We're slowly working out a new routine in this new life of ours. There are moments when it's a fairly steep learning curve, with 3 generations in a home that's not quite big enough yet, but in general and on a day to day basis, it's all starting to fall in to place.
The biggest and possibly only thing I miss from our previous home is my kitchen. Anyone that's read this blog for a while will know how much I loved my last kitchen. It was where Jim and I spent most of our time, and it allowed us all to come together without getting on top of eachother.
When our house was in the Ikea Family Live Magazine, I was asked what my favourite piece of furniture was in our home, and the answer was my kitchen table. It allowed us all to eat together, play together and create together. We only ever socialised in our kitchen around that table and many of my happiest memories in Leeds were right there - the last Christmas dinner we had with my mum, breakfast with my brother and his family, Sunday get togethers with friends, our Halloween parties - all of it right there in our kitchen.
At the moment we don't have much of a kitchen. When we moved in the only thing that actually defined the room as a kitchen was the butler sink, set under the window, lower than normal, with a rotten wooden draining board (and a million spiders).
At not much more than 2.5 metres squared, the kitchen is a far cry from our previous one, with absolutely no possibility of having even a reduced size table in it. Obviously we bought it aware that it was never going to work for us, even more so now that we're a 3 generational household, so our plan is to build an extension across the back of the house, to include a new kitchen, a living room for my Dad and (if we can finagle it) a studio for me. But in the meantime and probably for the next 6 months at least, we're making the best of what we've got.
The one thing that the kitchen has that allows it to work for us until I get my new one, is the fact that there are two original pantries, providing lots of much needed storage space while allowing us to forgo the kitchen cabinets that would only make the room look even smaller.
The fact that the kitchen is temporary has meant that we don't want to be spending a lot of money on it, but that doesn't mean that we don't want it to look good. The main improvement we've made so far is to install a 3m long, solid oak worktop, with a matching 3m piece below it, to create even more storage space. We've also installed a fairly huge dual fuel cooker, working on the assumption that if we can cook an entire Christmas meal in one go, using all 3 ovens and all 7 burners, the lack of actual space won't be as noticeable.
There's still a long way to go (painting, tiling, more shelving) and we're still getting used to the fact that our fridge and washing machine are out the back door, in the utility room, but although I do still miss my old kitchen (I've just looked back at some photo's while writing this and there's now a slight lump in my throat) I've still found myself starting to love this little temporary one.