Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hunt the cutlery

In our old house, we had three distinct sets of cutlery.

1) a nice-feeling stainless steel set which we bought when we were in the USA in the early 90s. This is what we use for everyday meals, and it still looks good. There were originally eight of each item (ie knives, forks, spoons and teaspoons, plus four serving spoons) but over the years we've lost one or two, so we probably can't make more than seven complete sets. We brought this with us from the UK back in 1997 when we first moved to Cyprus.

2) a set of random bits and pieces, mainly from the Thift Store, which we have bought over the years to supplement the main set when we've had parties or potlucks, for church, work or home educators' gatherings.

3) a nice-looking stainless steel set that we had for a wedding present almost 26 years ago, in a design called 'Love Story'. The basic set came in a wooden canteen, with six of each item - but as there were smaller and larger knives and forks, and soup spoons as well as dessert spoons, we could actually make up 12 place settings, particularly if some of the people eating with us were children. We had this packed away in our house in the UK until last November, but shipped it out here and have been using it on occasion.

With me so far?

When we moved to our new house here in Cyprus, I made sure that the everyday set came with us so we had it for meals early on. Even with the dishwasher, running just once a day mostly, seven place settings is sufficient for the three of us. So I hadn't really thought about the other two loads of cutlery. There are boxes and bags and bits all over the downstairs guest flat, so I assumed they were amongst them.

Until yesterday evening.

At 6.30 we were expecting our house group for a potluck social, as the first meeting in the new house. Eleven people in all. At around 5.30 it occurred to me that seven sets of cutlery wasn't going to be enough. So when Richard got home, I asked him casually to find some more. Preferably the canteen, but the spare bag of random pieces would be fine.

Twenty minutes later, he hadn't found anything.

Well, he had found a nice ornamental clock, and some games and jigsaws, and some cables... but no cutlery. I remembered that we had some plastic forks and spoons which - for some reason - were unpacked early on, so we got those out and used them. Not ideal, but it worked.

We heaved a sigh of relief. Plenty of time to find the cutlery as we slowly unpack over the next few weeks.

Not so. At lunchtime today, we remembered that we've invited people to Sunday lunch tomorrow. There will be nine or ten of us, including three children. And we still only have seven sets of cutlery.

So Richard and I did a more thorough search of the unpacked boxes. We looked in the study, in Daniel's room, and then went fairly methodically through the downstairs rooms. We discovered two summer dresses of mine, brought out from the UK. We discovered more games and puzzles. We found a pile of saucers to match our everyday crockery. We came across several ornaments we had almost forgotten about.

But no cutlery.

So much for my happy idea that we would take one box at a time and unpack each fully before moving on to the next!

I begin to think that the bag of random cutlery may well be at the old house, sitting on a sofa waiting to come. Richard can pop over tomorrow morning to check, and fetch it if necessary.

But we're very puzzled about the canteen of 'Love Story' cutlery.

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