I’ve been puzzling over where to put my bread maker. Although my kitchen’s quite big, at 12′ x 15′, I don’t have a lot of worktop. One reason for this is that it’s always covered with clutter, but another reason is that there really isn’t very much, just a 4′ stretch between the cooker & the sink. For many years my trusty breadmaker has shared this with the enormous fruit bowl & the spill-over from my woefully inadequate spice rack; am I the only cook who could do with a full cupboard-sized spice rack? I really do use them all regularly! The breadmaker is in regular, if not constant, use, but I’d become increasingly aware of how much its great white plastic dome intruded on the rustic look of the place, such as it is. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I moved it onto a small table on the other side of the room, where it looked much more at home. The problem was, the rackety little plywood table, with a crumpled, water-damaged top, was a “sacrifice” picked up specifically & needed for its parts; the legs are now installed on a workbox/footstool and the leg connectors have rescued my lovely pink Lloyd Loom chair. But I couldn’t think what else would be the right size; the space isn’t in use for anything else, but it’s pretty small.
Until I noticed my Swedish-made step-stool in the utility room, that is. The top is just the right size & the footprint’s not too big for the space. A good height for a breadmaker, too. But – it’s in constant use, as a step-stool! So I’d made up my mind to pop into my favourite Viking emporium when I go to pick up son no. 3 for a dental appointment next week, and invest a whole £11 in another one.
One of the very minor precautions I took before last week’s storm, which luckily passed us by with very little damage, was to fill both our big camping water containers with tap water in case of any interruption or contamination to the supply; it’s not unknown for our local river to burst its banks. I emptied these early this week, let them dry out & went to replace them in the shed. On – surely, that’s an Ikea step-stool…? I did a proper double-take; I hadn’t a clue I owned two of them! A vague memory surfaced of having picked one up for someone who’d mentioned that they wanted one, but had got one literally the day before I found this one; I must have stuffed it out there soon after & was just using it to keep some camping stuff off the damp concrete floor.
This wasn’t the first instance of finding I’d already got something I thought I needed to go out & buy. It’s always happening with fabric and kitchen utensils – I’ve lost track of the times I’ve spent good money on a modern minor electrical appliance, only to discover that the old hand-operated one was better, quicker & easier both to use and to wash up afterwards – but has also happened this week with lamps and suitcases, oddly enough. I’ve been really busy moving my stall at Molly’s Den into the main warehouse as well as preparing for Boscombe Vintage Market, and didn’t have time to go shopping for things I thought I needed. Which was lucky really, as it turned out I didn’t actually need them, so would have wasted both my time & money. And I do now “shop” my existing wardrobe before even thinking of buying anything new, and look at how I could team things up differently or tweak details to make a “new” outfit. Not just for financial or indeed ethical reasons: I’m an odd shape & when I find something that both fits & suits me, I need to treasure it & hang onto it as long as possible!
I expect most people are much better organised than me, and don’t lose track of their possessions & clothing, but to anyone else whose home resembles the storage area of a secondhand emporium (which in our case it actually is) – don’t wear yourself out running up to town to buy a whatever-you-think-you-need – you’ve almost certainly already got one somewhere!