Sunday, 31 July 2016

Little Things

Sometimes the smallest changes can make such a difference.   The kitchen at Parsonage Cottage pretty much remains the same and yet there have been many changes over the ten years we have been here.

First came the major renovations to turn this end of the building from a rat-infested old cart shed, which was packed to the rafters with the previous owners' possessions (including an urn full of their Grandpa's ashes) into a family kitchen.

I wanted a comfortable, homely room.  I don't like wall cupboards, so we don't have any.   I have the dressers and a very large walk-in pantry in the Boot Room.   It works for us, but everyone is different.

We used to have a large, squishy sofa in the room, which was nice, but Dobson (the dog) began to regard it as his own because no one really used it as we tend to gather at the kitchen table.     The table was orientated the other way to accommodate the sofa.

For the last 9 years I have been suggesting that the table should be turned.   Nine years of the broken record technique later.... I am happy to say that the table has been turned, the sofa loaned to Miles and Poppy (permanently, I hope) and the room is as I originally envisaged it.

Everyone likes it.  Life flows more easily around it.   Such a simple change.

There is one more simple change in the kitchen and that has made life much more comfortable for everyone.   Out here in the countryside we are greatly bothered by flies, great numbers of them, especially when the fly-screen doors are left open to lure them inside...dogs and grandchildren are the main culprits.

Fly papers help sort out the nuisance, but there were always a number of the pesky things whizzing around.   We had to find a solution.   Neither the grandchildren, nor the dogs, were going to change their ways.

Max came up with this solution.    A door closure device.    We thought about having one of those dangling chain door covers, but that would have meant the cats could come through with their half-dead victims, so that was out.   We've been there and it isn't nice.

This little device means that the screen door always closes.   The number of flies which come inside has fallen dramatically, the fly papers are almost redundant.   Life is becoming more pleasant.

I wish we could find a similar solution for the outdoor eating areas!

ps  I took the urn of 'Grandpa's ashes' to the vendors solicitor.  It felt a little strange having him on the passenger seat beside me.


  1. Love what you've done to your kitchen. Not so sure about Grandpa's ashes. Bet you were glad to get them back to their solicitor and he wouldn't want them to be filed in his office for long either. Eeek.

    1. Hello Molly, The kitchen works for me because I am not a serious cook, although all our meals are made from scratch. I have always loved homely and welcoming kitchens where grandchildren and pets are all welcome.

      The people we bought the place from seemed to tire of packing. They held a big and wild party the night before they left, then abandoned the place leaving my daughter's house and ours in quite a state. I'm really not surprised that they forgot Grandpa in the cart shed...luckily they remembered to take the one who lived in the Byre itself!!

  2. You know already that I love your kitchen. Its the small things isnt it that really do make a difference. I cooked in my MiL kitchen the other week, a rare treat, but after 20 years she has conceded that I can cook! Who knew? ! lol *tongue in cheek there*. She even asked for a few recipes. You know what I needed and searched her kitchen for tongs. I didnt realise how much I use them. I use them for so many things. We also moved her microwave that she doesnt use, her kitchen is small maybe 8 x 6. No counter space. her microwave went into the pantry in the hall, there is a plug socket in there. It made so much sense, but it took someone else to do it. We also cut her a chopping board cover for the sink. Again much needed work area

    How can you forget Grandpa?

    1. Hello Sol, I think we all have our favourite implements - I'm with you on the tongs, they are invaluable. I have no trouble believing that you can cook, but I do struggle with the idea that you are old enough to have a MiL of 20 years' standing, which merely goes to show how old I am. I'll be saying that policemen are looking younger and younger soon! I hope she thanked you for all those changes, but even if she didn't I imagine she is enjoying the improvements. It is amazing how such little things can make life easier.

      ps See my answer to Molly, that's how they forgot Grandpa. Mind you, he had been in the cart shed for quite a while..

    2. Hi, I was lucky enough to find the Mr when I was young. Been together since I was 18. Lol the 20 years of a MiL have not always been smooth, ignoring 'advice' most of the time, has saved arguments. Listen and look interested. ;) Carry on regardless! Awful arent I. But it saves problems.

  3. Your kitchen is lovely, and I completely agree with your dislike of wall cupboards. When we fitted the new kitchen at the old house I did away with them, and opted instead to have 2 larder units side by side on one of the 4 fitted walls. It worked brilliantly, leaving 3.5 walls free of wall cabinets. Alas, I am still stuck with the kitchen we inherited here more than 5 years down the line, which means I have wall cabinets. I am looking forward to the day when I can rip it all out and start again!

    1. Hello Scarlet, Poppy is now facing those same decisions with her own kitchen. The floor has just been tiled, and we had already cleaned and painted the walls and ceiling, so now it is down to her choices and what they can afford - no wall cupboards for her, though, because she is just five foot tall. I think they are being very sensible though, going for a slightly unfitted look and buying it as they can afford to do so, making do in the meantime. She is still managing to produce some fabulous meals though.


Lovely to hear from you!