The last job left to do in my caravan was to finish the kitchen. As you may remember, I left work on the kitchen once it was functional, so that I could get on with other jobs.*
You may also remember mention of a terracotta fridge.**
They work on the basis that the dense and warmer it is around the outer pot, the cooler it is inside the inner pot. With that in mind, I thought that I would try to insulate it.
First, I found some aluminium sheet. I shaped it into a tray.
I fitted the tray into position.
Then I wrapped some insulation around the pots. Michael had sourced the insulation. It is made using recycled plastic bottles.
I boxed the pots in with 18mm ply.
I then covered with the red vinyl wrap I have used elsewhere.*
Next, I refashioned an old spice rack to fit.
I secured the spice rack into position by fitting a lovely wrought iron ‘cat’ coat hanger that I had been gifted. The screws holding the cats in place are screwed into the back of the spice shelf.
While I was at it, I fitted a key holder.
The light switch that I originally fitted was a cheap Chinese touchscreen thing that stopped functioning correctly in no time. I bought what had been advertised as a 12v push-button dimmer switch. The dimensions fitted the pre-cut aperture perfectly. When it arrived, I discovered that it was a 240v household switch designed to operate a 12v system. With Froggy’s help, I found a decent 12v switch. However, it wasn’t going to fit the aperture. Fortunately though, I was able to make one switch to fit from the two that don’t. Froggy then took the now remodelled 240v switch as he had a use for it.
The lights work great.
Next, I took what used to be bed slats and cut them into short lengths. I then made doors using the traditional Z on the reverse. I then treated them with my turps and boiled linseed oil concoction. As they were Yew, they came up beautifully.
With Daniel’s help, I then fitted them in place.
The kitchen was really coming together.
My dinner plates are almost all too big for any of the cupboards, so I decided to make a plate rack. I bought some copper rod, cut to size and fitted under the cupboards above the window.
The plates look great and are always warmed by my cooking.😉
I then sourced a louvred door. I had to shave a small amount off of each upright edge for it to fit. I then stained Yew to match the real Yew and fitted.
I cut several lengths of netting wire and painted them a copper-like colour, then fitted where needed.
Finally, all I needed to do was source a nice textile for making curtains to close in the gas bottle and larder/fridge. After some weeks searching, I found what I thought would be perfect. I measured the spaces that needed closing in and worked out that I could afford a square metre. If done right, it would be enough. Upon receiving the material, I immediately cut it in half, so that I had two 500mm x 1m lengths. One only needed taking up to fit the gas cupboard. The other needed to be carefully cut in order to make two curtains, one 53cm drop, the other, 44cm drop. The latter also needed a loop top and bottom for the netting wire.
I put an ad. out on social media and got a message from a lady called Patricia. She said that she had 40 years experience. We arranged for her to visit so that I could show her exactly what needed doing and where the finished articles were going. I told her a bit about me, my blog and of course, the kitchen. I carefully explained everything. I gave her the measurements that I had written down. She said that she didn’t need them as she had written everything down in her notebook.
A few days later, Patricia appeared with the new curtains. I fitted the gas cupboard one. Perfect.
I then went to marry up the next one. It was too long. “Wrong one.” I thought. I tried the second one. Still too long. Something was wrong! I asked Patricia to explain. She then told me that she had the measurements written down wrong. So she decided to cut the material in half, then turned the pattern from a vertical line to horizontal and made the netting loop. So, instead of contacting me when she realised that she had written the instructions incorrectly, she decided to do her own thing! I hit the roof. I told her in no uncertain terms that I was very upset. I repeated everything that I had made clear in our first meeting and reiterated how important. Unbelievably, she then said, “They’re only a small pair of curtains. You can live with it.”
I fumed that they were most definitely not “just a pair of curtains!” I also explained that she couldn’t just make do, comparing the analogy with putting any old tyres on her car. She eventually said that she would undo the mistake.
A while later, Patricia had been by while I was out. She had put the altered curtains through the catflap with a bill for £15. Agog, I immediately checked them. She had done nothing other than to turn one of the curtains 90° and make another loop for the netting wire. I couldn’t believe it! I telephoned her and told her that she had not done what she had said she would. She said that she would collect them and put it right. She has never returned. I have unsurprisingly, not paid her bill. Recently, while I was grieving for Arian, Patricia took the opportunity to slate me on social media. She was able to do so as she commented on my post announcing the death of Arian!
After some searching between Daniel and I, a Turkish lady was found. She has a little shop in town. She was able to save one of the curtains. I still have the other, just in case I find a use for it. I have thought that if I alter the cupboard it is meant for, I might still be able to use it.
*see entry A new kitchen, part 2
**see entry A new kitchen, part 1