The Rise and Fall of the Machines

I got home from a wonderful dinner with one of my best beloveds on Thursday night to find that Tilly had lit candles in the bottom of the ailing fridge and started a ‘fridgil’ on its behalf. Hoping that this would help, and needing an outlet, given that Jason would not let me hit the fridge with an ‘ammer, I joined in.


Sadly it did not work. We returned all the food to the newly blessed and glorified machine, turned it on and went to bed in the hope that when we awoke all our problems would be solved.

Instead, the fridge had tripped the mains in the night and turned itself off.  Again.

I attempted to revive it in the manner of Charlie from Casualty, by shouting ‘Crash!’ and running around throwing switches, but it was to no avail.

I took all the things out of the fridge, resurrected the cool box, and contacted an engineer, who came out last night to tell me that the heating element is buggered, which is why everything keeps freezing up, and then defrosting and pouring water into the electrics and tripping the mains. Apparently it can all be rectified, but not until Tuesday. Until then we must soldier on.

Thank God for the fact that I used to be obsessed by Ray Mears. I can fashion myself a crude fridge out of willow branches and clay from the stream, forage for ice from other people’s freezers, and survive until Tuesday with only a 75% chance of botulism.

Or I could use my obsession with getting a decent amount of credit on my card for when I’m old so I can do a runner, and just rack up more debt putting us up in a hotel with a mini fridge and room service.

Either way, there is a plan.

While all this was going on yesterday, I had failed to notice that the internet was down. This was nearly the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was quite choked when this information came to light. How can you escape from the horrors of reality if virtual reality is closed to you? It’s either excessive internet usage or injecting crack into my eyeballs as far as I’m concerned, and I have no idea where to get drugs anymore. Also, I’m really squeamish about needles.

I nearly despaired.

Ray has never mentioned what to do if your connection to the virtual world is broken. He has no clue about how to make a binary canoe out of raw data, Matrix stylie, so you can navigate your way back into the light of virtual civilisation. His karate is nothing like Neo’s. He might be able to skin and bone a wild pig in under three minutes, but he wouldn’t know a dongle if it bit him on the shin.

I had to turn to The IT Crowd for help with this one.

I turned it all off and on again.

This did not work.

I went and made vast amounts of coffee, like a tiny barista, and brooded.

I turned it all off and on again, with a much more jittery hand.

This did not work.

Guests arrived at this point, so I turned my back on it all until mid-afternoon in the hope that the mislaid prayers for the fridge might work on the internet.

They did. Hence why I am only slightly despairing of technology and not wholly despairing.

We have more guests tonight. The lack of fridge can be navigated via curry and gin, and the trialling of the new Spotify play list I am creating for our holiday next week.

I’m going to light a few more candles, just in case of any other emergencies. I like to think of them as pre-emptive votives.


12 responses to “The Rise and Fall of the Machines

  1. Only the Boos could hold a candle-lit vigil for their fridge! Totally bonkers — but in a good way! 🙂

  2. Pre-emptive votives…
    Now there’s an idea. 🙂 I’m sorry you are still going through the mill. Hopefully you will soon be going through the mill with a repaired fridge, which will have to bring some relief. For if you have a fridge, then cake is possible.

    Sending get-well vibes to your fridge, and still sending them in your brother’s direction.

    Take care,


  3. Has anyone ever suggested that you are, ever so slightly, Bonkers. In a benign sense of course, but Bonkers non the less…..😂

  4. Thank you/Tilly so much for the vigil idea, which I am dashing off to try on my ailing hoover right now. My family were so impressed with the Dyson V6 cordless wand thingy used by the housekeeper in our holiday house that they have been turning up the pressure on me to buy one in replacement for the very old yellow ball Dyson that has been slowly dying for months.

    The huge problem is that I vowed never to buy another Dyson product after Mr Dyson decided to back Brexit and encouraged others to do so. Thus I am desperate for all my existing Dyson equipment to last forever. And yes I am entirely prepared to cut off my nose in order to spite my face over this. I also know that avoiding giving my business to such folk is not straightforward as they don’t all come stamped with “Brexit” on the forehead (a labelling and stamping campaign required I think) . However I am sure there are other manufacturers of very good household equipment, who will literally be wiping the floor with Mr Dyson once we have removed all trade barriers to the rest of the world and have full access to super-cheap imports from outside the EU.

    Until then, candles and prayers will have to do.

    • I feel the same way! I have just purchased a non Dyson hoover, which is very good, but it has a bag which is not so good, and I am torn about the whole thing.

  5. I feel your pain….I am anxiously checking the fridge freezer on an hourly basis and am happy to report that (so far) the kebab skewer/cillit bang thing seems to have worked.
    Maybe Tilly could hold a vigil for mine too? (Your photo looked suspiciously like the outcome of one of my more uproarious night’s out 😉

    In other news, the cooker element is kaput and we are now grilling everything. It is a range style double oven by Smeg in a fetching cream colour and it is shit – do not ever buy one – and if anyone from the Smeg marketing dept is reading this and wants to sue me, bring it on.
    It didn’t have an auspicious start as, with my remarkable talent for never measuring anything correctly, it was slightly too large for the fireplace in the kitchen and my builder had to demolish some of the walls to squeeze it in. Not Smeg’s fault I know, but that was just the beginning. The element on the main oven died just before the end of the year’s warranty so we didn’t have to pay to have it fixed, but it wasn’t an encouraging sign. Then the smaller oven followed suit and we have never bothered to repair it because it only got used on high days and holidays, but the fact that we had to go through days of living in a house that resembled a quarry in order to have it, means it still rankles.
    Then all the markings on the front rubbed off during cleaning (which to be honest was not that frequent or strenuous, so no excuse really). I have the memory of a guppy so cooking has become an adventure where I never know what I am turning on, nor how hot it is likely to become. Possibly as a result of this, but I suspect more because the thermostat is buggered, we don’t so much roast dinners as incinerate them. Then there was the clock/alarm that never kept time but would go off at any time of the day or night, until we disabled it (a hammer may have been employed on that occasion). I could go on but I think you get the picture…
    We have ordered a new element so await the next instalment as we try to fit it – by we I of course mean Colin, as no sane person would allow me anywhere near the proceedings.

    • Ah yes, Smeg appliances. We had a beautiful fridge for a while. it was beautiful but fundamentally useless. It’s all fur coat and no knickers in that department sadly.

  6. There’s something crazy about our lives today, isn’t there? 🙂

    I remember when my Mum had a slate shelf in her pantry to keep stuff cool, a boiler to heat up water for washing clothes – where she used a brass dolly tub to wash them in, with a hand-cranked Mangle to get as much of the water out so they’d dry quicker – and that was with 9 of us in the house – and then 11, when my Uncle and his son came to live with us! 🙂
    I really don’t know how she coped with it all!

    When I married 33 years ago, we washed our clothes in the bath, and it was about 4 years later that I managed to buy a second-hand top-loading washing machine, with an electric wringer attached, no less – such luxury! Lol

    Now, it drives me crazy if my internet goes off for 5 minutes, and I wouldn’t dream of being without my fridge, freezer, and front-loading washing machine!

    How times change 🙂

    • My mum had a mangle when we were little, and used to make cheese by straining curds through muslin and hanging it on the washing line. We had coal fires too. It was so labour intensive, no wonder she was always tired. I am too, but that’s for entirely different reasons! x

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