Sunday, April 23, 2006

Why I'm standing in the kitchen with a cup of tea in my hand

I didn't saw the new kitchen counter-top too crooked and anyway a bit of glue and pattern-matching laminate tape does wonders. Around noon on Saturday I was struggling under the unit to fix stabilising brackets to give the nod to health and safety and watching the clock as Herself was due home soon. We've had the B&Q kitchen cupboards for about a year and a half now with only a temporary length of quarter-inch plywood as a worktop. Yesterday I finally bought a "real" work surface from the store and hauled it home for fitting.

I nonchalantly piled the old heaps of leaflets, pill bottles, biros, post-its and the rest onto the "Stone Rose" style counter in its pristine glory and put the tools away. Herself arrived in from work and asked how I'd done fetching the worktop.

"Oh it's finished!" she said, catching site of the new addition. "It's lovely!"

She ran her hands over the smooth surface and stepped back to take in the new-look part of the kitchen. We talked about choices of cabinet doors and lighting, but all eyes were on the new worktop.

"No-one is to cut anything on it," she declared.

"No, Dear."

She grabbed the leaflets and pills and all and stuffed them into drawers.

"And no-one is to put anything hot onto it."

"No, Dear."

Later, there was one pot-plant on its saucer in the middle of the worktop and nothing else.

"Er... You know that the surface is to put things on?" I asked.

"Yes," she answered, flicking at an imaginary mote of dust.

I've not been able to increase the population of items on the worktop since. A couple of coins I found on the kitchen floor disappeared almost as soon as I dropped them onto the surface. A fast-food menu turned invisible on contact. And that's why I'm standing in the kitchen beside a half-acre of shiny new worktop with a cup of tea slowly burning the knuckles of my hand.

"A coaster, maybe...? I asked plaintively.

I got a look, so I think I'll go into the other room to have my tea.

There are low crooning noises coming from the kitchen...

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