Leaf of ruby chard too beautiful to cook.
This morning in the window of an antique shop a notice catches my eye. It reads: "Baby Sitter Available and Flexible."
In an awkward corner of the fitted kitchen is a deep cupboard which contains two circular rotating shelves, avoiding what would otherwise be wasted space. In the 25 years since its installation I have never been sure how the spindle on which the shelves turn is fixed. Until today that is when the plate to which it is attached looses a screw and the whole shebang loaded with jugs and things slips sideways.
DIY has diminishing attractions for me especially when it involves kneeling, half lying on the floor, feeling for the screw holes, inserting the screws and driving them home blind. Not only that, but the floor of the cupboard under the rotating shelves is covered with the sort of sticky dust you find only in kitchens. Not only do I manage the screwing bit, but fixing a damp cloth to the end of a broom handle, I succeed with unaccustomed athleticism in reaching and removing the dirt of a quarter of a century. I don't enjoy it at the time, but having done it, I feel as though I have run in a race and won a prize. If I had any strength left I would reach behind me and pat myself on the back.
Changing the filter paper on the extractor hood over the hob brings about a similar sense of achievement (together with some horribly greasy surfaces). We talk about aspects of software being non-intuitive but mechanical systems don't attract that judgment; their secrets are usually more obvious. But not in the case of our filter frame. I have changed the filter probably two dozen times over fifteen years; the procedure seems obvious, even inevitable. But more often than not I reach a point where completing the job seems impossible. One solution would be to video the process with my mobile phone. But here shame rears its bowed head.
I suppose having a flexible baby-sitter means she/he won't need to stand all evening, and that would seem to be an advantage.
Robbie We gave up on filter papers some years ago. They didn't seem to work. A powerful extraction fan such as they have in restaurants might do the job but we can't afford one.
Tom I imagine that it would also be an advantage if, for want of room in the car, you could fold and stow him/her or her in the boot should the baby-sitter need to be ferried home.
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