Pippi Longstocking would absolutely adore my kitchen at the moment. With the help of two brushes tied to her size 10 feet and a little detergent she could skate to her heart’s content. All because as a spur-of-the-moment thing I decided to defrost my fridge/freezer.

It seemed like such a good idea this morning. The fridge could defrost while I was doing the weekly shop. Upon coming home I was going to deep clean the beast, before packing it to the brim again. All would have been fine, if only I had turned the heating off, before I left the house. Remembering to take the drawers out of the freezer, would also have made a difference.

On a(nother) whim I decide to check out a different supermarket as it seems such a waste to drive to the nearest supermarket as it is only 300 yards from my house. I justify taking the car by driving fifteen minutes to another supermarket where I am going to do a really big shop. A hundredandsixty euro’s and three bags filled to the brim later, I feel like I have really accomplished something. It is not until I arrive back home that I realise there is absolutely nowhere to unpack the mountain of perishable goods. Allthough it is strangely balmy outside, considering we are nearing the end of october, I decide to leave everything in the boot of the car.

I let myself in, carefully avoiding the kitchen, because first I need to go and see my physiotherapist. It takes him a bit longer than anticipated to abuse my lower back, so instead of going home, I need to rush over to my daughter’s school to pick her up. Thank God she decides to go over to a friend’s house for a play date, because when I finally make it back into my kitchen disaster has struck.

Not only have the overflowing freezer drawers flooded my kitchen; the milk, butter and cheese left outside the fridge has completely melted and is leaving gooey blobs all over the units. Packets of ham have turned greyish and defrosted packets of peas and puff pastry have mingled into a sorry mess.

Luckily I discover real mushrooms in the fridge as well as white mouldy bits and non identifiable black, crumbly smears, completely justifying the chaotic defrosting operation.
My 12yo and his classmate look at me curiously when they find me smothered in food scraps and kneeling in a large puddle trying to clean the fridge. The last time I did this – in a different house in a different country – I could easily lift the shelves out, but never managed to make them slide back in again, so this time I am desperately trying to clean the shelves while leaving them in the fridge.

You have to be quite flexible to get rid of all the new growth, let me tell you that.
While I scrub, mob and wipe I have loads of time to ponder our recent new beginnings in the Netherlands. something that I have carefully avoided for the past two months. It is not all bad, I decide. Wanting to clean the fridge in my new home, surely is a sign of nesting, is it not? and mY heart is definitely defrosting, albeit slowly, as I am trying to fall in love all over again with my motherland.

Hours later, I contently look at my new sparkly clean and well stocked fridge. I have send Mr. S. to the nearest chippy for a couple of beers and some well deserved greasy treats. No one is allowed to touch the sanitized appliance again. Or at least not today. The cleanliness of the fridge is as fragile and easily disrupted, I fear, as are my baby steps on the road to accepting that life has changed once again.


Besides being married to Mr. S, I am also the mum of a 13yo son and a 11yo daughter. For the past eight years we have lived in England, Italy and Switzerland. Our recent move back to the Netherlands, is posing some interesting questions for all of us. I write about the ups and downs of our repat life.

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