I have just spent four hours in my kitchen, washing up, murdering cockroaches, preparing dinner (Sobu noodles with vegetables along with baked salmon which is marinading as I write) and baking a cake. Unlike a lot of houses here in Abu Dhabi, ours has a rather lovely, large kitchen. The reason most of them don’t is that the builders or rather the architects assumed no one of any significance was ever going to go into the kitchen. Appalling but true.
Every day bar Friday, my kitchen belongs to our lovely housemaid Schamanee. Her first question every morning is ‘what for the lunch, Madam?’ Her second question is ‘what for the dinner?’ Similarly every day except Fridays my gorgeous Volvo belongs to our driver Mohamed Ali. I rarely see it, as it used to ferry the children around and I am always in the office.
The last couple of Fridays I have begun to notice what a treat it is to be in control of my kitchen and my car. I drive to the supermarket listening to the World Service or Mika. Then I come home and put all my shopping away and start preparing lunch. The children sometimes come and chat to me, or shout at me, Rupert sits and reads the newspaper on the sofa.
Today a friend was over and we talked non-stop while I polished surfaces, chopped up vegetables and boiled noodles. It felt so good to be cooking again, almost to the point of being creative. And baking a cake made me feel like the perfect wife and mother, for at least 10 seconds. I pottered about in my Kath Kidston apron brandishing a J-cloth feeling remarkably zen and at peace with the world, apart from when I saw a cockroach that is, and I turned into a Jiff-murderer.
I know that for most people kitchen chores are just that, but I just want to put on record what a joy a task that involves no brain-power, is edible and leaves you with clean surfaces can be.
Obviously I have now had to take to my bed from exhaustion, but thankfully dinner is ready and tomorrow I go back to my normal routine…..Have a lovely weekend.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2010
Murdering cockroaches??? Us too, Helena, it’s the season, the wretched things are everywhere and they give me the heeby jeebies. Currently, contents of all my kitchen cupboards are sitting on the kitchen table as the shelves are scrubbed and fumigated. Off now to buy these disgusting but v effective trap thingies that lures them in but they get stuck on. Can’t believe we’re doing the same thing on the same day. So much for this luxurious life we’re all supposedly leading in the Gulf!!!
I’m not sure why I’m saying this, but your life sounds like a whole other world from mine. I’ve never had servants, and have never traveled outside of the country. It’s remarkable to me, not because I say to myself “Oh, she must be loaded!” but just trying to wrap my head around the idea of having people do things like that for me. It would feel so strange. I think I would feel a bit shy.
A talented, charming, and beautiful lady, a devoted mother, and now…a domestic Goddess. Is there no end to her qualities. Apart from being married to someone else, I can find no fault in this amazing woman.
I’m going to hire you as my PR!