Everything but the kitchen sink

Kitchen sink

Last month, while clearing out Mum’s flat I came across this tatty old thing, the kitchen sink (model 1.024) from my younger sister’s old Caroline’s Home doll’s house.

You know the saying “everything but the kitchen sink”, that means “nearly everything one can reasonably imagine; many different things, often to the point of excess or redundancy”? Lots of people used to say that about my late Mum’s handbag. She kept a lot of things in it.

“Blimey! Rosalie, you have everything in there except the kitchen sink,” they’d laugh.

And my mum would rummage at the bottom of her handback and proudly produce this old thing.

“Actually,” she would counter, “I do have the kitchen sink in here.”

But it served a purpose other than just a comic retort. Behind the tiny cupboard doors, which over time broke and were repeatedly taped together with masking tape, Mum kept three ten pence pieces—the right amount of money to get her into most public toilets in an emergency.

That’s the kind of practicality that I admired about my mum.