Most of us have a
select few people in our lives that we truly call friends – people that we can
talk to about anything and trust with our deepest secrets. In my case I am
lucky to have any left. I never stopped talking about the house from the time
we bought it. It took over my life like a drug addiction and my friends had to
put up with a bombardment of photos through their e-mail and Facebook and
constant updates every time we met. I have to say they were great. They made
all the right noises while listening to my stories and always listened for an
appropriate period of time so I was able to off load when I needed to.
One such friend that deserves special mention is Geraldine. We have worked
together for a long time. For many years we were slimming friends, joining
several slimming clubs, a real sign of close friendship in my books. However
when I became obsessed with the Yank’s house Geraldine won her battle with weight and
I put mine on the long finger.
Geraldine and her
husband Dave bought a house in need of love and attention around the same time
we did so we had endless discussions over salads, low fat lunches and skinny
lattés. Her house was to have a major overhaul including an extension that
would double it in size and make for comfortable modern family living.
Geraldine’s house boasted a lovely hand-made wooden kitchen, complete with
butlers sink. I had expressed an interested in it as soon as she had told me of
her plans to extend. It would be ideal for our kitchen in the Yank’s house if
she was replacing it.
On one of our weekly
salad binges she mentioned that the diggers were in and her foundations were
being dug out. ‘What about my kitchen?’ I asked. She had forgotten, but the
kitchen was still there. She would have to run it past Dave when she got home.
Later I got a text saying if we wanted the kitchen to call and take it away. It
was ours. We met Dave at the house to see what was involved in removing it and
Pat made arrangements to take it away the following week. I was so excited. I
felt like a small child, Christmas morning, after discovering Santa had come.
The kitchen was exactly the look I wanted for the house and would save us a
The evening we went to
collect the kitchen, Geraldine’s house was full of men. Work was progressing
very fast. The builders had ripped out the kitchen and moved some of it to an
out-house but the sink unit, with granite top and butlers sink was heavy so
they had abandoned it in the middle of the floor. They were knocking the
ceilings and floors from upstairs down on top of it and several walls had also
vanished into dust and rubble around it.
We were just in time. It took several men to move it from the building
onto our trailer. We had to do two trips in all but later that evening I had a
kitchen stacked high in the middle of my front room.
It took me a few weeks
to make a start but gradually I moved the kitchen one piece at a time into my
own kitchen where I wash and sanded each piece down. My plan was to paint the
kitchen. The granite worktop was marked with lime from a dripping tap. I used
white vinegar to remove this. I am a great believer in the use of vinegar for
cleaning and for lime stains I don’t think there is anything better. I picked
the colour cooking apple green from
the Farrow and Ball catalogue for the kitchen cupboards. I had seen a photo in
a magazine where a kitchen had been painted this colour and I liked it.
I have tried many
different methods of painting furniture over the years and I now prefer to
paint with mat emulsion paint. This is the type of paint recommended for
painting internal walls. I cleaned all the timber down with white spirits
before I started. Then I gave the kitchen 3 coats of paint letting the paint
dry well between each application. I then finished off each piece with two
coats of acrylic mat varnish.
I didn’t have a lot of
pieces to paint. There was the sink unit and a wall unit, same size which hang
one over the other. Two separate wall units had hung either side of Geraldine’s
Aga cooker. There was one floor unit and some pieces that had housed a small
|Kitchen in place in Yank's House|
I decided to join the
two wall cupboards to make one double unit and to extend the one floor cupboard
we had using the extra bits from the fridge unit. Pat and I used these pieces
to add two shelves. We ordered a piece of black granite for the work surface.
|Ready for tea-time|
At first I planned to
hang the wall cupboard over the floor cupboard, but later I decided the floor
cupboard would make a nice island unit. I had a photo from a magazine of a
cupboard with a painting of a jug of flowers on the door — I had kept it because I liked it. One afternoon I decided
I’d have a go doing something similar on the door of the island unit. It turned
out great. I painted it using acrylic paints and varnish over the picture to
seal and protect it.
While I worked on the
kitchen and afterwards while I waiting for the Yank’s house to be ready, the
cupboards took up the dining area of my kitchen. A small inconvenience, but
every day I admired how well they all looked and how pleased I was with my hard
Then the day came to
move the kitchen to the Yank’s House. Again we needed help to move the sink
unit with the granite top as it was very heavy. But we got it in place and
plumbed in. For the first time ever there was running water in the Yank’s
house. We hung one of the wall units over the sink unit. It looked great.
We had one more double
door wall unit but no floor unit to go under it so I asked Jason back (our
stone/brick mason) to build walls with reclaimed bricks so I could have a
worktop and shelves under it. I am still waiting on the shelves and worktop but
I will organize to get them soon.
The kitchen looks great
now. And last summer we had our first visitors for lunch at the Yank’s house.
It was a lovely occasion.
|Friend for lunch at Yank's House|