Archive Article: 1998/10/23

23 October 1998

PART of this summers escape from the kitchen scheme was spent with my brother Johnny in Milton Keynes, where he lives in his new flat. I was alone all day while he was at work and it was a totally new experience for me.

To begin with I was drooling over his

compact and

completed kitchen, of course, and spent my time wiping down the lovely, empty work tops and making the sink shine. It didnt take five minutes to wash the floor – he told me not to bother doing anything, to just relax and enjoy the free time but the strange thing was having the free time to wipe down the surfaces.

Such a difference from our mad house here where everything is covered with something. Our kitchen isnt small, but theres never enough room. Theres stuff on the table, the sideboard, the worktops. Its a marathon of organisation to get to the point where I can just wipe down a surface – consequently it rarely happens.

I didnt have to clean his flat, it didnt need it but I wanted to because it was so easy to do. What is it about us women that we behave this way!

Its a typical bachelor flat (after a long marriage, sadly my brother and sister-in-law are no longer together) and I couldnt help myself. I had to buy something to put on the empty work tops, a little plant, not a big one. I know he wont water it; a utensil pot in just the shade Id like at home; a little bowl for the sink (same colour). Oh! And a mirror for the bathroom. Despite seeing no one I cant do without my mascara in the morning!

I could please myself what I did. No reps, no deliveries, no silage men to feed, no phone calls, no standing in gaps, no walking dogs (Tim says thats a joke), no kitchen full of people, no

bustle, no wellies, no mess – a different world.

Plenty of time, so what to do? Then I found the Christmas present we bought him last year. He said he hadnt bought much for the flat – true – and was short of cupboards, so we bought him a flat pack cupboard for the hall. It was still in its box.

Were very much alike, we need pushing to get on with things, Johnny is now without a pusher, so, with nothing else to do, and with the aid of nephew Bryans cordless Black and Decker, I discovered a new world. It took me a morning to work out what was what and where it went. Im no DIY buff, but once I got the hang of the tool I really enjoyed myself. What a sense of achievement – and Johnny was pleased.

Back home now, and were nearly finished, but there are pictures to hang, and hooks for the overalls, and the towel rail to go up and Tim doesnt want pushing when he gets in at night cold, wet, and tired. So Ive bought a little cordless drill and Ive sawn off a piece of wood to screw hooks on. Now Im off to look for rawl plugs before his nibs comes home cold and wet, and I feel like a new woman.

Thank you, Johnny!

Having time on her hands while in England this summer was a fresh experience for Chrissie Green but she put it to good use – and now reaps the benefit.

See more