The Bitchen

Let’s just pretend that over three years hasn’t passed in which I didn’t write anything whatsoever about this hell-hole of a house. You on board with that?


The summer of 2014. The man had one of those birthdays that required more than the usual “Hey.” “Cake.”   So we invited family and friends to come to the construction site to work.  And work they did.

As there would be a number of children, I scanned the place for things “moderately to extremely dangerous” and decided that there should be no problems.

Not Moderately Dangerous: holes, wires, power tools, big sticks with nails, tangled messP1390218

Not At All Dangerous AND Not Scary: hole in floor, creepy basement below


Very Extremely Not Dangerous: big hole in floor, precarious ladder, doorway that invites you to plummet into nothingness


Although it was not our primary focus, we held accidental death at bay that day (inquisitive, running children be damned) and did our best to ensure that our old guy felt loved and cherished.

To do so, we set up the erstwhile dining room into an elegant food dispensary with accompanying decorations spelling out the name of the lucky recipient of such splendour:P1390302

We were excited that we managed to create a celebratory place of calm amidst the chaos of the renovation. When I saw the picture later I had to shake my head. Were we on drugs? I clearly was because not only did it look awful, but the picture was completely out of focus.

Which brings me to the bitchen.

The bitchen is what happens when one moves the kitchen into the bathroom because you have totally destroyed the actual kitchen hours before the guests are to arrive. The bitchen is hyper-efficiency because you can pee and wash dishes at the same time. The bitchen is what will ultimately happen everywhere as real-estate developers train consumers to be happy with less while pretending that it’s some sort of triumphal evolution of the species.

This is the bitchen:


The problem with the bitchen is that the squeamish are made uncomfortable by the possibility of poo smell particles floating about and landing on the washed dishes. I did some research into this and discovered that they were indeed correct. So I ameliorated this fear by suggesting that nobody poo that day. I mean, who goes to a birthday party and takes a giant shit? I don’t and neither should you.

The reason that we HAD to destroy the kitchen hours before the festivities was due to the fact that I wanted to have what is called in contemporary real estate parlance “flow through” – you know, here we are back at the friends with nice teeth hanging out while you cook and then the friends can swivel their heads left and right and see everything that there is to see – that flow through.

The old kitchen sink was in a mouldy pantry. That mouldy pantry was right beside a creepy bedroom that was adjacent to another creepy bedroom. All of those things needed to go away and magically turn into one big new kitchen that would run the entire length of the suddenly breezy house; at the end of which would be giant swinging out french doors that would connect the indoor kitchen to the outdoor kitchen. La la.

The person who would make this magic transformation (or at least start on it) was a friend who was there for only a limited amount of time. There would be no partying for him.

This is the old pantry with adorable child pretending to do dishes.


This is the kind friend working, ignoring the good time Charlies, and not feeling at all used or somehow diminished because he wasn’t invited to stop working.


This alway happens when there is a messy noisy thing going on. Others, who typically gender identify as male, join in because they just can’t help themselves.


And minutes later there is a french door where there once was a mouldy pantry.



See how easy renovations are?  And all you have to do is put up with a little bit of gastro-intestinal disorder because there are poo particles on your dinner plate.