We moved into our house 6 years ago this summer, and bought several shiny new appliances to match the shiny new house we’d just built. (Yes, we. My hands and lumbar region have never quite recovered from lugging breeze blocks about, and picking the builders’ cigarette packets off the floor, despite my pointedly supplying a well-placed bin. I was eventually obliged to withdraw their cake perks as a result.) These shiny new appliances are now turning up their collective toes in unison.
The tumble dryer can only be coaxed into life like so:
or by standing with your finger on the button. (I know it’s June. This is the United Kingdom. It’s pissing down out there.)
Our washing machine (which is actually nearly 8 years old, as I demanded that John’s house acquire one before I moved into it. Previously, he took his washing home to his mother once a week. He was 30.) has acquired a deeply unpleasant old-water smell that taints every load of washing placed inside it. I have scoured comment threads for smelly machines, cleaned everything that can be cleaned, and it has not improved matters one jot. Only blasting with the tumble dryer set to Max banishes the smell from our clothes (see masking tape and wine-cork improvisation above).
John broke the tablet-dispenser whatchamacallit door on our dishwasher within weeks of purchase and never got around to re-fitting the spring, so we have been carelessly chucking the tablet inside loose for years. Recently, the top tray is becoming increasingly divorced from the vital bits of metal that prevent it parting company with the dishwasher mothership, and has taken to crashing – expensively so – down onto the bottom layer of crocks. In addition, during the last fortnight its cleaning of cutlery has become noticeably substandard. Significant smearage has been reported.
The freezer section of our fridge-freezer packed up last Saturday. Astoundingly, considering he had just rolled in from a rural tractor-pull very well lubricated indeed, Hairy ‘Beady’ Hubby noticed that the tiny high-temp-warning LED had lit up, and we were able to transfer the still-solid food to our chest freezer. I rang Hotpoint, who were suspiciously desperate to sell me an extended aftercare package for about half what the machine is worth – per annum; I also rang a local chap who told me kindly that 6 years from a frost-free Hotpoint was all I could realistically expect, and it sounded like the compressor was going. He would buy a new one, apparently.
My parents have a perfectly serviceable and energy-efficient fridge living in their shed for Dad’s fishing bait – that they had in their old house. They moved when I was 2, and I won’t see 34 again.
The silver lining to the fridge-freezer Sadness should have been that, as John and I have hankered painfully after one of those huge American-style muthas with an ice maker and sufficient cubic capacity in which to lose an entire tribe of hairy farmers, we could, if we robbed a bank, upgrade. Except we can’t, coz some monumental fuckwit managed to design a monstrous 5 x 6 metre kitchen in such a way that only a 600mm appliance will fit.