This has been a disjointed week.    I have developed a sort of routine since we came to live here in Wiltshire which, by anyone elses standards, is probably a form of barely organised chaos but it works for me.     However, this week it has all been thrown in to actual chaos by my husband.  He has been off work for two days ill and so any attempt at structure has fallen by the wayside.   

He is not a demanding patient.   He tends to sleep a lot when he isnt well.  He doesnt lie around moaning or demand drinks every ten minutes.   He is a fairly well-behaved poorly person.        The annoying part occurs when he arrives at that point in time when he starts to feel better and begins to take an interest in what goes on in the house at a time when he would normally be working.   

He obviously felt on this occasion  that I needed assistance which irritated me immediately and then he tried to organise me which in turn propeled me into a bad-tempered bansheeism which may have gone off the boil but is still simmering.     It is at this point that our usually mole-hill like differences became mountainous.

I am a fairly laid back individual, I move at my own speed and can let things hang around for days before I decide to tackle them.     He on the other hand expects things to be done immediately.   He can be quite alarmingly rigid in his outlook, no shades of grey here merely black or white.    We clash often.

What I didnt expect is how annoyed I would feel at his assault on my kitchen the evening before he was due to go back to work the next day.   

The kitchen is my domain.   I bake in it, I even pickle things, my husband, in bits, if he isnt careful, though I may need  more kilner jars than I actually have at present, I wash, I clean.  

I have turned my hand successfully to things that I never thought I could or would do,   I make scones, pies, pickled eggs, pickled onions, sloe gin, blackberry vodka, having collected the sloes and blackberries myself from the hedgerow.  I wear an apron which proclaims ‘Kitchen Goddess’.  I budget.  I write shopping lists and take my calculator with me to the supermarket.   For heaven’s sake, I have a pantry!   I even researched how to stock it.    Yes, the kitchen is mine and so I found myself bitterly resenting his interventions.  

His crime?  He washed up after dinner and I found myself hunting for things on Wednesday, his first day back at work, that normally I could put my hand on instantly.   I couldnt find anything and stood in the kitchen boiling with frustrated rage.    When I had finally calmed down I had to call him to ask the whereabouts of said missing items.  

You see, the truth is, I have become domesticated!     For thirty plus years I laboured behind a typewriter, wordprocessor for those of you born later than 1990, a feral wife, fighting off any attempt at domestication.     I find myself now, at the age of 54, finally embracing it.  And how!    I guard my domain like a tigress protecting her cubs.  

My late mother is probably sitting on her cloud, harp in hand, hooting with laughter at the housewife I have become.   She is probably chuckling over all those spurned attempts she made to teach me to cook, to instill tidiness and organisation in me.    Okay, the tidiness and the organisation skills need work but the cooking, well I am proud to say, that I have arrived at that one on my own.   I still use her old Homepride Cookery Book from the 1940s which she inherited from her mother in turn when she got married to my dad in 1952.

The thing is, I enjoy it.    I like  opening the oven door to find that my scones have risen and are golden brown, I love the fact that my pastry is crisp and melts in the mouth.    I like the fact that I can open the pantry door and look at eggs and onions I have pickled for Christmas and feel proud of my attempts.     

My old domestic science teacher intimated that I was a kitchen heathen and headed straight for cooking hell but I like to think my mother always knew I could be saved!   Thanks Mum!

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