I don’t know if it’s my age. I don’t know if I’ve got to the stage where my mind and body don’t work the same and I’m reflecting that out to the things around me. Or vice versa. Or I could be living in some sort of house equivalent of a small revolution. I’ve been living with it so long I’m not completely sure.
It started with dishwashers and don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually think that dishwashers have a voice or anything. But whenever dishwashers are around me they stop working. From the expensive chrome fronted beauty to the cheap version yellowing in the rental house. When I moved into this home we bought a cheap one, thinking that all dishwashers are equal. Don’t even think about it. It went wrong almost every month. Little niggly problems until the thing started filling up with evil black gunk. A bit like hell’s ectoplasm. Nobody could work it out, especially not the man who came to fix it, who we’d become very close to over a period of five years. Eventually the dishwasher of Beelzebub was taken away by a man waving a white flag and delivering a new one. Alas the man got his truck stuck in the muddy grass while navigating around our driveway. Four hours and many dramatic gestures from this poor chap later, the local tow people pulled him out. He never said goodbye.
Every pump – whether it be the pool, the water system or the pump that sends our dam water to a tank and onto our toilet. They’ve all carked it recently. And when the water pump died in the early days it killed our perfectly working washing machine. Turns out it didn’t like running without water.
If we want hot water we have to run the tap (in the shower for example) for a while. If this fails we have to then hop out of the shower, mess with the sink taps and eventually, hopefully, we get hot water. Magic.
I mentioned the pool which reflects my optimism. It’s not a classic in-built affair. It’s a paddling pool with rigid sides and attitude. It’s very innards have split and been patched over and over. The pool is now dead. Or simply refusing to go on.
My car stereo (sounds so old fashioned doesn’t it?) will only work sometimes. I like to drive with the radio on or with my cutting edge music selection beating away, making me feel like I can still kick arse. But due to a loose connection somewhere unreachable I can’t always do that. I have to drive in silence for miles. And miles. Sometimes it comes on of its own accord. I mean what is that all about. Do the wires jiggle and right themselves while I’m driving. It seems unlikely to me.
My metabolism. Alright. I may be spinning it a bit here. I’ve had a dodgy metabolism since I was 16. The blame should really fall on me discovering decent cheese. My mum didn’t have decent cheese when I was growing up. She was a stranger to France or even Cheddar Gorge. We had something called processed cheese and trust me, its best avoided.
We have spiders, the occasional snake, geckoes and skinks. How lovely. No, I mean in the house. And when we first moved here, before certain areas were boarded up, we had possums and the occasional bush turkey. There was a cane toad once when I foolishly used the toilet, in the early days, without switching the light on. I remember thinking ‘oh how sweet. A doorstop shaped like a frog’. Or a toad. On the wrong side of the door. But at least we’re not haunted.
I thought we were haunted in London. We’d moved into a newly renovated flat in an old house. It even had a space where olden bells had rung the servants in days gone by. Our more conventional doorbell kept ringing with visitors and then when grown-up guests turned up for dinner they banged loudly on the door. ‘Why didn’t you use the bell’ we cried. The door bell hadn’t worked and when the husband (who was the boyfriend in those days) looked at the place where the batteries should have been, there was nothing. Except the plastic that assured us there had never been batteries in this new casing. It had never been used. Ever.
Slightly spooky but not as spooky as the terrible nightmares I had while living there. One memorable one was a bunch of crones turning up at the door with an empty coffin. The head crone, with very few teeth, screamed ‘leave this house, leave this house.’ I haven’t had a spooky nightmare since we left that lovely flat. I’m glad. If I’m honest I am still frightened of the dark. There could be anything out there. It’s nearly mice season isn’t it.