So we’ve done it…….. our second supermarket free Christmas! Was it hard? Not at all, as we have said many a time this has simply become a way of life. We were very fortunate and received many lovely gifts and had a jolly lovely time. We also enjoyed a wonderful Christmas dinner with delightful pork from Dews Meadow Farm and lots of lovely vegetables. We received lots of wonderful gifts and were pleased that the gifts we gave were well received. The leftover dinner (that was left after the obligatory Christmas evening tea) was turned into Christmas dinner soup and it is now in the freezer ready for another day.
Now of course the question on everyone’s lips is what did we get for Christmas? Well…… Ian got a cooking lesson at our local deli (no more Cafe Pugh disasters), Becksie got some posh secateurs (watch this space on the garden this year) and what about Lizzie?
Now for a few months before we had a good look around and whilst there are some really sweet play kitchens for sale none of them seemed quite right, so we decided to build her one. One day on a walk in Lechlade a lady on a canal barge was having a furniture give away. As you can imagine the furniture was rather compact and we were delighted with the two door cabinet we carried (it was very heavy) away! We stashed it in the shed and towards the middle of November decided to get started!
About 30 seconds in and we realised whilst it would work it wasn’t quite right. So we went back to the drawing board – namely our kitchen table and here an idea struck us. Where was the kitchen going to go? Well we had thought about moving our recipe books but…… in our compact (rather like a barge style compact) house where would these important books go? How about the under the stairs cupboard? No…………they’d be hidden away but……….what about if the washer moved to the space (where plumbing already was) in the utility (this space housed a built in shoe cupboard which was easy to get out)! Then if the pots and pans and plates also moved………. you guessed it we could put Lizzie’s play kitchen in its own little room! A few more minutes chat and placing a pre-built kitchen made from a converted cabinet had turned into building (from scratch) a kitchen that where possible (with a bit of artistic license) was a replica of our very own real kitchen.
An hour later and our kitchen looked a complete tip (as as any parent of a small child knows if its nap time you must simply crack on). So Ian ripped out the cupboard in the utility whilst Becksie moved around the kitchen. Lizzie awoke from her nap to a complete state!
Over the next few weeks we moved the washer and Ian built the units completely out of scrap wood from his shed. Most of these were left over from the real renovation of this house and had indeed come out of the many cupboards that Ian took out. It seemed right to use these as materials as somehow going and buying new / more just isn’t us. Of course it means that Ian spent way longer than if we’d just bought new but somehow this feels right and like we are using bits of the house’s history in its future.
Walls painted, cupboards in and it was time to start the really hard work! Ian has worked extremely, incredibly hard with Becksie’s role being chief supporter, Lizzie distractor, diy sounding board (an actual piece of board might have actually know the answers), first aider, tea maker and designer (homemade bits, small replicas of our things, cooker fronts etc). This has been a real team effort including a days hard graft from Poppa – whilst Gannie took the reins as Lizzie distractor and several babysitting sessions, including an overnight stay from Mammar and Da! What a fab thing that we can say everyone helped. Whilst everyone has worked really hard Becksie will ensure that Lizzie knows its Daddy who is the star of this show. So here we have it our Christmas gift to our amazing small person Lizzie. May we present Lizzie’s play kitchen!