Whilst Julian worked his butt – and hands and fingers – off rebuilding a fence that divides the cottage, its gardens and surrounding fields from the paddocks –
I pottered about the cottage, unpacking china and cookbooks, cooking meals on kitchen benches that were clearly built for miniature gymnasts (our cottage was one of those used to house the athletes at the Sydney Olympics and moved to our land soon after in two pieces), gathering flowers, and sneaking in a bit of knitting on the porch.
We’d brought up the kitchen dresser, a large bookcase and Auntie Barbara’s old pine table in the trailer, so after a little help getting them across the field, through the garden gate and up the cottage steps, I pushed the furniture (with a sliding flattened cardboard box underneath) across the verandah, over the doorway and into the cottage. So satisfying!
Our kitchen is pretty rudimentary. We will leave the cabinets on the stove side intact – but probably replace the stove – an inefficient electric number that no matter how high we turned up the oven, couldn’t manage more than a gentle braising. But the sink side needs redoing.
We don’t want to spend a lot of money that could be much more wisely invested in farm infrastructure and animals because in a few years time, we want to build our own strawbale home.
Nevertheless, we do want to enjoy living in our little esky cottage and as we both love cooking, a few Ikea cabinets with lovely drawers and a huge china sink (a former display model that we bought for a great discount in the bargain section!) will certainly boost our kitchen’s aesthetics and functionality.
But cupboard space will still be at a premium, so we removed the hideous white melamine, falling apart cupboard that filled up a third of the wall next to the kitchen, and will use the lovely old wooden dresser Mum and I wheeled 2 kilometres home for our china and glassware. ‘Cause even more then spanky new, sophisticated Ikea cabinets, I adore lovely old wooden furniture that comes with an awesome story :-)
I also took up a beautiful new whistling kettle – a complete extravagance, but hey, I reckon all those dreadful night duties and weekend shifts spent in a highly stressful environment are owed a little luxury, don’t you!
Of course, the kettle was meant to sit atop our new Nectre Baker’s Oven that was to be installed whilst we were there. Oh how many daydreams I’d had, picturing my steaming kettle glistening next to a simmering dutch oven whilst the fire below crackled and glowed and a loaf of bread baked below that. They were such good dreams!
Alas, the fellow installing our stove FORGOT. Hmmm … I have to confess, it was all I could do to remain civil whilst he cheerfully apologised for his oversight. All I could think was how I have NEVER had a job where I could just FORGET to do something I alone was responsible for.
It did take several minutes of hurling ugly succulents into the compost heap, and cranky texts to my mum before I could graciously let go of my disappointment and return to enjoying the loveliness we still had before us.
Good thing we had plenty of quilts and knitting to add some warmth. And that the cottage and garden were bathed in sunshine from 6am onwards. Yep, it was all good.
So very, very good – and I am counting the days until we return … and that wood stove is installed.