Kitchen Blues… and Browns

The kitchen was 27 years old when we bought it along with the house.

It must have been state of the art in its time. And no doubt tasteful, for its era. But right now it’s getting me down. We couldn’t put the flooring back. The heating pipe has obviously been leaking for a while and the underside of the vinyl is rotten. Ditto the unit plinths, which had been made out of chipboard.

A couple of days after the kitchen floor came up, we had a visitor. A very pleasant lady who sells off-mains water treatment systems. Things are happening on that project at least. She and Mike walked around outside, looking at possible sites for the big green tank, assessing the all-important ‘fall’ and the likely run of the drains. Like most first time visitors to our new abode she was bowled over by the location. “But.. you’ve got such a huge amount of work to do.”

I couldn’t disagree.

It started to rain. No surprise there. But it did mean that, to look at her paperwork, we would need to go indoors. She stepped through the kitchen door and stopped. Then took a long look around.

I felt the need to break the silence. “I’m sorry, we’ve had a leak.”

She said nothing, her eyes still moving across the dark brown ceramic tiles, the cork wall lining and the heavily stained concrete floor (still not completely dried out). “Are you going to be working inside the house as well?”


“Where are you going to start?”

This time Mike opened his mouth to say something. But I got in first. “Here”

Her slightest nod in acknowledgement was all that was needed.