It's only 18 months since we had our kitchen done up and it's largely been a delight, but annoyingly, after having spent all that money, the big appliances that came with it have been pretty useless. Much worse and less reliable than the dishwasher, washing machine and spin dryer we had before. I know, poor me. It just seems a shame when the rest of the work is pretty great.
But today the dishwasher, which has always been a bit of a lottery - will things come out clean or will they be dirty in a different way than they went in? - has stopped working. And I am glad, because it means I can replace it with a clear(er) conscience. I don't want to fix it because it wasn't any good even when it was brand new and it's a testament to its shiteness that it has lasted such a short amount of time. Long enough, of course, to outlive its warranty, but not much longer.
And on a positive note (and actually the reason why I am writing about it) it's meant that I have had to do the washing up in the sink, like in the olden days. Of course I have washed the occasional item by hand since I first had a dishwasher, but it's rare that I've done several sinkfuls of dirty dishes. I had to do all of today and all of yesterday's unwashed dishes and I really enjoyed it. Not to say I would enjoy it if I had to do it every day (though I doubt we will get a replacement immediately), but for today it was therapeutic and novel and felt like I had travelled back to a better time. For a man who can do little of any use with his hands, just making things (reasonably) clean felt like an achievement. Many of us have bought into the dishwasher fantasy, but I am not sure they are any good or even very time-saving. I saw David Baddiel tweeted the other day wondering how the manufacturers had pulled this massive trick on us all, in that we all accept that all the items have to be rinsed before they are put in the dishwasher. So we basically wash the items first to make sure there will be no big stains on them and then put them in and out of the dishwasher anyway. And with my current dishwasher (when it worked) there was every chance you'd have to wash the items again once they'd been through.
It's a huge con, but one that I will no doubt buy back into. Though I've liked working my way through the dishes tonight (I have another load to do when I've written this). Once I've turned 50 and given up comedy and become a househusband while my wife pays the bill I am going to be truly content.
The fitness regime continues apace, but I think I will find it difficult to continue at this level once work commitments kick in. I ran seven miles this lunchtime, dodging and failing to dodge big puddles on the Thames path. It's not just Touching-the-void-o who is a great motivator, what also helps me push onwards when it starts to feel hard is that every bit of exercise one does is money in the bank. Where money is calories. I am earning the riches of being allowed to eat more food and at the moment that is worth more than money. Or is at least as enjoyable a currency to have. It's basically a video game where I am earning calories to expend later (or to not expend and thus lose more weight), which works for me. But you can view it in whatever way you like. If it pushes you on then imagine every calorie burned saves the life of a fairy. Although that would mean every calorie you consume causes the death of a fairy. Which might stop you eating at all. Or you might come to a compromise where you think that at least if you burn more calories than you consume then although some fairies have died, you will have saved the lives of some fairies. More than would have lived if you weren't on a diet. If that works for you, then good. For the moment, what's working for me is earning the right to eat a bit more. And after a seven mile run, provided you eat healthily and don't go nuts, it's pretty hard to use up your allowance, meaning hundreds of fairies owe you their lives (though they might form a fairy army to kill you due to the fairy genocide you have perpetrated at the dinner table).