Country Life you have lied. Good Housekeeping- liar liar pants on fire. I have been disillusioned my whole life, the subject? The humble country kitchen.
I had big plans for my adulthood. As a kid my guilty pleasure consisted of stealing my mum's magazines and lolling by the pool while daydreaming of Christmas in my country kitchen back in the UK. My dream was the spitting image of 'Country living's' December front cover. I had it all planned out, a beautiful kitchen over looking fields, two gorgeous kids snuggled by the Aga writing their letters to Santa, trusty black Labrador close at hand. Every magazine showed me this idyllic image in repetition. You should all feel guilty.....
I have worked hard towards my dream, moved back to the UK, fell in love, moved to the countryside, had kids and got a dog- so why does my kitchen not resemble that of Good Housekeeping's?' While drafting this blog (in my head) as I prepared supper for my beautiful family on Monday evening, I made a mental list of my observations and none are how I was led to believe they would be-
- I have had the two beautiful children I so dearly wanted- they are currently trying to kill each other in the far corner. S is trying to write her letter to Santa but O has stolen the pens and has drawn on the far right corner of the list. S is screaming at me that Christmas is ruined. Never one for melodrama.
-Our black Labrador is actually not a Labrador at all, but a black Jack Russel cross, hey- we were close. Maybe it is the breed but there is definitely NO lying comfortably on the rug while I make supper. She is begging instead. In the three years since we adopted her I have never given in to her begging, but there she is, near my feet, staring. (I bet if we had a Labrador it would do the same).
-My worktops are far from spotless, the breakfast dishes have still not made it into the dishwasher. I am glad we have a dishwasher or we would probably have yesterday's dishes still too.
- I am not sipping on a cup of hot cocoa as I stir the food in a relaxed fashion- it is wine, ok? Yes it's not even 6 pm but I am harassed and there was half a bottle left from Sunday lunch. Clearly it was going to go off if I didn't indulge.
- Supper is not beautiful three course nutritious, well balanced meal. It is Pesto Pasta. Again.
- Pasta water now over boiling due to toddler clinging onto to my leg screaming 'snack, snack!' At full volume. The fact that dinner will be served in less than five minutes does not seem to be pacifying her and in an attempt to escape her have knocked over dog's water bowl and kitchen has become a slippery death trap.
- we DO have Christmas cookies cooling on the counter. Although you can't actually tell they are meant to be Rudolf as the buttercream has split and is running all over the plate.
-Counter top is also not on a high end bespoke island- it is an IKEA Butcher's trolley... although I still love it....
-Husband is not entering through the stable style kitchen door with armfuls of Christmas packaging having already finished his Christmas shopping with 12 days to spare. He is working late, again, and will no doubt stick to annual tradition of panic buying with lots of other men on Christmas Eve. I personally think it is some sort of bonding ritual.
- My designer outfit is actually H and M basics, smeared with icing, flour, cookie dough... there is probably some vomit thrown in the mix for good measure....
- There were never bras and knickers drying on any available radiator surface in my magazines... how are people meant to dry delicates in the winter- did I miss the memo?
- and NOBODY mentioned as soon as kids leave the room I would be downing as much chocolate in one mouthful as possible so not to share.
What could I possibly be doing wrong? I planned it all so well? Oh wait... I know the problem! I haven't invested in the Aga yet. Of course! Silly me! I shall purchase one in the January sales and that should clear up all issues before next Christmas, right?