process. Everybody I spoke to has told me they’d felt really on edge while it was going on. I’m actually managing really well though frustrated about not being able to do laundry or bake bread but that will happen soon.

The dog soon forgets the stresses of the day and settles down once he’s had his bowl of food when whoever it is has gone for the day.

Roll on next week when the units go in and I can start arranging things in the cupboard exactly the way I want them. Happy days.