Building a Kitchen

In a petulant, and completely unreasonable, fit of pique I told Joe the builder to fuck off, and then I stood there looking at a half-completed kitchen and wondering what I was going to do. But hey, what else would I do in a crisis? I went to the pub, where I bumped into my friend Doc, a traditional carpenter.

Well, he said. How are you getting on with that kitchen?

Ah, not too bad.

Doc looked a bit edgy. I hope you’re not building a fitted kitchen … or anything?

How do you mean?

You know. Melamine carcasses. Artificial counter-tops. Plastic adjustable legs …

I regarded him balefully. Yes, actually. I am.

Hmm, said Doc. Pity. With a little bit of effort you could have had a nice piece of furniture.

I didn’t answer. I just put down my half-finished pint, walked out into the lashing rain, hailed a taxi and went home.

I took down my gorilla-bar and, without regret or compassion, smashed the newly-built kitchen into little pieces and threw it all out on the patio, to disintegrate in the downpour.

Now what?

No kitchen. Nothing.

Well, I was no worse off than a week ago, and it was all in my own hands.

I went to the timber-yard. I selected the ash and oak planks. I had them planed and thicknessed. I jointed them together. I hand-built the frames. I made the hardwood worktops. I laid out the pipework and the wiring. I fitted the power-sockets — as many as I wanted. I built the drawers.

I soldered the copper pipework for hanging the utensils. I showed the boys how a lattice-beam gets its strength and hand-built the triangulated flying arches that would carry all the pots and pans. I watched the worktops grow, and the island unit emerge. I fitted the sinks, and the stainless steel splashbacks and the huge gas stove. I built the shelves for the glass spice-jars, and then I put in the wire-hung 12-volt lighting.


Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Yes. It would be great if I could finish anything, but I can’t. I have everything at 95%, and nothing complete. That’s me. I can’t finish anythi.

Which is why I find it a great idea to invite people for dinner, and I’ve really outdone myself this time.

How, Bock? How? How? How did you outdo yourself?

Oh, simple. I’m having another gang of people for dinner, but this time they include a professional chef, a decent woman who was kind enough to advise me at the planning stage of this project. Now, I’m a reasonably good cook, but serving food to a chef is a different matter altogether, especially if you’re the useless bastard who couldn’t even finish building the fucking kitchen.

If I added that the crowd also includes an architect friend who did the original re-imagining of the house for me and hasn’t seen it in three years, you’d probably see how frightened I am of being found out.

Terror is a great thing, which is why already, this evening, I’ve made and fitted those shelves that were supposed to be done six months ago.





Changing Mind

Dem Bones Dem Bones



40 thoughts on “Building a Kitchen

  1. Yes, it is.

    Well, actually, it was, but I’ve managed somehow to do a lot more since that pic was taken. Hard to know how, really, considering the prodigious quantities of alcohol, brown acid and mescaline consumed in the meantime.

  2. Though you shouldn’t feel bad…I can honestly say that I’ve not one room in this house (that I have remodeled) that is done.

  3. A thing of beauty is a joy for ever, its loveliness increases.

    Your final spurt of work has inspired me. I will finish the niggling little, piddly things in my kitchen. I will get that splashback sorted. It will be done (honest, love. It will).

  4. Hey Bock, I’m impressed! If that is your kitchen, then you have flair. Mine is three quarters done and I can’t seem to quite get it right. Will you come and finish mine?? :-) well done man! And you should also be a story writer by the way…excellent.

  5. Good job. I’m the same. I have many simultaneous projects on the go in the house and none of them are complete. Some have even taken a step backwards (glass dropped on tile, causing crack, must hammer tile out and replace…… The list is long and will continue to grow.

  6. You fucking finished-the-job bastard, you! How could you? You’ve let us all down! Now I’m going to have to finish me cupboards and shelves. *sniffs* at least my ‘lazy susan’ hangs straight, and I made it meself.

  7. Ah the way to a womans heart, looks good enough to eat off of. Now if only it was made out of chocolate

  8. Eliza: Thank God

    Audrey: My species? Somehow, I just assumed you were human.

    JPTrousers: I’m glad you’re inspired.

    Gilly: Cheap B&Q terracotta.

    Galwaywegian: No. Wild Turkey.

    Ellie: Cheap Lidl rope-light.

    Annie: Austrian? You jest surely.

    Red Mist: But at least they don’t call me Bock the Goat-fucker. You seem strangely familiar.

    Mr Criminal: It seems we wrong ‘uns are all the same when it comes to finishing a job.

    Conan: That hanging thing is gone now and replaced with something better.

    Sniffle: Yeah?

    Kit: That’s right. You can’t beat food.

    Kim: Everyone I know who can hold a hammer straight? That would add up to exactly nobody at the party.

  9. To add insult to injury…I have just discovered that a room and a wall have no electricity. Not a room I use often, obviously…checking the breaker box was no help either. Everything is fine there. I will be massively pissed if I end up rewiring everything. MASSIVELY.

  10. Like Ellie, the first thing that I noticed was the warm lighting that emanates off the floor. Your kitchen looks perfectly welcoming. Your guests will be so impressed.

  11. G’day Bock, sorry I missed this one at the time but I had other things on my plate…
    I have been burdened with a master chef for a b.i.l. and have realised that he, like all chefs, have ideas above their station.
    At the end of the day they cook things. It may be fancy but that’s only ‘cos they read it in a book. You could invite a brain surgeon around some day and feel uncomfortable in its compant but just remember – that’s their job, no better or worse than your own.
    So dish up the cabbage and spuds and be proud of your effort. It’s a cunt of a chef that’d comment on a night out.
    Unless it was my b.i.l. – the arrogent fucker.
    Away with them all, back to the dark kitchens they inhabit. It was their choice so fuck them.

    (How I love the cunt in the white paper hat who comes around introducing himself and telling you how good he is and how he bled his soul into the baked partridge….. FUCK OFF … It’s your job…)

  12. Fantastic job Bock, I’d love to be able to do half of it. Tell me though, honestly, you didnt really walk out on half a pint though. Dramatic licence surely?

  13. Funny…your kitchen looks very like mine would be if someone would come and do it. We even have similar stoves, except the door on mine is a bit broken. After we meet at L. Cohen in IMMA tonight, come down South and fix my kitchen. It won’t take long.

  14. O God, I’m going back to bed. This is getting silly. Glad I found your site, for other early mornings.

  15. That kitchen is only feckin’ fabliss. Well done. When are you visiting the rock again?

  16. Well, a chailín deas as Inis Mór, funny you should ask that. I’ve been conspiring with a pair of little rockhoppers and we might make the trip in three or four weeks, maybe.

  17. Well if you make it over the high seas in one piece without raiding the bar on the ferry…..sure we might see you for a pint….

  18. Looking at yours ,that was some excellent job you did.
    Oh fuck
    I am this stage after 14 yrs in this house of mine,where do you get the counter top.What wood is it…solid oak or deel.?

    1.I dont have over 5k to spend on a kitchen.
    2.The materials are all shite in that 5k price compressed wood .
    3. One gets more out of doing it yourself.(diy)but it is not everyone can do this.

    The Belfast sink is cool,the old grey stainless steel has had it’s day in my house .

  19. The counter top is ash, bought in rough planks, planed and thicknessed at my friendly joinery shop and glued together by me, using biscuits to align them.

    Email me if you need information.

  20. What a beautiful kitchen, so many talents. Although you didn’t build it, I esp love the cooker, drool……..

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.