Life Is Too Short – An Exciting Project

Over the next few weeks something very exciting is happening….we have builders coming into our house to carry out some well overdue work and I would like to share it with you.

We have been in our house nearly eleven years now and we haven’t really done anything to the inside of it, except to give it a quick lick of paint.   All this time we have been dreaming of knocking our kitchen wall down and having a kitchen diner, as our kitchen is really small and impractical for the amount of cooking I do.

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It doesn’t look too bad in the photograph above, but the kitchen is too small to have a worksurface on both sides of it, which makes it very difficult to store my cooking equipment and groceries.  As you can see in the photographs below, we have things stored in all sorts of places in different rooms and my fridge is in my pantry and my freezers are in my dining room which is totally inpractical:

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Life is too short

If you have been reading my blog since the beginning of the year, you may remember that my very good friend, who I had known for many years, passed away in February.  This devastated me and I still struggle with coming to terms with it now.

The death of my friend made me question every part of my life, (which I think must be a normal part of grieving) and it has made me realise what is and isn’t important to me.

It has made me realise who matters in my life and who never did and I have finally realised that life is too short to worry about what others think about me.  My home is the centre of my universe and I love the simple life I lead with my family, even though it isn’t the ‘normal’ way to live.

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I love growing fruit and vegetables at my allotment and using them to prepare food for my family and friends.  I enjoy preserving, freezing and storing my produce so we can eat like ‘kings’ on a small budget, but I do find this difficult in my tiny kitchen, so this is why we finally decided to make our dream a reality.

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So we have decided to spend some money to knock two rooms into one, to make a kitchen diner.  It will be lovely to have room for my freezers and places to store my groceries and preserves altogether, but most of all, it will be big enough to have my family helping me with my cooking and preserving, which at present is just not possible (which is a lot of work for one person especially during the summer months).  I am also looking forward to chatting to friends and family  whilst I cook, instead of being locked away in my little kitchen that no one else can fit into when I’m cooking.

It is something we have thought long and hard about, in fact we looked at moving house to start with, but every house we could afford seemed smaller than we have already or was too far away from my allotments.  We also came to the conclusion it would be more expensive to move house anyway.

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Starting the building work has been a big decision for us and it feels like the planning has been going on for months, but finally tomorrow it will begin.  I have spent the last couple of weeks batch baking microwave meals for us all, packing things into boxes and moving everything from our sitting room and kitchen into our front room and bedrooms for the duration of the building work.

We have ‘car booted’ excessive items and given things to charity shops and now we are left with the items we really wanted to keep.

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So for the next few weeks I will share with you the ups and downs of our new kitchen diner, together with my usual allotment posts.

The death of my friend has made me re-evaluate everything around me and make changes for the better.  She has made me realise that life is short and it’s important to do the things that make you happy.  So even though this work is expensive and people would say it is not really part of a simple life, it will make my life much simpler and make a much more comfortable household to live in.  It really is time to spend some money on our house so we can enjoy the rest of our lives here.

And finally, I would like to say ‘thank you’ once again to my old friend, for making me realise that dreams can come true.

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back on Friday at the usual time.

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20 thoughts on “Life Is Too Short – An Exciting Project

  1. We did very much the same thing and extended our home instead of moving too. We only have a fairly small kitchen which often seems the norm nowadays,. Making big changes is exciting if a bit daunting too but I’m sure will be well worth it.

    I really don’t see the changes you have in mind as being at odds with a simple life – no point saving money when it can work making life better. I’m of the mindset that if you can afford it and want it then go for it!

  2. Good for you, you cannot lead a simple life if your life isnt simple, we lead a frugal simple life, but have just reserved our second golden retriever, this one is for me Sage, sometimes things are very important to make your life richer, and life is SO very short, your friend has given you a very special gift of realisation,looking forward to hearing your progress on the extension and the joy it will bring your family.
    sue

  3. Great to hear your news. What a great solution to a problem you’ve had to ‘put up with’ for so many years. I shall look forward to see how your kitchen diner shapes up. I live in a 1930’s house and the kitchen was very small had it not been for the previous occupants knocking either a pantry or outside toilet down to make the kitchen bigger. It’s odd how older houses have smaller kitchens and yet in those days people spent more time cooking, preserving, not so much socialising I don’t think as it was mainly a woman’s work (tut tut), etc.
    Don’t ever try and please others – what’s important to you is just that – important and should never be compromised. I’m so pleased your friend is able to help your dreams along because after all dreams should never just stay as dreams – they need to be realised 🙂

  4. That’s great that you will have a kitchen where you can store everything and have enough room to cook and make preserves and even have room for others to help. And, please don’t apologize for your lifestyle! I bet that others would love to live your life. You’re a smart woman who knows how to feed your family with your wonderful gardening and your well thought out menus. Not many people these days can say that. It might take time to get the kitchen done and it will be a pain for days (I know because I did it too) but in the end, it will be what you want and need. Good luck with everything.

  5. As someone who works in hospice, I am pleased to confirm that your reactions to the death of your friend are completely normal! After the death of someone close, a huge life event, none of us are ever the same afterwards. We dont get back to normal, we discover a new normal for ourselves.

    What a fabulous legacy your friend has left in helping you to re evaluate what is important and then go for it. I love your choices and I love that you are being true to yourself even more so.

    I cant wait to see what you cook up in your new space 🙂

  6. I am looking forward to following your new kitchen. Thank you for logging all the photos of the kitchen as it is now so that we can see the difference.
    I’m sorry to hear about the sad loss of your friend. Must be devastating.

  7. I am amazed by what you get done in your kitchen! My kitchen is quite small, but it is huge next to yours. I did not fully appreciate its size last time you posted photo’s of it up. I think that a larger kitchen is going to make your life simpler! I am looking forward to seeing how it comes along 🙂

  8. Hello, I’ve been following your blog for a few months.

    What a practical change to make to your home. Just imagine jars of newly bottled jam and preserves cooling down on the table while cakes and scones cook in your oven – and you still have empty bench space to use. Sitting with your girls at the table as you all top and tails beans etc fresh from your allotment, or, in the middle of winter, everyone gathered around the table catching up on each other’s day as delicious aromas waft over from the cooker.

    I also have a tiny kitchen however I’m only feeding myself.

    Sending care and huggles, Michelle in Wellington, New Zealand

    • That’s a lovely image and yes it’s exactly what we want to create instead of it just being ‘me’ ploughing away in my tiny kitchen that won’t fit anyone else in.

      Thank you for following my blog, it’s so wonderful to talk to likeminded people throughout the world. We are so lucky nowadays to have the internet aren’t we. I look forward to hearing from you again.

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