The Landlady’s kitchen drama

My kitchen is possibly the most used room in the house, what with me cooking regularly and one of my lodgers boiling-up quotidian malodorous concoctions, the stench of which is almost enough to make passing seagulls drop from the sky like rocks; it gets a proper battering, if you’ll excuse the pun.

Over the past ten years, I have already had to replace the dishwasher, the fridge and the oven (twice). I have also replaced an ill-functioning element on the first oven (twice). I have replaced the work surface and the tap. The only thing left to replace is the kitchen itself, which is looking rather tired next to its nearly-new appliances. The kick-boards have been kicked off, there are several missing handles, and the fascia is looking rather tired and a little greasy. As far as I remember, I installed the kitchen soon after I bought the flat 15 years ago. I believe that it cost a grand total of £904, which included the poor quality oven. I am not a great believer in spending a fortune on kitchens (or weddings, for that matter), the very opposite in fact, and was therefore happy to go and visit the nearest and cheapest retailer to have a look.

“The stench is enough to make passing seagulls drop from the sky like rocks”

My friend Anne drove me to the first retailer which was, it eventually transpired, a wholesaler. After I’d chosen a kitchen, the assistant told me he wasn’t allowed to tell me how much it was, as they only dealt with builders. He gave me a pricelist, which he mooted was wholly pointless as it didn’t include ‘the discounts’. That’s an hour of my life I’m never going to get back.

We moved on to another retailer and found a kitchen that I liked. It was a little more than I would have liked to pay for it (I was loathe to pay more than £904), but it certainly had what Sarah Beeny would call the ‘wow factor’. The very pleasant assistant had a problem with the computer, so took my name and telephone number and promised to call me back that afternoon to make an appointment.

It is now three days later and my mobile remains silent. While waiting for the phone to ring, I’ve cleaned my old kitchen, replaced the kickboards and broken handles and I’ve decided to keep this one.

Illustration: Jake McDonald

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