in common with many other politically interested news junkies, I have spent much of the week so far indulging in a massive dollop of kitchen envy, after seeing David Cameron’s “heart of the home” on the TV. Revelatory, perhaps even revolutionary, political coverage from the BBC. Worth the licence free alone. And what a boost to the UK homewares sector.
I’ve made a list. I want – no, I need – a breadmaker, a huge gas range, a Neff US-style steel fridge and pendant lights from Ikea (industrial chic, a steal at £22 each). And I will be straight on to my local council for not providing free, rather smart (if unpleasantly named) slop buckets for food scraps. If they can have them in Chipping Norton, I don’t see why we can’t have them in Harrogate, where we also have oodles of lobster tails and baby spinach leaves to toss into stylish waste receptacles, if provided.
I won’t be buying a fondue set, even if Seventies’ retro style is all the rage among the Cotswolds dinner party set. Nor do I want the Camerons’ cheeky “Calm Down Dear” chopping board. But I do like the Camerons’ kitchen style. Love the detail of the alphabet letters on the fridge, love the gadgets, love the worktops. I’m not the only one, judging by Twitter. Those Ikea pendant lights must be flying off the shelves.
“All this talk about Cameron quitting after a second term has distracted from the important issue: what we think about his kitchen,” tweets one wag.
Well quite. I want frequent kitchen updates from now on, after every John Lewis and Ikea delivery, and if Miliband and Clegg have got any sense, they will be at it too. And no trying to fob us off with your smaller “tea and snacks” kitchen. Keep it real homes, please. A pre-election party leader Come Dine With Me has been suggested, half-jokingly. Genius.
Some might argue, does it really matter what a politician’s kitchen is like? I say it does. Whatever its size, the kitchen is where life happens in a home, where food is prepared as discussions and decisions take place about work and homework, new cars and holidays, worries, politics, TV, small triumphs and the day’s funny moments.
This week John Humphrys has been quoting a 40-year-old observation by New Zealand PM Norman Kirk, who said that people don’t want much, just “someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for”. If any one place represents all these desires, it’s the kitchen.
Anyway, we’re enjoying our politics served on a dish (especially a Le Creuset casserole dish). I’m off to seek out an Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner, £15, from John Lewis. Right now, it’s my something to hope for.
n Twitter: @yorkshirefashQ