A blue and yellow kitchen with a chequerboard floorGreetings Lockdown Lovelies! How have you been finding way to fill your time? I had planned to spend yesterday sewing, but woke up in a massively grumpy mood. Poor old Mr Robot has got tennis elbow – his ‘working from home’ setup isn’t exactly ergonomically ideal – and that gives him trouble sleeping, which means he wakes me up. And unlike him, I’m unable to nap during the daytime as it doesn’t refresh me, it makes me feel worse. So: grumpy Mim!

I find when I’m in that sort of mood, the best thing to do isn’t to firce myself to be creative. Grumpy sewing is bad sewing. No, the only thing to do is address the cause of the grumpiness or, if that’s not possible, sort out other irritants. I’ve had my eye on our kitchen for a while; a winter of cooking soups and stews and other slow dishes had left it feeling a bit greasy. I saw it in bright sunlight a couple of week back and was appalled; it needed a deep clean. So yesterday, while Mr Robot rested his arm, I grabbed the bicarb and got cleaning.

Bicarb? You may well already know this, but if you don’t, bicarbonate of soda is the best degreaser. The stuff you use for baking. Just mix a heap to a thickish paste with water, rub it over the greasy surface – you may need to use a fair bit for really greasy surfaces like cupboard tops, which none of is clean THAT regularly – and leave it for 60 seconds or so. There’s a chemical reaction and the fat bonds with the soda and it all turns into a putty-like substance that can be rolled or scraped into balls and thrown in the bin. Wipe the surface with a wet cloth or sponge, and that’s the job done. It’s non-toxic, doesn’t give off any nasty fumes, and doesn’t damage work surfaces.

So I hauled everything off all the surfaces in the kitchen, cleaned from the tops of the upper cupboards down, wiping fronts, work surfaces and windowsills, then put everything back, cleaning it all as I did. Everything from the cooking oil bottles to the utensil pots (and every utensil in them) to the nutmeg grater was washed. Even the washing up rack itself got washed! And by the end of that four hours I’d got through nearly three tubs of bicarb and my entire grumpy mood. There's nothing like a clean, shiny room to lift the spirits.

A cream-coloured kettleHere’s our new kettle. Our old one broke a week into lockdown. The horror. This one’s rather pretty, and fits with the general colour theme and vaguely retro style of the kitchen. The decor’s a bit tired really; the walls need repainting and the units are showing their age. (They’re about 17 years old.) But I do like the room. I plan to paint the scruffy windowsills, and the skirting board behind the cats’ dishes, which has been scrubbed shabby, while on lockdown. Maybe that’s a job for the coming weekend, along with whitening the grout on the tiles.

Stay safe!


  1. Your kitchen looks fab!
    I completely agree, if you're not feeling creative there's no point in forcing yourself, it always goes wrong.
    You can't beat a bit of cleaning, I've really enjoyed scrubbing our house over the last couple of weeks, when you don't do it very often the results are instant and its so satisfying.
    With you on the bicarb, great stuff! Can I give a shout out to soda crystals, too - not only brilliant as washing powder but ace for unblocking drains.
    Love your new kettle, our's is on its last legs. xxx

    1. Aha! Maybe I should get some soda crystals for our outside drain as it does block a bit.

      The old kettle would no longer turn itself off, and it seemed to give off moisture, so I wasn't convinced it was safe to use. The new one's lovely.

  2. What a lovely little kitchen you have! I love the classic "diner" flooring and the sky-blue walls. So pretty! I'm always surprised to see a washing machine in the kitchen (you would NEVER see that here; they are always in a separate room). Cleaning feels good, so I've heard! We hire a cleaning service to do all of ours, every two weeks, but that's been on hold for over a month. L is doing all the cleaning, which I LOVE. Thank gawd for that man!

    1. Heh, my house is very small. There are only two other rooms on the ground floor, and I wouldn't want the washing machine in the living room or dining room. (Not sure there'd be anywhere to put it in either room anyhow.)

      I hate cleaning, but I hate dirt more!

  3. I like your new kettle. I de scaled mine today but I was thinking maybe I ought to order a backup.

    Cleaning is such a mood lifter!

    1. It really is! I think it's the feeling of exerting a bit of control over at least some of the chaos of life. And it's so chaotic right now, I'll take what control I can get.

  4. Love the kettle! The last time I tried to buy bicarb it had sold out but it is a great de-greaser. Your kitchen looks sparkling!

  5. What a gorgeous kitchen you have, Mim. You're right, when in a grumpy mood, tackling a job like this is just perfect. I'm doing little bits here and there, but have not tackled anything major until now. I was glad to have cleaned out a drawer and a cupboard. Plus the washing up rack :-) Jos usually does the cleaning, because he has the time, but frankly speaking, and he'll fully admit it himself, he is a lousy cleaner. So it'll take me a while to get it all sparkling again. I'd heard of using bicarbonate of soda, but haven't tried it. I'm often using soda crystals, like Vix. Loving your new retro-style kettle! xxx

  6. Totally agree that 'grumpy sewing is bad sewing'!.
    And I love your cute kitchen, the color of the wall and the classic tiles and flooring, and also love your new kettle and its 'vaguely retro style' ;DD
    Glad that you could improve your mood!, I'm not a kind person if I haven't slept properly. Same if I'm hungry.
    Great tips on using bicarb as a cleaner. I've used it too and my oven looks and smells so much better!

  7. Thanks for the bicarb tip, I shall try it! Your kitchen looks so clean I can almost smell it. I have the urge to do mine now...


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