So, I am writing this from a denuded desk: in an apartment which almost overnight again became the impersonal, almost stark space it was when I moved here a year ago. No photographs on the dresser to my left, nothing on the walls, boxes with bold black lettering denoting the contents thereof stacked around…. I am as ready as I will be for the removals man who should be here at eight in the morning, or as a friend cynically predicted, maybe by 12pm! Still, by this time tomorrow evening I will be in a new house.

And a new kitchen to get used to: but oh joy, a gas stove!! Not a very big, fashionable trendy one but still: municipal gas… I have always loved cooking with gas: in fact, to me it’s essential for any serious cook: to have a gas stove: the immediacy of a flame, and also the imminence of a flame turned off: no more stick-to-the-bottom-of-the-pot mashed potatoes from being left on a plate still too hot even when switched off(and other excuses for scorching food!)

A new kitchen: a new space to make a home in… another new space to make a home in for myself. I have moved around a lot in my life so far: from literally living in a desert in a caravan to owning three houses with three different men, and places and spaces in between,: so many different kitchens! By the time I finally settle down, I will have a very good idea indeed of what I want in a kitchen.

I guess it is quite significant that all of my kitchen stuff(except boxes packed with crockery) is already at the other place: my three mortar and pestles in a row, my Moka’s likewise: I have been carting boxes and bagsful of kitcheny stuff all week, and as this place became increasingly empty and impersonal, so the other place, especially the kitchen, has taken on a ready-to-be-cooked-in feeling.

So, I have a first dinner party planned, guests confirmed for two weeks from Saturday…. I have almost decided on the menu: I feel ridiculously challenged to really produce a fantastic meal: we had dinner with this couple in December and I was really so impressed and inspired by the hostess’ easy, seemingly effortless ability to produce a wonderful meal, from her equally impressive kitchen: she has an industrial size Ilve gas stove, a gloriously spacious live-in kitchen… I came away from there suffering with a serious case of kitchen envy!!

My first meal at the new house will be a pasta dish cooked by my lover and brought over tomorrow evening: last year this time he brought over a pasta bake and a bottle of wine and crockery and cutlery for the two of us, and we sat here amidst unpacked-out boxes… we were not lovers yet, but when he left that evening, something had shifted for both of us: a silent acknowledgement that that meal would be the first of many we would have here, together.. that it was almost inevitable that one night soon, he would not go home after a meal together… and so indeed it was.

I look forward to cooking for all my loved ones in the new place: and to now know that when I get kissed and otherwise distracted in the kitchen, a quick turn of a dial will turn off the heat…under the pots, that is!!