Regular readers of my blog may remember that we moved last year to a house which my husband and I lovingly refer to as ‘the money-pit.’ It makes me think of George and Mary’s house in, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. For the uninitiated, there’s a scene in the film when George arrives home on the evening after their wedding and it’s raining both inside and outside the house. It reminds me of the money-pit because for the past year, we have been trying to fix leaks of one kind or another.
We have had leaky gutters (causing damp), a leaking dishwasher (which had to be replaced), a leaking shower, tap, windows, conservatory roof and most recently, a leaking fridge. There are times when I have wondered if I should re-define my occupation from, ‘writer’ to ‘woman who attempts to prevent water coming into the house’. Less catchy but you get the gist.
The other thing you may know if you’ve read this blog before is that despite being reasonably intelligent people, my husband and I are somewhat lacking when it comes to the more practical side of life (see my earlier post about the day we changed a lightbulb for evidence).
So, when we finally realised that the fridge was not only leaking but also failing to keep anything inside it cool or (perhaps in a more potentially life-threatening way) frozen, we decided to take action. By action I mean that we did what any right-thinking middle-class people do and bought the cheapest replacement from John Lewis.
The fridge was delivered a week or so later by a couple of cheery giants. They took the old one away, set the new one up and told me to leave it for four to six hours before using. I thanked them and returned to the kitchen to admire our new shiny white beauty. I took a step back to get a better look and a worrying thought whispered in my brain.
It looks smaller than the last fridge.
I shook my head. I must be imagining it.
We wouldn’t have bought a smaller fridge.
I opened the door and tried to put the bottle shelf from the old fridge inside. It wouldn’t fit. It was far too big. My heart sank. I opened the freezer compartment. It looked quite big but then it was completely empty and everything looks big when it’s empty. I called my daughter for back-up. She is ten and always says the right thing.
‘What do you think of the new fridge?’ I asked her, trying to dismiss the panic from my voice.
She screwed up her face. ‘It’s nice?’ she offered.
‘What about the size?’ I asked. A leading question I know but hey, I needed answers fast.
‘Yeah, it’s slim isn’t it? Did you mean to buy a smaller one this time?’
‘No,’ I sighed, starting to feel sick. ‘No, I did not.’
It was then that I found the instruction booklet for both the new and old fridges. I turned to the pages that no-one ever looks at, which deal with ‘specifications’. I noted with interest that there was a ‘capacity’ category. I noted with tears in my eyes that the capacity figure for the new fridge was smaller than the old fridge’s. Hindsight is a marvellous but profoundly irritating thing.
By the time my husband came home that evening, I had a plan.
‘You’ll have to phone John Lewis and tell them we made a mistake.’
‘Because I am the woman who attempts to prevent water coming into the house. You are the man who orders the new fridges.’
‘O-kay,’ he sighed.
Ten minutes later, he came off the phone, his face bright and triumphant. ‘John Lewis are great,’ he beamed.
A week later, two different cheery giants arrived to take away the old-new fridge and replace it with a much bigger new-new fridge. It’s so tall, I need a step to reach the top shelf and it beeps in protest if you accidentally leave the door open. Best of all, it doesn’t leak.
Now all I need to do is get the guttering fixed and work out where that water in the kitchen is coming from.
The work of a WWATPWCITH is never done.