Kitchen excitement

Well, the new flooring arrives tomorrow, and I’m very excited!  We are also going to Nando’s tomorrow, so Barry’s very excited!  This is our kitchen floor as is – a bit industrial for my taste.

We’ve got the table and chairs I wanted from Argos; they’re winging their little way to us now (well, in the next 35 days).  There’s a bit of a story behind this.

My mum came round for tea the other night and I had a fantastic menu planned: to start, grilled flat mushrooms filled with dolcelatte, with a balsamic glaze and small side salad.  For the main event, a lamb tagine with La Kama spices, honey and fresh ginger, with a variety of fresh vegetables and a side of spiced couscous.  For dessert, buns fresh from the oven, baked by my own fair hand.

Mum was supposed to arrive after 7pm, when she’d had her hair done and driven over to Bradford.  In the meantime, I was going to get my skates on after work – jump on the bus, nip to Morrisons, dash round the shop and get home.  Unpack the shopping, stick the tagine in, get changed, clean the bathroom, and start preparing the starter and dessert.

Instead, this is what happened: Mum text me at 4.30pm with the following:

Hi love i am in asda bradford do u need owt ? Hair cancelled x x

My heart rate immediately tripled and my work colleagues had to tell me to calm down.  I replied:

Oh bugger, I’ve got to go to morrisons to get some shopping because I thought I had time!xx

I will get it here darl if u would like me to x x

My colleague Michelle T told me to just tell her what I wanted from the shop (thereby skipping the trip to Morrisons myself).  I text the list back:

Would you please get: big flat mushrooms, dolcelatte, bag of baby spinach, lamb, courgettes, 1% (or semi skimmed) milk and a cauliflower?  Oh, and a bottle of asti.xx

This is when it started falling apart, because the shop didn’t have everything I needed for my careful plans.  She thought dolcelatte was a type of mushroom, and picked up cauliflower and broccoli pieces because they didn’t have a whole one.  Trying to direct your mother to a very specific blue-veined cheese in a shop you don’t frequent, while trying to get home in time to beat her (be quicker than her, not hit her) is quite difficult to do.

In the end, she suggested that we just get a curry.  We both agreed that a curry was, indeed, the best course of action, would be cheaper, and that she definitely still needed to bring two bottles of Asti back with her.  I beat her back to mine, did a rush cleaning job, got changed and spoke to my brother before she got back to my house with the vino.  Phew!

Anyway, she had been trying to buy us a kitchen table for three-and-a-half years as a housewarming gift, but we’d never had the space before.  She’s taken pity on us, and is finally buying us the table and chairs.  I realise now that this has nothing to do with the meal story, but I’ve kept it in anyway as an idea of what my life is actually like.  I live on a knife edge.  Hurray for future breakfasts in the kitchen!

Neighbourhood watch

Despite living in this house for three-and-a-half years, we don’t really know our neighbours.

On one side, we have Family A; the ones who let their dog poo freely.  I’ve mentioned this before.  We know the couple’s names, but they had a baby a couple of years ago and I’ve forgotten his name.  I know the name of the dog, who is the fluffiest Alsation you ever will see.

On the other side, we have Family B: a lovely couple who I think we’d get on with well if we saw a bit more of each other.  I once sat next to the lady on the bus home and we had a lovely conversation.  Barry’s spoken to the man’s dad quite a few times, so we know more about him than anyone that actually lives in the house.  Her mum has been round a few times to borrow a corkscrew!  They also have a dog, but it’s a bit crazy and won’t stop barking when it sees anyone other than the owners.  Although I see myself as a dog person, this makes me jump and scares me.  On our way home from a night out, a very drunk Barry stopped to pet the dog and (in his best doggy voice), said, “Hello, doggy!  Why are you out on your own?  Where’s your owner?”.  The owner was at the other end of the lead Barry had failed to spot, so I just dragged him away, apologising.  The neighbour seemed bemused, but it may be why we haven’t seen much of them.

Both sides have been round and looked at the kitchen.  The dad of the man from Family A actually knocked on our door to have a nosey (which is fine because we’re show-offs), and then happened to be outside the day after the worktop was put in, so we asked if they wanted to see it.  Family A guy said they were thinking of doing something similar, so there may be a spate of home improvements down our street shortly.

Family B nipped round when B&Q delivered some of our stuff to their house, and made polite noises about it looking nice, but haven’t been round since.

I’m thinking a housewarming may bring us all together.  I’m calling it a housewarming, because we never had one, and now we’ve definitely got something to be proud of (or will, when the floor’s done!).  After all, we all know that’s when good neighbours become good friends…