Terrifying Technology


This morning we began the task of familiarising our new kitchen and slowly returning items to it.

Kitchen 1

Here is a reasonably complete view across the sink to the long work surface. To the left we have the fridge/freezer and ovens alongside the larder, opposite which are the induction hobs.

Fridge/freezer, ovens, cupboards

Alongside these latter is the small cupboard bearing Richard’s new door.

Dining areaSink and dining area


Looking across the sink area to the long window we have the dining table.

Jackie by bins

There is a cluster of waste bins under the sink.

I needed Jackie’s assistance to microwave my coffee this morning. She remembered this process, but found

Jackie with instruction books

the rest of the instruction booklets rather daunting.

Needless to say the room will now need expert decorating to do justice to the work of Kitchen Makers and Crestwood. We will have to wait for the money from France for that.

Much of the day was spent carrying items in from the library, wiping off the dust, and placing them in cupboards. We have decided to keep the free-standing Chinese cabinet in the kitchen in order to display the glasses. It also blends well with Richard’s oak shelving.

This evening we dined on a second helping of Mr Chan’s Hordle Chinese Take Away with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Concha y Toro.


Desk untidy

This morning was spent making up for procrastination in various ways. My desk sits in the hall that doubles as a study. Despite the fact that I know where everything is, it does become a little untidy. Jackie never complains, but I know she would rather visitors saw some sort of order when they entered the house.

DowelBefore moving some of the material from on and under the desk into the hall cupboard this required a little repair. The door of the Chinese cabinet is hinged with wooden dowels, one of which was broken in the move to Minstead in November 2012. The damaged piece needed to be drilled out to make room for a replacement which Jackie had bought soon after our arrival at Castle Malwood Lodge. I thought I had better get around to that, and fixed it before tidying up the desk. When they were children, Matthew and Becky bought me the slate coasters that are now visible and can serve their proper purpose instead of delegating that to any bit of paper or blotter that could be reached.Desk tidiedDesk after cleaning

It looked even better after Jackie had got at it, made a few adjustments, and cleaned the computer screen.

For a while we have been meaning to check the contents of the oil tank. I did that. It was a bit low, but not crucially so. A similar task was arranging the next emptying of the septic tank. I did that by e-mail.

It must be four or five months since I last had a haircut. Again, we have been saying for some time that I needed one, especially as anyone might think I was trying to recover my long haired days, which would probably be a bit sad. Jackie did it in the kitchen this morning whilst I sat and watched tits, robins, chaffinches, pigeons, and sparrows flitting past the window and enjoying their breakfast.

Derrick reflected in computer screen

When asked to photograph her handiwork for the blog, Jackie had the bright idea that I should repeat my previous unwitting image of a good haircut, so I photographed my nice clean Apple screen.

It was another Six Nations Rugby afternoon. I watched it on television. In the first, quite the best game of the tournament so far, Wales, in Cardiff, beat Ireland 23-16. In a rather less intriguing contest at Twickenham England beat Scotland 25-13.Aaron

Aaron continued his work on the back drive, which is looking very good.

This evening we dined on pork rib rack marinaded in barbecue sauce, and Jackie’s egg fried rice and stir fry vegetables with teriyaki sauce. I drank Chateau Les Mourleaux Bordeaux 2012, and Jackie didn’t.

Progress Report

Last night Jackie managed to set the central heating system to come on at 6.30 a.m. Now we are warm. Seated in the living room which abuts the hall/office she heard a dull tapping she described as ‘bonk, bonk’. As she walked out to investigate the radiator under the bay window the noise stopped. After she had repeated this three times she stood in the doorway waiting for an encore of the sound. Five minutes went by. Then a blackbird perched on the windowsill and tapped out a ‘bonk, bonk’.
Martin Taylor came on time this morning and plumbed in the washing machine; temporarily fitted the oven on the work surface; advised us on redesigning the kitchen; and suggested we try to obtain the cooker housing to match the rest of the Moben installation.
Our predecessors had retained all useful paperwork including that from Moben kitchens, I rang them to ask if the oven container could be matched. The number was out of commission. A Google search revealed that the company had gone into liquidation. Not being a very good surfer I soon became tired of researching other sources. We can think about that another time.

At least the cooker is now operative. Not only is the oven working, as you can tell by the timer light in the photograph, but it reflects some of the other tasks we completed today. We moved some furniture from the lumber room, where we hope to sit in comfort one day, to other parts of the house. A Chinese cabinet I bought when in Sutherland place is seen in its new home in the kitchen.

Actually we are now able to see that we will have a sitting room one day, particularly as some of the floor is now empty.  The foreground of the picture that shows this, bears evidence that I have today paid, by telephone, the final electricity bill for Castle Malwood Lodge.
I rather treasure the red waste bin that peeps into shot from the right. Readers may recognise the partly obscured Adult Literacy logo. I have often mentioned Beauchamp Lodge Settlement, of which I was chairperson for many years. One of the tenants in the ’70s and ’80s was an Adult Literacy Scheme. When they moved on they left their bin behind and I snaffled it as a memento. That organisation existed to bring together volunteer teachers and those who wished to learn to read. I don’t think it is still functioning.

The office is looking a bit cluttered at the moment, but I have hoovered the floor and Jackie put a rug down.

A statement of intent to turn the garage into a library has been made.

Is there anything in life more satisfying than flat packing a SafeStore box after use and stacking it away?

When we first viewed our new home, we lunched at The Royal Oak pub, and were rather less than impressed. In January the establishment had closed down and was up for rent. Only a couple of days ago did it re-open under new management. This evening we thought we would try it again.The last three days’ steady rain had just made way for a sunset that lent an optimistic glow to the building. John was a very attentive host. The food was good and reasonably priced. I ate fish and chips whilst Jackie consumed chicken in bacon and drank Stella. My choice of wine was Invenio merlot d’Oc 2013.