Angelic Paranoia

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The saga of the kitchen door

Because somehow, there's always a saga...

My kitchen didn't have a door. Has never had a door, given the lack of evidence of a hinge anywhere. But there are two doors in the garage... My kitchen's really small, so a door would just get in the way. And you can't have it open into the hall because it's too narrow.

It wouldn't be a problem except that the hall is cold. Even after I got a new front door which doesn't have an inch high gap above one end (not an exaggeration). That makes the kitchen cold, which is really unpleasant first thing in the morning. And all other times, but particularly so first thing in the morning.

I thought about getting some sort of folding door, but while that was being organised I was sorting out a curtain for the front door. So got a pole and a curtain for the kitchen as well, as I thought that would do until I got a door. I only got as far as marking out some holes when I got a door. Which I had to paint: next time I need a door I'll get one that doesn't need any painting.

It made the kitchen lovely and warm if I kept it closed. It was a bi-fold door and was a bit of a pain to open and close - not like an ordinary door which you can push with your foot or shoulder or elbow. But it did what it needed to.

Until it got bashed a lot and if you tried closing it it fell off. I got it fixed. And then it was fine. Until it developed a new problem. I thought about how much the last fix cost and how much the next one would cost and decided this door was more of a problem than it was worth. Especially given the small space would mean it would continue to get bashed and it wouldn't be the last fix.

So I went back to plan A and put a curtain up. I'd got rid of the original curtain I'd bought because my first curtain buying attempt was terrible and you can't wash it (also it's falling apart now! - I bought two of the same for the kitchen and front door since they're next to each other).

I bought a new curtain and wasn't at all sure about my measurements, even though I'd managed that fine for the back door. I decided the best thing to do was to buy a longer curtain than I thought I'd needed, because you can take it up, whereas too short is a problem. And the shorter it is the more cold will get through the gap. I'm sure you can tell where this is going, but more on that later.

I'd also bought two of the same curtain poles and kept one. I dug it out, looked at the brief instructions and then checked online how to put the thing up because it had been a while since I did the front door one. And then realised I didn't have any screws, even though it must have come with them.

I checked my toolbox, where I put random screws and there were none in there. It was a while before I had a brainwave and remembered some boxes I'd seen in the cupboard. Having found those I discovered not only screws but the bits you put on the end of the pole, which I hadn't even realised I was missing.

Since I had the holes already marked, I did some drilling. And then failed to put the screws in. Until I drilled with a bigger bit (annoying, but better than the other way round). Then one set of screws went in. Those were the ones where I drilled a bit and then there was nothing behind it. The other set were a problem - I hadn't drilled far enough back and couldn't drill any further.

I realised that the marked holes weren't really past the doorway but above it. I got the detector out to check for electricity and discovered it's not looking where I thought it was - I though it was detecting at the top of it, but it's actually detecting at the middle of it. I had to stop for a moment and be amazed I hadn't electrocuted myself so far any time I put anything up. I also found where else to drill that was past the doorway that was level with the useless holes I'd already drilled. The drill went straight through and that's where I should have drilled in the first place.

The screws were still a bit tricky to get in. I resorted to using the drill, which is also an electric screwdriver. I hadn't used it in the past because I was scared of it, although I don't know why. I especially didn't know why afterwards because it was pretty cool. But didn't get the screw in all the way.

It was a bit dark by this point because both finding the screws and working out what I'd done wrong with drilling took a long time. So I left it for the next day, at which point getting the screws in the rest of the way was easy. So I put the pole on and left it for a bit because I was paranoid about it falling down.

And then when I was coming down the stairs and therefore opposite it I realised the pole wasn't level. At that point I was not drilling more holes. Plus, based on where the two sets of holes are, and where the detector said not to drill, there wasn't really any space to drill more holes without making one big hole.

I left it, put the curtain up and it was far too long. If I'd bought the shorter length that would have probably been the right length. But I measured it, folded a hem and sewed it up, by hand, because it was quicker than getting the sewing machine out and I could do it while watching TV. And I could use red cross stitch thread.

The curtain made it as warm in there as the door. So I could have saved myself a whole lot of effort and money and gone with the curtain in the first place. Although the door looked better when it was closed and matched the other doors in the house.

At this point I still had the door up, which took up some space in the doorway, even while folded. It was big and heavy and was fine as long as you didn't try and close the door, so it was best off where it was.

Once it got to spring I freecycled the door. My kitchen and hall looked so big, as did the doorway. At this point I could close the curtain all the way. It was positioned so it covered the whole door, a point I had been worried about. And is much easier to get in and out of than the old door. Except one side of it drags on the floor... And I noticed how huge the hem was. So I now have some red thread and when the weather improves I'll wash it, cut it and take it up.

I bought two of the same curtain, so then I'll also do the same for the front door curtain, so I'll no longer find bits of it on the door mat. I don't imagine that'll require a saga...