Of collapses and corners.

We’ve been in a floundering pool here, plunging up and down between hope and despair –  Mr Pimp’s salt mine having gone suddenly, shockingly and spectacularly belly up last week.  No warning, no forecast, no prognostications of doom. One minute the company was fine, the next it was gone. One minute we were trotting along, the next we were two cartoon people, the ground gone beneath our feet, frantically pedaling thin air. A thing of perception and rumour, the corporate world.  No more, really, than a house of cards.

The phones between here and there have been ringing red hot. First there was no hope, then there was some, then none again, then a tad, a sliver, a wraith.  Then none whatsoever, for ever, without hindrance or let up.  In the end the receivers were called in and that seemed so final we expected him back any minute, home again, home again, jiggedy jig.  Now he’s staying there a month.  Then, who knows – there are rumours this morning (more rumours!) that someone might buy this dead company, wind it up and set it skittering across the table top again.

So where does (what’s left of) my mind go for solace in the middle of all this lunacy?  Why, to sculleries of course!  Not sculleries as they have become in modern parlance – pantries, or laundries, or even just kitchens by another name – but those shadowed shivery hidey holes where you stuff your scullery maid or channel your own, buried under mountains of greasy pans and potato peelings and plucked feathers.  Me,  I am an inconvenient mix of the house-proud and the slattern, and love the idea of a sequestered ante-chamber where grungy goings-on can poked away.

In my trawlings I found these, and felt that funny house-love/longing/lust/acquisitiveness.  It’s those half-glassed walls that do it for me.  Secret and not secret at the same time.  Revealed and enclosed…this begins to sound a bit kinkay.

This is Plain English’s Osea Kitchen (though theirs looks to be more of a laundry.  Socks – stylists own):

And this is a house on the market in London: I am trying to decide how it would actually, practically work, to have to go into another room to wash pots etc.  Whether it would be practical, really, when it came down to it.  And whether I could do it without losing my beloved stone arch as entrance into the kitchen, complete with steel and glass pivoting door.  Picture of which I would post but for the fact that my new Mac had a fit of conniptions last night and is now withholding pictures.  It never raineth but it poureth.  Time for a stiff gin and a lie down.

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7 Responses to “Of collapses and corners.”

  1. OMG Buttercup what’s to become of us. The only thing to do when hiding in the scullery is to get stuck into the Ipecacuanha wine. Family and health that’s whats important and the odd flight of audaciousness. Keep smiling.

    • I must confess I had to tootle off and google Ipecetc wine, and I found this: “One of my kids had a cough, and it was irritating her terribly, and this old lady said, “You’ll have to go to the chemist and ask him to make up a bottle with, syrup of squills and glycerine, ipecacuanha wine.” So I went away and there was an old-fashioned chemist, and it was the only one I could get that would make that up for me. And it was marvellous.
      (Helen Mustard, born 1926)”. So now of course I have to look up ‘squills’.

      And when I get all my ingredients I’ll raise a toast to that (not so) occasional flight of audaciousness.

  2. We all need a bit of adventure but this is absurd. Does it have to have such a dramatic twist and turn on the roller-coaster.

    Now you are heading down the dour, pared back path that I really love. Think of big scrubbed pine table tops and long benches. Large earthenware bowls and storage urns. Large hounds reclining under the table (easy for you to do, no props needed here).

    Where are the scullery maidens with their coarse red hands and swollen knuckles applying stiff scrubbing brushes and abrasive blocks to keep it all ship shape?

    • I know! It’s almost enough to give a person the bends.

      Dunno about ‘dour’ but I’m with you on the pared back. I have been having thoughts about ‘dressing up’ and ‘dressing down’ and have come out with a (predictable) preference for the downward version.

      And yes, where the hell are they, these maids?!

  3. We once lived in a house where the dish-washer was in another room from where the dish dirtying took place, and it was a tad inconveniant. I do fall into the slutterly domestic type so it has to be conveniant or any scrap of pretending to be a grown-up house -wife goes out the window. Depends on your domestic bent I think. I don’t think given the option I could decide on dour or otherwise, there are too many choices and variables and a lot of them are just lovely. I may er on the side of sparkly and pink, but I have a husband and wouldn’t be allowed.

    • Oh, I’m in the utterly slutterly camp five days of every week and then ricochet for the other two into the I-can’t-stand-this-mess-any-LONGER anally uptight one. It can get dizzying. I think having a dishwasher in another room would be just plain annoying, but my jury is still out on having another room with sinks and places to stash stuff that my more uptight self doesn’t want to see. Same with ‘dour’ (or plain) – five days a week and then for the other two there are longings for chinoiserie and pink. It’s Mr P whose taste runs to the ‘feminine’ in this house – he’s the one with a liking for old lace and stuff.

      And hello! I love the title of your blog and will take a little shufti later.

  4. “utterly slutterly”, good name for a domestically-challenged blog, but may not attract its intended audience with a name like that.

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