JV: What do you live with Annette?
Annette: Oh, you won’t believe this but it’s true... I have a spouse who doesn’t believe that you should put an awful lot of groceries on shelves, lest it proves too much strain for the shelves themselves.
Annette: This has been going on for 35 years, in four different places, and I have to put up with keeping my pantry at ground level. I have to get down on hands and knees and crawl around to see what’s at the back of the pantry. Only once in 35 years did a shelf fall down and it wasn’t a big deal, but he just stood there changing feet and wringing his hands while I calmly fixed it all up.
JV: But before the shelf fall down, he had a fear that a shelf would fall down.
Annette: Yes, but he’s always had this fear. Whatever house we were living in. And at that rate of falling, a shelf down every 35 years, I’d be happy to risk it.
JV: So average size pantry shelf, about half full he reckons?
Annette: Yes. About half to three quarters full. But nothing stacked on top of each other.
JV: Is he handy around the place?
JV: So could he strengthen the shelves, perhaps put some more brackets on?
Annette: No. He won’t do that. You have to use the shelf as is.
JV: Does this mean that you have to have rather large pantries?
Annette: Well how I’ve dealt with it, apart from putting most stuff on the ground, I’ve shared plates and things in other drawers and cupboards around the kitchen. Even up the linen cupboard. (laughs)
JV: Does he cook?
JV: So he has some territorial claim as to how things are done in the kitchen?
Annette: Some. Not a lot.