Mr B and I don’t have too many arguments, all things considered, which is doubtless down to my forgiving nature and his refusal to be druv (a good old Sussex word that - meaning being forced to do something you don't
want to do.)
We do, however, a long-running and seemingly intractable argument about the saucepan lids. I will explain the ins and outs of the dispute but I won’t
ask you to take sides as those of you who like an orderly life will almost certainly be on Mr B’s side and I might find this upsetting.
Let me set the scene.
Our kitchen is not exactly tiny but it’s not exactly large either. Within almost every one of the larger cupboards, an appliance is hidden. See - a fridge! Good heavens - the washing machine! Behold - the dish-washer! This leaves mostly smaller,
narrower cupboards to house everything else. It might have helped had we made a few sensible and appropriate plans about What Should Go Where, when our kitchen was installed all those many years ago. But, being us, it all just happened. OK, we must have
had something to do with it, I suppose, but for the life of me I can’t understand why the frying pans and roasting tins are stacked in a high cupboard which I can only reach by balancing on the top stair of the step-ladder; why we need three whole cupboards
for glasses; or why the cupboard under the sink is stacked with various spray cleaners neither of us can remember buying, let alone using. Then, of course, there is the Saucepan Cupboard which houses four saucepans, stacked one within the other, in
the company of the colander which nestles comfortably between the second largest and the second smallest saucepans. Provided one is careful about the exact alignment of the saucepan handles, there is just enough room for them all.
Now I need to remind you, especially any newer readers, that – in common with all other female members of my family - I am blessed with the Usher Gene. As a result, I can always find a
spare corner in any cupboard, drawer, fridge or chest. No room for that extra bottle of milk? Don’t be defeatist, I say, there’s just enough space for it on the bottom shelf, just push the salad cream out of the way, move the eggs up
a shelf and shut the door quickly. A large pile of freshly laundered, sweet-smelling towels looking for sanctuary in the airing cupboard? Cram them in somehow - anyhow. Surely there is a little bit of room on top of the beach towels – and, if there
isn’t, well they will probably settle down and live happily ever after once the door is firmly closed on them. You are, I am sure, well ahead of me. Open the fridge door and that extra bottle of milk will topple out, in the lively company
of a jar of jam, the displaced salad cream and the two remaining eggs. Dare to open the airing cupboard and towels, tea towels, table cloths and assorted napkins will shower down upon your unsuspecting head. This is the danger of living with the
Back to the Saucepan Cupboard and, to my mind at least, there is just about room in the small gap at the side of the stacked saucepans for –
you’ve guessed it – the three saucepan lids. After all, what is a saucepan without a lid? It’s like bread without butter, Romeo without his Juliet, me without Mr B....
I am on the telephone to the Middle of the Darling Daughters. We are discussing the fact that Young Faris is a whole eighteen months old today. I am tempted to remark that he has reached A Great Age. Suddenly from the direction
of the kitchen, a great clashing noise reminiscent of the sound of cymbals, accompanied by much angry yelling on the part of Mr B. He has opened the Saucepan Cupboard and all three saucepan lids have seen fit to crash out onto his foot. He is not a happy
“Do you need to go?” the Middle of the Darling Daughters asks me, nervously. She can hear her Father’s Voice all the way to North Cheam. I
think about it for a minute, then decide maybe I will give him a chance to calm down a bit. You see, it’s not the first time. He keeps taking the saucepan lids out of the cupboard, I keep putting them back in again. The saucepan lids, being possessed
of Minds of Their Own, continue to crash out onto the kitchen floor every time Mr B goes in search of the milk pan or the colander. Mr B says we should keep the lids out in the garage which strikes me as little short of ridiculous, separating them from
their other halves in a kind of panful divorce.
We are both being equally stubborn about this, neither of us prepared to admit that the other might just have a
It’s Saucepan Lids at Dawn, folks!