That’s The Way To Do It

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I spent much of the day trying not to hamper Richard while he continued to work on cupboards.

In the corner to the left of the old fireplace hung a non-functioning extractor fan. Planning to install a functioning fan in a different position, and having fitted cables for the cooking appliances, Richard set about preparing the wall for a cupboard.

The next step was to prepare a back for the cupboard. First, with the aid of his scribing block, this panel was to be made snugly to fit the slightly wavy line of the wall. In the last of these photographs, Richard explains the purpose of this little square of wood enabling him to pencil the exact route following the wall onto the pliable template panel.

I then learned how this little block could be used to transfer the precise line onto the final panel.

Clamps had been applied to prevent excessive movement at the early stages of the process. Note that plumbing has been attached to the underside of the sink.

The sheet was then cut with equal precision with an angled saw. The craftsman wore his mask to prevent his breathing in the flying dust. The purpose of the angled cut is to allow Richard to plane the edge from the rear so that it is not visible from the front.

Why, I wondered, were narrow battens attached to this panel, once in situ?

The answer lay in the grooves in the shelves that were then cut exactly to size,

and fitted in place on the wall. Note the small piece of wood employed to protect the shelves from direct contact with the hammer.

Interspersed with this activity, another batten was going up on the adjacent wall. This was one of a pair of gravity battens matched to those previously attached to

the cupboards that were to hang firmly fixed there. Richard was pleased that the Kitchen Makers logo is visible on his T-shirt.

Before putting anything else on that wall more dodgy wiring needed tackling.

As Mr Punch would say: “That’s the way to do it”.

Every time we have passed The Hobler Inn on Southampton Road over the last two or three years, we have said we should try it sometime. This evening we did, and were not disappointed. Our superb starters were respectively whitebait with fresh salad and crusty bread, and chicken satay with equally excellent salad and pitta bread. My main course was fresh fish, chips, and mushy peas; Jackie’s was perfect penne pasta. I drank Ringwood’s forty-niner and Jackie drank Amstell.

 

 

He Could Have Fooled Me

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For lunch today Jackie drove us to Steamer Point from which we walked down to the Beach Hut Café for their plentiful breakfasts of excellent quality.

There was not much activity on the beach on this dull day. A small child was being photographed with a dog;

and rugby tackling practice was being undertaken. The older man told me that he was not athletic. He could have fooled me.

When we returned, Richard had set the new sink in place and was marking out the template for the finished top. His skilled draftsmanship would be sent to the workshop for the final fitment to be made. Everything he does is infused with his early training as a boatbuilder, and his immense pleasure in his work.

Later, he produced similar pieces for the worktops on the other side of the galley and around the former fireplace.

This evening we dined on instant vegetable soup and ham and cheese sandwiches. I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat

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Early this morning, Ross visited briefly to help Richard move the furniture back to the far end of the kitchen. Richard then set about building the bespoke cabinets and work surfaces. These had all been designed and cut to size in the craftman’s workshop. Clamps were applied to the sections; screws selected from the relevant boxes; the drill and spirit level employed;

 

and further refining cuts made with the chop saw, equipped with its own laser beam.

Ham, egg, and chips; macaroni cheese, salad, and garlic bread.

At lunchtime we left Richard to his work and visited Otter Nurseries café for lunch. My choice was ham, egg, and chips; Jackie’s was macaroni cheese, salad, and garlic bread.

Staplewood Lane

We then took a trip through the forest. At Staplewood Lane

 

we experienced what must have been rerun of a 1950s cartoon. A paddle of ducks swam in a full ditch.

 

 

A scout, leading them across the road to Little Staplewood Farm, spotted a black and white cat advancing from a distance, and alerted its discombobulated followers

 

to turn back to the safety of the water, and cross the road when the coast was clear.

 

Sylvester, however, had sneaked into the farmyard and hidden under a Range Rover. He was not unnoticed by the guinea fowl, the geese, and other ducks who set up a vociferous alarm. One of the geese, in particular, was bent on saving Rome.

 

Towards the end of the day, before Richard carried out his customary spotless clean and tidying, he paused with a coffee and discussed with Jackie this week’s progress and plans for the next. She looks quite pleased.

This evening we dined on tasty fresh chicken and egg salad. I also enjoyed an excellent ham and cheese sandwich.

 

Coordination

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First thing this morning Ross and Lee delivered some of the kitchen equipment and a chop saw. They also brought the old sink back in from outside so that Richard could fit it later for temporary use. They are all enjoying the blog, particularly because of the proof that they had been working. Richard was able to check last night that the floor would be ready for him today.

Richard then set about installing the kitchen units. I was fascinated by the red beam from the laser level, which had the benefit of demonstrating the straightness of the craftsman’s back.

For lunch today Jackie and I repaired to the Banging Breakfast Café at Old Milton. We had not visited them for a good couple of years since they changed their name, and were happy to find that there has been no reduction in quality, and that they still serve Ferndean Farm Shop sausages.

After this we took a short drive into the now waterlogged forest, where, after much heavy rain, rivulets ran down the verges of lanes like Rodlease, and pools gathered at the bottom, reflecting the skies and vehicles splashing through.

Jackie had parked further up the hill and I walked down to take these shots. After I had rejoined her she continued on the way we had been travelling.

We then encountered a big blue beast quite incapable of backing up. Jackie had to reverse down a steep gradient and into a driveway forcing the car into a wheelspin. In fairness, I have to point out that BT Transport is nothing to do with our telephone line provider.

Riders on road

At least the riders we later encountered in Church Lane were able to skip onto the verge.

Early this evening, Richard cleared the far end of the kitchen

in readiness for Andy’s arrival. The man from Crestwood came on time and laid the screed on that end which had been cluttered with furniture. He had no Connor with him so had to mix and carry through the preparation himself, putting me in mind of artists like Vermeer, who mixed their own paints. As he cheerfully said, it was “self service”.

It is this kind of reliable coordination that makes these teams work so well.

 

 

“Just One Tooth Away From Killing Itself”

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It was touch and go whether I would be able to post at all today. This was because my iMac disc was allegedly full, and I couldn’t open anything.

Apart from a pleasant early lunch at Redcliffe Garden Centre where I enjoyed a breakfast  bap containing bacon, sausage, and egg; followed by half of Jackie’s moist Victoria sponge that followed her excellent vegetable soup with thick crusty bread, I spent much of the day positioned between necessarily noisy labour of Kitchen Makers in the kitchen and a computer screen shared by James of Peacock Computers.

Richard and Lee were severely hampered in the kitchen by the state of the electrical wiring exposed when the old equipment was removed. Apparently most of the wiring, although connected, was dead and not doing anything. Admirable patience was displayed as they attempted to find the cable from which everything on that side of the wall and floor was actually doing anything.

Richard

Throughout this struggle Richard remained his cheerful, affable self.

An additional factor was the evidence of a ravenous rodent. Richard showed me the affected wiring. The red and black wires had been nibbled. He was of the opinion that at least one mouse had been “just one tooth away from killing itself”.

Lee was tireless in chipping adhesive away from the floor tiling, clearing up afterwards, and leaving a good surface for the preparation tomorrow for the final flooring to come later.

Meanwhile, James sent my cursor careering across my screen, lighting on a likely culprit, cleaning it up, dashing across to another, and leaving sets of figures to mount up or die down. All in all it was really reassuring relying on others remedying  electrical and ethernet enigmas.

Further offerings from Hordle Chinese Take Away afforded us our evening sustenance, with which I drank more of the Madiran.

 

 

Demolition

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This morning, Richard, Lee, and Ross from Kitchen Makers arrived on time and began taking apart our old kitchen.

Richard concentrated on the sink area, and on contemplation,

while the younger men chipped off old tiling, dismantled the cupboards, and carried the rubbish outside, ready to take it all away. Everything was cleared up as they went along.

When Richard adopted his contemplative pose concerning the floor, his colleagues claimed that this was his customary position on the job.

Light catcher and Ross

Anyone who has received a Pauline King light catcher will appreciate that she kept her eye on the proceedings.

Soon after midday we left them to it and joined Giles and Jean for lunch at Monsoori Heights in Milford on Sea. My main meal was king prawn vindaloo.  Jackie’s was paneer tika. We shared lemon rice, a plain paratha, and onion bahji. Jackie drank coffee and I drank Kingfisher.

In The Kitchen

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This morning we visited Crestwood Showrooms on the Ampress estate in order to select flooring for the new kitchen. We then took our sample to Anne at Kitchen Makers in Sway. Anne will organise the installation. Jackie also discussed various other options while I wandered around with my camera.

The kitchen showroom is tastefully laid out with examples of appliances, cupboards, and surfaces; with carefully placed ornaments and accoutrements.

Milo reflected

Milo, the dog, sat on the stone floor reflecting on the proceedings, as

Anne explained how appliances such as the microwave oven worked.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s flavoursome cottage pie with cheesy topping; firm Brussels sprouts and carrots. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Mendoza Beefsteak Club Malbec 2016, a very good Christmas gift from Helen and Bill.