I seem to have been going through a bad patch recently with electrical and electronic appliances. This is not a particularly new thing. I used to be known to the IT Support people at work as the Kiss of Death.
I'm not taking the blame for the two reconditioned dishwashers that have ceased working recently. I mean, how long do you expect reconditioned things to last? And to be honest, this second one just refuses to pump the water out at the end of the cycle, and while the wet-and-dry vacuum cleaner still functions, we can get by. And I don't go near that. The first one, well that could have been the visiting mouse chewing through a cable, which I understand they are in the habit of doing.
And the washing machine that only lasted a year or so, and the central heating boiler that has been in only five years when they should be good for about twenty, well I suspect that neither was a very good design. At least that was the gist of what the boiler man said when he came to repair the boiler for the third time in a month, although he used completely different words to describe it.
The laptop too, when I looked up its original purchase, was four years old, which I understand is about average, so it wasn't really surprising that it was getting a bit senile.
Then the steamer wasn't cooking things in the time it should have been. That's lasted three years, but I never liked it. Not to worry, we do have a spare, thanks to the old man's love of auctions, and specifically those job lots of small items in boxes where you can't actually see what's at the bottom. To tell the truth I'm not sure exactly what he's got up in the attic these days, although it's pretty safe to say that it doesn't include a dishwasher or washing machine.
The next thing to go was my iPod. Now I use it for a very specific purpose, which is to keep me sane while I am at the gym putting in miles on the treadmill or rowing machine. It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I am not a great lover of exercise. I go because I have to if I intend to get as much benefit as possible from my final salary pension scheme. My attention span whilst working out is limited already to ten minutes at a time on each piece of apparatus, or roughly four Songs Of The Sixties on my iPod, before I have to change round.
So I can't say that the iPod has had a huge amount of use over the seven years I've owned it. It was a bit of a surprise, to be honest, when my computer accused it of being corrupted. I suspected the man in the dirty mac who's been hanging round - no, wait, that's my husband.
Now this morning the trip switch went in the middle of consulting the mighty Facebook, and we tracked the fault down eventually to the coffee maker. Another essential piece of equipment for a writer, especially since I can't drink the instant stuff. But see above - he had a spare. Sanity is preserved, and I did notice, eventually, that he'd forgotten to turn the fridge and freezer back on after he'd tried all the electrical items in the kitchen to see which one was causing the problem.
But this afternoon my replacement iPod arrived, all packed up in a nice shiny box, with a set of strange shaped ear buds. It was even charged up. I put some music on it. Goodness, it does hold a lot more than the old one. Plugged in aforementioned strange ear buds. Nothing, in spite of the display counting down the time the song lasted. Tried them plugged into the computer. Music. Tried the computer speakers in the iPod. Nothing. Tried resetting the iPod (you know, if in doubt turn it off and then on again). Nothing.
I haven't even got to use the thing and it's broken already.
This time I refuse to take responsibility.
Doreen lives in the empty bit in the middle of Wales, where since her retirement she has taken up writing. She says it's better than working any day.
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