Thursday, January 3

Appliance Talk.

Do your appliances 'talk' to you?

Over the years, I have found the most talkative appliances to be Refrigerators.

When Gom & I were first married, we lived with a series of refrigerators that came with the rented accommodations we lived in. I dont particularly remember those fridges speaking. Perhaps they were too tired & worn out for conversations.

After we bought our first little cottage off a dear little old French couple, we needed to buy a fridge in a hurry. Having spent all our available cash on the house, we turned to the 'For Sale' in the local paper. We duly went off to inspect the little used fridge, with small ice box, & bought it. People are always advising "Don't buy the first one you see!"

During the course of my life, I have found I very often do buy the first one I see, with much success, I might add. Of course, I do the research, & inspect lots of others, but it is surprising how often my gut, fate, call it what you will, leads me initially, to the one I end up buying.

That little fridge did us a good service, & managed to be adequate for our needs, & catering for many visitors who came to stay with us. It had a little hum it made when it ran, & it was quite a comfortable, non intrusive little hum.

We had a wonderful garden, planted by the French couple. They had espaliered apple trees along the back fence. Gooseberry bushes. Five varieties of grapes! They made wine, in a little room they had built at the back of the house, & they used an old door with leadlight windows, to close the gap between the house, & the wine room. There was rhubarb aplenty. It was one of my least liked things to eat, & I gave it away by the car-boot load when it was ready.

We occasionally wished we had a larger freezer compartment, so we could freeze some of the wonderful produce from our garden. We never did try making wine! The last time we were in Christchurch, we were amazed to see the little cottage still standing, still lived in!

It was a lovely little house really with a wonderful 'personality'. The little French couple told us they had been very happy there. They assured us we would be, & it seemed like a blessing somehow.

They left us this little plate, as a gift. I have always treasured it. I have blogged about it before, here. They also left us a lot of garden tools. They explained that they were moving to South Africa to live with their daughter & son in law. They felt they were too old to be so far from loved ones.

As usual, for me, I digress. Back to the fridges!

We bought another house, & decided we needed a new fridge, so I polished up the old one, using Brasso to get it shiny & nice looking, & when we ordered our new one, I got allowed a very handsome trade-in price on the dear little old fridge, because, as the salesman said, "It looks so nice."

We purchased a brand new, upside down fridge/freezer combination, the fridge of my dreams. I loved that fridge, & the song it sang to me was intermittant, & not too intrusive at all. It was a little surly when defrosting time came, & I found turning it off the best option, as I slopped, & crawled around on the floor to get all the ice out of it. How I love these new frost free freezers!!

When we moved to the Hotel, we sold our fridge to our tennants. Our accommodation at the Hotel had a very large, & somewhat rattley fridge. When the motor ran, it had a little rattle. We could close sliding doors & block off the kitchen, so it didn't intrude on our TV viewing or evening reading etc.

When we bought our country Hotel, the fridges, & freezers were pretty ancient. They made hideous protesting noises, & would rattle & clank. Sometimes I felt the fridge was about to launch itself into outer space, or at least across the kitchen into the great coal range! I used to cook for the staff in the evenings, as there was nowhere for them to eat locally. I have seen many a barman startled out of his seat, by the sudden 'tuning up' of the old ancient fridge!

When we moved over here to live, we bought another brand new huge fridge/freezer combination, & our son named it the Tardis. It was a wonderful generous soul of a fridge. It could hold banquets for many, & seemed so much more generous inside than our new one. It made soft sighing little noises now & then & occasionally I would have to dose it with baking soda & warm water to keep it from becoming waterlogged. The motor made very little noise, & it worked well for 23 years! It even served a term for our daughter, & only 'died' last year.

My mother had bought a new fridge when she purchased a flat- unit- in a block behind my Beloved Brother's place. That fridge lived a mysterious life of it's own. When I first met with it, when I went to stay with my mother, I kept hearing whispers, & little chattering voices. I decided my mother must have a radio on somewhere. Finally, I could stand it no longer, & asked where the radio was?

My mother was puzzled, & said there was no radio. We finally worked out it was the fridge. It is hard to describe the sound it made, but it was so like voices out of the ether, that we decided it must have Invisible tennants. As my mother got deaf, she couldn't hear it, & I think that is why she had not noticed it's whispers & chatters, until I pointed them out to her. After she died I think one of my nephews had the fridge, & I suppose it chattered on.

About 4 years ago, we decided to treat ourselves to a new fridge. We bought another upside down fridge freezer, which is my choice, only this time I don't have to try to get down to defrost it. It is frost free. It talks to me in the small hours when I am the only one up. It whimpers & cries, making small mewling sounds as a kitten might. When we first got it, I thought there was something the matter with it. I was assured that it is quite normal, & those noises are nothing to be alarmed about.

How curious, with all the advances in technology, they still cannot make a fridge with a totally silent motor. I have got used to the chat, whimpers & mews of the fridge now. It is as if it is asking me questions, in the still & silent kitchen.

My old computer used to have a rather noisy fan, but this new one seems to be totally silent. I have not noticed the other appliances giving me any chat. I once had an iron that used to whine every time I used it. My current one is very quiet except for the hiss of the steam, & even that is not very loud.

Gom has had his dreaded whipper snipper out in the garden again. I caught him in my herb garden, & hunted him off!! He told me he was clearing a place for the new herbs. I told him he wasn't & to just leave them alone.

He has gone down to the garage, & is probably sitting in his 'worm eating chair'. I will just leave him to it.

These first few days of this month are 'rotting away from under me'!! I don't know where they are going.

I did eventually find the missing project last evening- in a most unexpected place! Stress when getting ready for the carpet laying, I think!

Which reminds me of the little old lady, who asked her little old lady friend,

"Lizzy, why are you wearing a suppository in your ear?"

Lizzy replied,

"I think I know where my missing hearing aid might be."

Preserve us from losing the marbles, I say!

Neil Diamond, Porcupine Pie


Catalyst said...

Meggie, I hope you're keeping these 'cuz they will make a book one day. This one is wonderful!

sueeeus said...

We bought a Samsung fridge last year or so ago, and it is whisper quiet. Almost eerie. I've never encountered such a silent fridge until now. It has some kind of dual something or other. Every once in a while we'll hear a small pop as the ice maker spits out a new bit of ice. Remarkable. Your French cottage and garden sound enchanting.

ancient one said...

Mine squeals when all the ice is dumped and it starts making new ice. I've heard it so much, I don't even notice it. My granddaughters noticed it though, one night when they slept over. They couldn't figure out what was making that noise and it scared them.

Exuberant Color said...

My old fridge was 23 years old and I gave it to my son for his shop when I got a new one 2 years ago. The old one made popping noises. the new one has about 4 different voices and I'm still getting used to it.

Lee said...

Most appliances in this house don't talk to me; laugh at me, yes. Talk to me, no.

Tanya Brown said...

Great stuff, Meggie! I'd love to see your cottage.

By the way, my refrigerator said to tell you hello.

Tanya said...

I guess my washing machine is the one that makes noises at me. The as yet not fixed heater that Tetsu has been working on has startd talking too and I bolt from the room when it starts up. I do not want to be around if it gets angry since it is filled with kerosene!

joyce said...

My latest fridge came with a list of normal noises it makes. It was a surprisingly long list.

telfair said...

Your cottage sounds like a perfect little house of dreams. And I loved hearing about the characters of all of your fridges! We recently purchased a new fridge that stands in stoic stillness in our kitchen and makes only the very rare noise...

sheoflittlebrain said...

Another wonderful post, Meggie! Your French cottage does sound enchanted and enchanting!

I was talking to my Mom about all the little bangs and groans my fridge makes when dumping ice, and she said, "I know! Mine goes.." here she rapped on the table three times, a sharp tap-tap-tap.. then a strange look crossed her face, "At least I think it's the fridge.."

Isabelle said...

I have to say... no, my fridge doesn't say much. An occasional whirr, but that's about it. Our central heating, now - that is currently sounding like an aircraft taking off. Does this count?

leslie said...

Hi Meggie, haven't been over for quiet some time because life has been very dramatic in my corner of the world. But good to be back and to read about the personalities of your fridges. What a crazy but great idea for a post. Wishing you and yours a happy new year.

meggie said...

Hi All, nice to see all your stories about your appliances!

One more item I forgot to mention about our latest fridge, is the dangerous spitting it has had. We were standing in the kitchen, & suddenly a loud popping noise, & out flew sharp pieces of plasic!
It was a hinge assembly piece, the repairman told us, as he replaced it.
I was apalled, & felt it could have taken an eye out of a small child, it had flown with such force.
Same thing happened to the second replacement.
And the third. Repairman, quite snakey by now, told us it was 'not really needed'. He was just sick of replacing it, I suspect. I flet it was a really dangerous addition to the fridge. We had taken out an extra length of wanrranty too, just to be sure. We have not had the 3rd piece replaced. Perhaps that is why the fridge whines & whimpers!

Yes Isabelle, I think any appliance can 'talk back'!

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Poor Lizzy, that's hilarious! Our five year old fridge with all the "bells and whistles" died last night; it made one last final whimper and was gone. The childhood fridge that I remember from my parents house is 48 years young and running splendidly in their basement, full of soft drinks chilled to perfection. Go figure!

bluemountainsmary said...

I know your post was about fridges but I think I would like to know more about that cottage.

It sounds just beautiful.

Mike said...

Your battles with Gom over gardens sound very familiar to me. My wife have been doing battles like this for many years now. Her garden space keeps growing so I assume that means I am losing.

smilnsigh said...

"we bought our first little cottage off a dear little old French couple,"

I never got by that above. Ohhhh I want to hear all about this little cottage, and see photos too, of course. :-) Oh my but that sounds so delightful. Lucky you to have this memory of time spent in such a sweet place. -oh sigh-

Now you've gone and gotten me all nostalgic for cottages. Which I'll never have. -pout- :-))))