About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

New fridge and table/shelf

There's a space in the corner of our kitchen, next to the sink, under a cupboard, with an electricity socket, which is obviously where the fridge should go. Our old fridge freezer is just a shade too tall to fit under that cupboard, which has irritated me since we moved here. There's space for it (it's a big kitchen) but I'd much rather use that space for a small table and a couple of chairs so that guests can sit in the kitchen and chat to me while I cook dinner. We don't actually have dinner guests very often, but I can pretend, can't I?

I've had the old fridge for fourteen years and it was second hand when I bought it, so I'm reckoning it's been on its last legs for a while. About a week ago I poured milk on my breakfast cereal and it came out lumpy - not cheese as I initially assumed, but icy slush. That was all the excuse I needed to get a new fridge. I have to confess that my choice of new appliance was not informed by ethical treatment of workers, or any other such noble motive. No, my one criterion for choosing a new fridge freezer was whether it would fit under my cupboard.

New fridge

With the fridge in its proper place, I could now have my table and chairs in the kitchen. I might not have got round to addressing this for some time were it not for the fact that I'd also lost the fridge-top space, which is where the fruit bowl lived. The fruit bowl was getting in the way and annoying me, so I'd have to see about that table.

I used to have a decorative table made from an old treadle with a glass top. Since the treadle has been put to better use, the glass top has been somewhat redundant. I retrieved this from the loft and a 1.1m length of 2x2* from the workshop. I'm not sure what I bought this length of wood for, but I evidently didn't use it all. I also found some offcuts of bed slats, part of which Ian had used to renovate a chair we found at the tip.

The piece of glass is so small that I decided shelf brackets would be quite adequate to support it, so my first task was to make brackets. The bed slats were ideal for the bit that goes against the wall, so I needed two horizontal pieces and two diagonal struts. With a little thought, I realised that I'd get the best use out of my length of wood if I made all the cuts diagonal in the first place, rather than cutting straight then taking bits off, so that's what I did. After tidying up the cuts with rasp and sandpaper, I then assembled the brackets with extensive use of set squares (two, one large and one small) and a certain amount of rummaging around in search of suitable screws. Finally I fixed them to the wall and placed the glass on top.

New table/shelf, with fruit bowl.

One day I'll get round to cleaning up the skirting board and replacing it, and I might even paint the wall while I'm at it. In the meantime, it's nice to have somewhere to put the fruit bowl.


*Inches (but not really, because that's the sawn dimensions and I bought this planed). Yes, that is a mixture of metric and imperial measurements. What of it?


  1. Congratulations on your new fridge! I'm sure it uses less energy than the old one, no matter if you did any research on that aspect or not. How nice to have everything in its proper spot.

    I like your improvised wall shelf/table too! I never would have thought to use a piece of glass for the table surface!

    1. Yes, I'm pretty sure that any new fridge will use less energy than an old one of the same size, so I didn't bother looking into it much. They all seemed to have A+ energy ratings anyway - it was only after I bought it that I realized the ratings go up to A+++!

      Are glass shelves and table tops unusual where you are, then? They're quite common here. I have a glass topped coffee table, too, also a present from my Dad. I wouldn't use any old piece of glass, though, these are fairly hefty and I think they're toughened. They also have ground edges and rounded corners, so no worse than any other table when you walk into them.


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