Such a cold, cold, bleak snap over the past several days. Snow down into the ‘burbs, biting, vicious winds. Not that I am particularly complaining, of course, because it is always lovely to snuggle up on days like this, but the poor seedlings! The tomato seedlings, which I had moved to the greenhouse from their heated trays, have now gone back to their heated trays. The greenhouse was getting very cold at night, and I thought they’d appreciate warm toes for the nights.

The fennel and artichokes, marigolds and saladings have all germinated and are growing on strongly. The pumpkins refuse to wake up. Ditto the carrots and the cucumbers. Obviously I need a better alarm clock for them.

On Tuesday I spent a couple of hours with my kitchen designer trawling through manufacturer showrooms to inspect various drawer, shelving, pantry and blind cupboard systems. I had no idea there was so much available! I am a child in a lolly shop!

The designer has given me a basic floor plan which we have altered a little here and there over the past week or so. Basically, all space (well, 90% of it) under the counter top will be drawers, not cupboards. Above the counter top will be units with glass doors and lighting – not very deep. There will be a false chimney thingee over the big big stove which will house the double extractor fan (to cover the big acreage of the hob); that means I will end up with two ‘fireplaces’ and chimneys in the room, which will look good. The pantry will be completely redesigned – its current door blocked off and a new door constructed form the kitchen (currently access is via a door in the back hallway, so to access the pantry I need to walk out of the kitchen, into the hallway, then into the pantry). I will have my plate racks, my Belfast sink, space for my cookbooks (I spent a half hour yesterday on getting some more, just in case ;) ), in fact so much storage space it will be unbelievable. :) Today I have to go and put down a deposit on the rest of the appliances and the sink and taps (the stove is already ordered).

Gradually my new kitchen is taking shape. :)