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On Kitchens and Spatial Imaginings

I have no spatial imagination. That much is now perfectly apparent after my several forays into something delightful called Creating Your New Kitchen: Creating Your New Kitchen takes place in the company of various kitchen designers/suppliers who have sat me down in front of their screens and tippy-tapped on their keyboards and made marvels appear before my dazzled eyes – cupboards, shelves, thin units, fat units, ovens, pan-drawers, islands all pop up in happy unison on the screen – and I am mesmerised. ‘Oh yes,’ I say, ‘Lovely.’ But when I get back here where this transformation is to take place one fine day, can I imagine how it will look and where everything fits? I cannot.

So I ask for dimensions in the faint hope – and what do I, a dinosaur get? Millimetres. You might as well suggest that I measure the place in hands or rods and perches. When I was a girl out and about with the boys – in those far off days when pub closing times meant the ringing of a bell at 10.20pm for ‘last orders’ and you were strictly out on your ear at 10.30pm, there would always be a rush for the bar. The boys would get in their final pints. The pints would be brought to the table. The last available pint of the night and to be savoured. Usually at this point M.Wilson, for that was me before the delights of marriage turned me into M.Cheek, would decide it was time to powder her nose. She would stand up. At which point all the boys at the table who had been casually leaning back on the banquette chatting easily would throw themselves forward and hug their beers to their chests. For I was known to have no spatial awareness. I could take with me as I swished past the table several pint glasses, usually full ones, and usually at the end of the session when no more was forthcoming. This trick has remained with me ever since. Do not put me in a restaurant where the tables are cramped or you will see some poor diner lose his dish of the day to the floor. Or her glass of Merlot will be dashed to the ground. I have been thin when this took place, and I have been fat when this took place and I have been pregnant – it is not to do with my dimensions but the dimensions of the world that I can’t quite get. So I suppose the only thing to say by way of compensation in the matter of choosing a new kitchen is that it will be a terrific surprise. Quite literally. Watch this space.

(There is very little mention of kitchens in Three Men on a Plane  – I am pleased to say. So you can look at this beautiful new edition by clicking on the link and feeling quite unafraid of the domestic consequences. There does seem to be quite a lot about bedrooms, though. Much safer territory… After all, even I can imagine a bed.)

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