Nearly a year has passed since Dave made our house habitable by installing central heating and fitting the kitchen and bathroom, but since then little to nothing has been done by way of renovation or decoration. Before moving to Banceithin permanently I had a plan to work on the cottages by day and spend my evenings decorating my own home. There was no way I’d be able to put up with the tatty state of the place! The reality is that I quickly acquired Dave’s ability to turn a blind eye and accept the flaws as part of the character of a 100 year old house. There was, however, a room at the back of the house the state of which irked me on a daily basis.I don’t care if Nigella Lawson’s pantry, with its shelves stacked high with pleasing packages and tempting treats, is a TV-land creation purposely designed to make suckers like me green with pantry envy, I wanted one too.
In Dave’s optimistic opinion we could convert our musty, cobweb strewn store room into a pantry in a weekend. Before Dave could lose all enthusiasm for the project (and knowing there was no time to waste if the job was to be completed before Chelsea v Arsenal kicked off at 4 p.m. on Sunday), we set about the task of clearing out the room and stripping off decades of manky old paint and chunks of decaying plaster. The unexpected arrival of 10 bare root stock maiden whips (being my orchard-to-be and not a Madam Whiplash starter kit) threw me into a bit of a tizzy and we had to down decorating tools, grab spades and start digging the field. So by the end of day one, I had a new orchard, a house full of paint & plaster dust but no pantry.
For days two, three and four I was busy priming, undercoating, glossing and generally throwing paint around. By the end of day five I was the proud owner of a shiny red pantry. I just love red walls. Something Freudian about wanting to be back in the womb or some such nonsense. Or, in Dave’s view, useful because the blood won’t show up when he slaughters the livestock! There’s no way that’s happening in MY pantry.
On day six I could contain my excitement no longer, the shelf stacking had to begin, and to hell with waiting for the floor polish to dry.
Excitement reached fever pitch when I realised that a new pantry needs new storage baskets, jars and drawers, that the shelves would need labelling and the kitchen and utility room cupboards would now need to be re-organised. I’m in pantry heaven!