Did I tell you we were having the kitchen done? Ha! Ha! That's just my little joke there. It's finished! Completed! For the first time in four and a half months there are no builders in the house at all. They have gone away. Vanished. Disappeared. Hooray! It's a Christmas miracle.
Just as soon as I finish writing this I'm off to find the It's A Wonderful Life DVD (because it is) and start wrapping presents in front of it, with the fire on, before the children get home. But hang on a minute... I just have to nip down to the kitchen again and check it's all still there and pinch myself and open a few drawers and cupboards and pinch myself again and go in the pantry (yes! I have a real life pantry!)...
Okay I'm back. I still can't believe it. The first morning we were due to move in (Sunday) I was awake at 5.30 trembling with excitement. Really. I was. Okay so you might think that's a bit sad but I make no apologies, as I said to Husband the other night, we started in a studio flat in Streatham in 1988, which immediately went into negative equity so we had to live in it for 8 years pulling the sofa bed out every night and dragging all our washing off to the launderette each week, and somehow we have arrived here… in heaven. And it's only taken 25 years.
It's been hell getting to this point, mind, I will not be recommending my builder anytime soon that's for sure. Okay, so I did get quite fond of the guy at times and on the plus side he didn't walk away even after all the cock ups and problems, and he went along with all my crazy schemes - "So I want a fireplace with a woodburning stove and a wood store in the middle of two windows with triangles at the top, and recesses in the walls that I can use to sit the cupboards back in, and a walk-in pantry taken off the back off the loo area here, and these reclaimed ships lights I found on eBay to hang there in the pitch roof, and long suspended wooden shelves made from cheap wood that we will sand down and stain to make look old and put above a dresser area, like this, and a retro style sink run with metro tiles and these wall lights I got…" and all without an architect or anyone to project manage it, except me.
Actually, now that I write all that it sounds mad. No wonder it took four and a half months! Well anyway, we did it, we survived, and it's all done in time for Christmas and we have a beautiful kitchen and I really could not be happier. I know we're very lucky. I owe it all to a hard-working husband, a crappy endowment I took out when I was 21 and just cashed in, and a whacking great mortgage.
And because you have borne with me for so long, dear reader, and suffered all the trials and tribulations here by my side, here it is just for you. I hope you like it…
And the best bit till last… the walk in pantry!
Love E x Twitter @DOESNOTDOIT