The week before last the microwave hung up its clogs. We haven’t really missed it, apart from to warm up baked beans, so we may not need it. When I told a girlfriend that we no longer had one it took her a few moments for the news to sink in, ‘you don’t own a microwave?’, Nope, not anymore, it resigned, we have yet to rehire. Her baffled face said it all: ‘how can you cope without a microwave, are you insane?’
Oh yes, and our water pump is dying, what else can go? The dishwasher has been seen waving a white flag from time to time. The telly still works, just about, and the computer, so cross your fingers for me we don’t provoke them into some sort of suicide pact. We also don’t seem to be able to make a light bulb last for more than a couple of weeks, we are continually replacing them. Given that most of our electrical equipment is kaput, how come our electricity bill was over 200€ last month? Is our house trying to tell us something? Mostly I suppose it is telling us we need to make friends with an electrician and a plumber, urgently.
I’m trying to be flippant about it, but really it is all a bit too much. I’ve been having one of those ‘what if’ moments when surely it might be a good idea to move into one of those low maintenance houses which doesn’t need a daily fire building and stoking, or constant sweeping, or have unpredictable plumbing or electrics. A house which has an actual bath in the bathroom, and isn’t a ‘unique fixer-upper opportunity’. I am beginning to realise that we may never get the chance to re-enact ‘The Good Life’, I may not get to be Barbara to my husband’s Tom. We can’t cope with the animals we have, so how would we do with goats and pigs? Although I suppose I could get plenty of column inches out of them…
Regardless of my whinges and moans about my house, and its eccentricities, I have been reminded to feel grateful for it. Our house is cold, damp, and dark, but it’s our house and it’s still here. I doubt the thousands of Japanese people who were made homeless last weekend would be complaining about a bit of dodgy wiring. I almost wish the telly had broken so that we could pretend that the Japanese disaster hadn’t happened. Dear Japan, there’s a load of people living on an island in the Med who are thinking about you, and praying for you.
(first published 17th March 2011 in the Euro Weekly Newspaper)