Requiem for a trusted friend
Thursday, February 17, 2011
I had plans for dinner tonight, that involved boiling meats to make nice hot broth (yum, one of my favourite foods).
Unfortunately they got scuppered 'cos I got home much later than planned and I was ravenous, and I couldn't wait the two hours or so that it would have taken to cook. No problem though, 'cos I always have some basics in the freezer, as I always cook lots more than I eat and freeze away what's over.
So I took a pot of vegetable soup out, plus some chicken breast, and put them in the microwave to defrost. Then I'd grill the chicken while heating up the soup, and dinner would be ready within half hour.
The microwave started, I rolled up my sleeves to do the washing up I'd left from lunch. Initially I didn't pay attention to the fizzles, hisses and bings coming from the appliance. That soon changed when I noticed blue shots out of the corner of my eye. As I turned my head, I was speechless at the electric storm that was emanating from the microwave.
Don't get me wrong, I love an electric storm. One of the most fantastic things I've ever seen in my life was one of those that happened over London one night years ago, to which I assisted in wonder from my living room window. Just imagine: a pitch black, completely clear sky; complete silence (it was around 3 in the morning); the London night lights at your feet (I live on a hill on the fourth floor), and sharp white lightening above your head. It lasted ten minutes or so, I'm not sure. I'd never seen anything like it nor have I since. So I can appreciate a beautiful thing when I see one. I also love fireworks.
The only thing I ask is that they are not occurring in my kitchen, and definitely not when I'm in the building.
I cautiously and gingerly approached the belching monster and managed to turn it off with the tip of my nail (electric safety lesson number 1 according to screwie: if it looks like it could blow up any minute, your nails will shield you from the worst impact, with the added bonus of not carrying an electric shock). I opened the door and a burnt smell wafted out. Thankfully it wasn't from the chicken or soup.
Initially I thought that maybe I'd inadvertently put something metallic in there, although it was strange as I've used those containers before and I was pretty sure they were made of the purest plastic you can get. Once sure I was correct, I tried starting it again, and the same thing happened. This time I just about managed to see that the fireworks and hissing were coming from behind a plate inside the oven, so I gave up for good.
And so it was that one of my best friends of the past 15 years gave up its soul. I've had it since I moved to this flat in 1996 and it wasn't new then, as a friend gave it to me when she got herself a new one. I'd started thinking of buying a new one for myself over two years ago but I hate throwing something away when it still works, no matter how old it is.
Tonight I had no choice, R.I.P.
I hope not to come across as unfeeling and insensitive to the sadly departed when I say I wish it'd happened when I had food I didn't need to defrost or re-heat and I wasn't starving. It could have showed me some consideration, especially seeing as I had done all I could to keep it nice and comfortable all this time, more so in the last couple of years when all sort of shiny new replacements would have been available.
Thankfully I had some Amazon vouchers that allowed me to order a new one straight away that I paid less than £10 of my own money. Unfortunately I won't get it until next week so I can see myself eating couscous from tomorrow until I get the new one. I know I could re-heat food on the hob, but I always end up burning it when I do it that way!
Tonight I ended up having a stale bread and Italian salami sandwich for dinner. It was a toss up between that and popping out for a Chinese takeaway or a pizza, and I can't really afford that if I want to drop the kg I gained in Italy!
I cheered myself up with frozen mixed berries as dessert :))
Been very busy since I got back: I caught a stinking cold the day before I flew back, and I'm only just now getting over it. I also managed to pull a muscle somehow for which I've been taking industrial quantities of painkillers - went to see the doctor about it today and she said that muscles have to heal themselves, nothing much you can do apart from taking painkillers, so I'll have to be patient.
I only finished unpacking two days ago. Mr Gent came over on Thursday night and stayed until Sunday morning. On Friday we went for a walk around Islington and shopping for CDs as he'd given me an HMV voucher for Christmas that I hadn't used yet. I bought Supertramp's Breakfast in America, The Cure's Greatest Hits and Grease, which we spent the night listening to :)))
He also brought me a new keyboard as my old one had all the letters erased from its keys, which was ok for me as I can touch type but drove him mad whenever he wanted to do something on my computer.
On Saturday we went around Highgate and Crouch End and for a meal at a local restaurant, then watched a DVD.
He seemed to like the pressies I'd brought him from Italy. There were two books, one on Reinassance Florence (how to live there on five Florins a day), and one on local curiosities that can be spotted on a stroll. These were accompanied by a bookmark depicting Michelangelo's David.
There were also local delicacies: chocolate cantuccini from Prato (a town near Florence where they make these dry biscuits with almonds bits in them), and panforte from Siena.
Valentine wasn't really mentioned, although on Monday he texted me to wish me a happy Valentine's day. I'm quite glad he didn't make an issue of it!
I haven't started job hunting again as I wanted to get rid of the cold first, although this week I've been really busy with mystery shopping assignments and I have quite a few for next week too. This weekend I'm delivering voters confirmation letters so I'll be busy almost non stop until the end of next week.