Hello, my name is A. and I live in your house. Your former house, which is now our house, that is. We bought it off your family after you – well, there is no easy way to say this – passed away. I hope you don’t mind me disturbing your rest.
The neighbours have told me about you. How you liked to cook and entertain well into your 80s. That’s impressive. I want to have the same energy and spirit when I’m that age. And if I’m very lucky, that sort of friends, too, that would come to share the food and the laughter with me. I hope there will always be plenty of both.
I wonder what you cooked in this kitchen. What your favourite breakfast was. What kind of parties you had. Who knows, maybe we’re kindred kitchen souls.
I’ve learnt how to make curries, marmalade and bread from this kitchen. I’ve had a lot of fun playing with ingredients, learning about other cuisines. It will be tough to leave it one day, as I’m sure it was for you when you moved. My favourite breakfasts are many. Warm banana bread with peanut butter and espresso, which I take at the breakfast bar, looking outside as the morning unfolds in our tiny triangular garden outside. But I also love toast with butter and the afore-mentioned marmalade, and espresso with milk. We enjoy full English breakfasts. And many more things. Breakfasts are brilliant, aren’t they? But I wouldn’t knock down dinner or lunch either. We like to cook (a lot), and have friends around. Just like you did, I am told.
We’ve made a fair few changes to the house, especially the kitchen. I wonder if you would approve. We removed the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, making it open-plan, and put a peninsula which is our breakfast bar and a cooking station. You couldn’t not like the high double oven, and you may like the wipe-clean super speedy induction hob. I don’t know, some people prefer real fire, but I don’t miss it. I certainly don’t miss cleaning the gas hob. No disrespect to your old gas hob, of course. There’s red in the kitchen, very red, and two greens in the dining and living rooms. We do like a bit of colour in this (mini) family.
I wanted to thank you for a few of your kitchen things that made it to us. I love the nested stainless steel mixing bowls, endlessly useful they are. And the cast iron yellow Dutch casserole is a joy, though a touch rusty. It does not matter though. I love how well it has lasted.
Anyhow, it’s getting dark here in the garden, and I shall soon have to go back inside. And we will probably be leaving this place soon, too. Which breaks my heart a little bit. It may be for the better, and it probably will be, but there’s nothing quite like your first home, the one you made truly your own, shaped by your tastes and life. It will always stay special.
Ps. Hope you like the flowers from our garden above. The rose is yours, and the lavender mine.