Home alone

PUBLISHED: 19:53 10 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 11 May 2010

IT S that time of year again when life - or even survival - depends on living on one s wits. And that s not to mention getting into a way of actually working such mysterious inventions as a washing machine and a dish washer. Yes, that s right. Here I am,

IT'S that time of year again when life - or even survival - depends on living on one's wits.

And that's not to mention getting into a way of actually working such mysterious inventions as a washing machine and a dish washer.

Yes, that's right. Here I am, abandoned for the week, and expected to do a day's work and then come to grips with a microwave and a vacuum cleaner.

After 20 years or so, you would have thought that I'd have mastered one week a year when there is no-one around and I can do practically anything I like.

But that doesn't seem to happen. It didn't happen this week, and it hasn't happened in the past.

No matter how much machinery and other bits and pieces around the house are mastered, there is always something new: an invention which has passed me by, and then comes as an absolute surprise.

Take the simple task of cooking a microwave meal-for-one. It's something the whole of the civilised world knows about.

You place the timer in the right position and minutes later there is a meal ready for consumption.

But no. Those clever meal-for-one people have tampered with the packaging.

There was a time when after the pinging of the microwave had sounded it was a question of simply removing the plastic covering.

Not now. Now we have a double layer and no matter which method is used, they have to be removed in two operations.

And I don't believe such a covering was as tough as it is now.

There is a need of a Swiss army knife to cut through the covering, and then the need to wear a thick oven glove to complete the operation.

And when wearing an oven glove, there is a certain loss of control when attempting to deposit the contents on to a plate. The quick meal-for-one becomes a marathon effort, and by that time it's half-time in the latest Euro 2008 game.

It just goes to prove that there may be people out there with the brilliant skills to produce inventions for the modern world, but surely they don't have to make them so difficult.

Still, I've worked through all the packets that were piled high a week ago, and at least, the life of an abandoned husband will be over for another year.

Meanwhile, I think a walk down the road and the purchase of cod and chips may be in order.

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