SOUL KITCHEN REGENERATION

Having a couple of hairy arsed blokes / strangers in the house isn’t normally my idea of fun, in fact being anywhere near hairy arsed anything / anyone is not something I even dream about but today was thee day.

But they were going to be here, in my house each and every day for about a week. I had to accept these hairy arsed builder types and become acquainted with them.

Fortunately, these hair arsed blokes / stranger types came armed with skills which I didn’t possess. They had the ability to dismantle then reassemble my new kitchen. They were able to tile floors, they were smart enough to install my new washing machine and fridge freezer, skim walls and add new shock resistant skirting board for that perfect interior finishing.

Tired old soul kitchen pre regeneration, wall paper and tiles have already been stripped off and ready for the elevation to a higher state.

Day 1: The installers arrived early this morning, very early. I was busy on the toilet reading a ’60s music magazine, deep into the goings on at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival when the doorbell rang. Who the fuck was that? The installers weren’t due to arrive until 08:00am and a quick glance at the clock revealed 07:30am.
A quick splish, splash, splosh and ‘it’ was over. I hurried myself downstairs and opened the door. The kitchen lads had turned up half an hour early. Fine by me. They can start as early as the want.

When I got home from work all the worn out ’90s kitchen units had been taken away and ripped apart. Their new home was inside the skip on my drive. Same fate for the functional but tired oven and fridge freezer. Thank you inanimate objects for serving me well over the decades.

Day 2: The kitchen lads arrived at 07:20am and cracked on straight away with the plastering, skimming, new ceiling boards and other hairy arsed man stuff. The Electrician also called in and hard-wired the boiler (whatever that means) re-wired some sockets and probably sniffed around the joint while I was out at work.

Kitchen / preparation area: Because our kitchen has been dismantled, everything is now a shell during the restoration period, hopefully all will be completed sometime next week. We decided to utilise space in the nearest room, that being our living room. No living room activities anyway, most of the kitchen and other items have been stored in this space for now.

For the foreseeable future all meals or should I say simple preparation, like toast, cheese on crackers, cups of coffee, sandwiches or raids into the box for packets of crisps would be made in the makeshift area in the living room. We’ve been using the kitchen table and a creaky old garden table brought into the house from the patio.

Because of all this hassle my arse doesn’t know what it’s elbow is doing, the two cats, Bo and Tonto race up and down the stairs looking for food, it’s no longer in the usual spot kids!!

Day 3: At 8:00am sharp, Gerry the kitchen fitter arrived. Probably fresh from his weekend of debauchery he was ready, able and willing to crack on with our new kitchen. We left him to it and went to work.

I was pleasantly surprised just how much the lad had done on his own when I got back home from work after 04:00pm. The shell of the cabinets were on the wall and he’d created a cover for our central heating boiler. Hard graft throughout the day from the young lad.
He pointed out that our decrepit stop cock tap had started leaking and we’d have the added expense of having a replacement fitted and plumbed in. Oh well, what’s another £100. I’m figuring out it’s gonna cost at least that amount.

Day 4: Another day of disruption commenced at 08:00am and after a chat about the problems we may experience in the future with the boiler cover, and access to the mechanisms and pipes if the plumber needs to slide off the front panel and get inside the workings of it, our trusted young kitchen fitter cracked on with his work.

It was another productive day for him. The sink unit and work benches have been secured and essential home appliances, the washing machine and the oven have been fitted into position in readiness for the electrician and plumber.

Day 5: Another prompt start by the kitchen fitter, no one can argue with his time keeping and reliability. Today he finished off fitting the units, glued bench tops into place, pieced together the plumbing and installed a new sink in readiness for the electrician to call to do some work.

The electrician fitted a brand new fuse box, installed two new kitchen lights and occupied himself with the light switch covers. He also completed the installation of our brand new washing machine and oven. I wonder if we’ll be able to figure out how to use those!

A plumber also called and fitted a brand new stop cock tap, valve and copper pipes. Our ancient stop cock from the 1980s developed a drip this week. Some bugger must have been turning the old fashioned five spoke handle. Well, whoever did cost me an extra £60.

On a lighter note I was able to wash the dishes in our new kitchen sink. It’s the first time I’ve been able to do this for about six years. I broke the old tap long ago and we could no longer get hot water from it! I’ve been boiling the kettle ever since. Thankfully all of that drag is now over. Time to join the tea set and have a cuppa.

Day 6: The very prompt and reliable kitchen fitter started just before 08:00am this morning and he was still working away at 04:00pm when we got home from work. I thought that would have been it for the day but no. He stayed until around 06:00pm before jumping into his white van and home for a cup of tea and a plate of cupcakes.

Today he installed the new fridge freezer, added the shelves within the units and added the splash back behind the oven. He also completed the task of the fitted cupboard to hide our boiler which now seems to want to piss me off every day by losing pressure. No hot water again this morning

It also appears that the kitchen radiator has developed a leak. It’s the radiator that was working perfectly fine, without any drips a week ago. This problem has no doubt occurred when the plumber took the radiator off the wall last week for the plasterer to plaster and skim the wall. I dread to think the cost of this repair but it has to be done before we have the new flooring laid next Monday.

Day 7: Here we go again. It’s the 31st October 2020 and another fun filled day in store for the kitchen fitter who finishes off his job by adding handles to every door and drawer, adding splash backs to the bench and behind the sink. He also installed a new window sill which wasn’t particularly his job to do but he agreed to do it.

After a week living like a couple of tramps in a garden compost heap we almost have our home back. The flooring in the kitchen and Conservatory will get laid on Monday and a few other jobs like new skirting boards and a light switch needs to be looked at.

Solid progress over seven days with another day to come. As you can imagine with all of this activity there is dust from arsehole to breakfast time. We’ll have to wait until some time next week before the home cleaning process begins.

Day 8: I’ll call this the final day of the kitchen installation although a couple of tiny adjustments still need to be done at a later date. The floor fitter arrived at 07:20am, very early considering he wasn’t supposed to be here until 08:00am. Not a problem though. Get yourself in mate, and crack on.

The kitchen and conservatory floor were expertly finished off with our choice of flooring, skirting boards were replaced. Total cost for his skills was £170, which didn’t seem too bad at all.

The house is still a bit of a mess with items strewn all over the living room floor, tables and chairs need to be moved out, a full clean is absolutely necessary. Dust and grime from the past week and a half has infiltrated everywhere!

Published by Colin Mason

serious collector of 1960s vinyl records and archivist of vintage music magazines

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