Sunday, October 07, 2007

Gebruiksaavwijzing, anyone?

For five months exactly, I was driven from my home into exile in the parental abode, due to renovation work on my kitchen, bathroom, etc being forced upon me. Very recently, I have returned - or more like, started to return, as this has been by no means a simple process.

I have a brand-new kitchen (and a brand-new bathroom as well, but I'm not going to blog about my bathroom. I draw the line somewhere, you know). Many people (often women) I tell that to tend to go "ooooooh, nice, brand-new kitchen". And yesyesyesyesyes, it is nice, isn't it. You'd think I'd be pleased. You'd think, in fact, that I'd be over-the-moon delighted (I did really like my old kitchen, though). Yes, there has been moments of that, but - and such is human nature, and please do note I do know about starvation, oppression, the monks, etc - I am petty and so is my life and these are (only some of) the things I've noted that currently drive me round the petty-hell bend:

My new kuivauskaappi, draining cupboard, a fine Finnish invention and a standard fitting in our kitchens, which ensures Finnish doers of dishes (often women, and practically always, in this household, me) don't need to dry up, is very high-tech and fancy and fitted with shelves that are a little bit too low for any dinner plate to actually stand draining on the draining thing. It's okay now, I'm just elated to be back home again, but at the same time, I know the elation will wear down because such is human nature etc (see above) and this is going to be something that'll piss me off no end for ever more.

Another thing. They have fitted my new kitchen with a special shelf for the microwave:

and what a sweet and lovely and space-saving thing it is to have. If only my microwave oven would fit on it, as it (the shelf) is tiny and it (the microwave) is a monster. Let it be noted here I have never in my life felt a need or a desire to own a microwave. This is my first one, and was forced upon me by my parents last Christmas. It has, since then, and will now forevermore continue to take up just about all the work surface I have for cooking in my kitchen. Maybe we'll just have to eat ready-made microwave dinners. As for the shelf, I currently keep on it some of my vases and a couple of nice pots (traditional Finnish style). (No, those guys never made it to the tropics, poor wee things.)

And finally, my brand-spanking new fridge came complete with an instruction booklet - nay, two instruction booklets, one in Dutch, the other in Danish. It's just too bad it didn't have the good sense to come with one in Finnish, English, or Swedish, all of which I speak to a greater or lesser proficiency (and read, too). Now, I realise a fridge is relatively easy to use (buy food, put into fridge, take out and eat, keep door mostly shut). But if there's absolutely no need for instructions, why bother creating whole books on important things to know about your fridge?

And just to recap - yes, I do know about starvation and oppression and the monks, and that today it is exactly a year since Anna Politkovskaya's murder, and that the world is a place of unspeakable unfairness, and that I have been born privileged to have always had enough to eat and a roof over my head, even if it hasn't always been my own (the roof, not the head) (although sometimes it does feel like the head isn't mine either). But today, I am moaning, and that's just the way it is.


Merkin said...

Howz the cooker hood?

trousers said...

Moan away, dearest anna. We do on the whole know about oppression, murder, unfairness, starvation and injustice: indeed we do. Doesn't take away your entitlement to be a bit pissed off though.

*Just a shame really that the Finnish don't have a word for Gebruiksaavwijzing ;-)

Word ver = stytoz

*that's meant to be a parody of one of George Bush's typically daft quotes

Anna MR said...

Merkin - I have lived away from the UK for so long I don't actually know, anymore, what a cooker hood is. I'm pretty sure something tiny and endlessly annoying would be wrong with it, if I had one, though. I think I may well have caught this ailment of wee things going persistently wrong in an enfuriating way from Ms Legs the Cyberfriend when she visited me. (NMJ, are you listening? I blame you, because I like you. And I don't really mean to imply that your recent cooker hood escapade and other travails are/were trivial. My stuff, however, is, which just adds to the supreme annoyingness of it all.)

Anna MR said...

Ah, housut, it's just a question of the elation of the long-awaited homecoming wearing off and the actuality of the nigglingly unfinished details combined with the seemingly endless cleaning-up after the builders etc making the whole affair (homecoming) seem like a bit of a vitun antikliimaksi, if you'll pardon my language.

(Incidentally, I have been quite tickled by the NMJ-induced trend of swearing on-blog in Finnish, which a whole heap of you Britbloggers seem to have picked up. It is somehow sweet and lovable, although many of my fellow countrymen would not be delighted I have allowed this word to become the emblem of Finland in blogland. In any case, what do we care about them. Keep up the good work, foreign swearers in Finnish.)

I have checked your word ver (stytoz) and it does indeed come up several times in my fridge instruction booklet (the Dutch one). I think it has something to do with hoovering the back of the fridge regularly, to avoid deadly housefires, but I'm not entirely sure. Ario?

Reading the Signs said...

Yeah, Anna, sometimes you just have to say it's like that, and that's the way it is

I say it a lot, me.

Reading the Signs said...

And I know this is a bit beside the point in the context of all, but - best not to be using microwavey thingy at all. Is no good for you. Hide it in loft and put flowers or something in the space. Or packets of brown rice and lentils.

(or rtuniaks, says word ver. Very nourishing).

NMJ said...

Dearest Anna, I am up fiendishly early waiting for painters to come and do external bedroom window, I have been waiting for weeks literally - they are so busy these guys cos it rained all summer and now they are catching up doing everyone's windows. I love that you have a new kitchen & bathroom, that makes me very happy, and I am appalled that the big dinner plates don't fit in the drying rack, & am enraged that the instructions for the fridge are in Danish and Dutch. It is these tiny annoyances that nick like papercuts & ruin the day even when one counts one's blessings x

Anna MR said...

Yo, Signs, digging the link. Regarding the loft, the microwave, and the rtuniaks, I confess to living in John Lennon's dream - "above us only sky" - well, a bit of tin roof too, but alas, no loft, so I must be stuck with the microwave, damnation. I have heard, though, that they have come up with micro-rtuniaks, now - I think Tesco's stock them in the UK, you might want to have a look. I know, I know - it's never the same without the process, but I tend to favour the Western-style couscous too, rather than having to roll the beads individually by hand. You, of course, being the ├╝berspirit of the k├╝chen (or is it kuchen? I remember one is cake, the other one is kitchen, but it's been several decades since my last German class, and these umlauts don't stay in place all that well over time), will roll your couscous beads between your deft fingers AND prepare rtuniaks from scratch, but not all of us are that saintly. Yes. No. What on earth am I going on about, now? Better escape to Ms Legs. She'll rescue me from your lunacies.

No More Jabberings, hello and hei and lovely to see you, and anteeksi I have taken so long to reply. I am a bit shite, but what can you do. But what is this I read - you are up, fiendishly early, waiting for painters? Oh God. I've caught the appliance-papercuts from you, and you, poor soul, have caught the renovators from me. Cyberfriend, I am sorry. This is probably a more bum deal for you than for me, because renovation work in one's home is a hell of a lot worse than, well, hell. Take it from me. Have I complained to you about what these dirty vitun fuckers have been doing in my flat - apart from taking weeks over the given completion date, they have also a) drunk my orange juice (a whole litre, an unopened carton of the posh stuff with bits in it) b) stolen my dustpan and brush (how am I supposed to clean their frigging messes, now?) c) taken a piss or several in my brand-new loo (I found out, because it was covered in yellow splashes. No, really. I am not making this up). This item c) outrage has seen me resort to the only thing I could - telling tales to the boss of the company and double locking my flat. This latter also stops them from coming to complete work on my flat, which, granted, is a bit problematic, but at least all piss stains are product of my sons, so much more endearing to clean.

(Oh dear, NMJ honey, I bet you're regretting visiting me now. May I say, by the way, how enormously I enjoyed your Granny post? She sounds superb. You should package or bottle her, somehow. I would have her jabbering in my corner any day.)

Okay, so, the disgraceful pair of you - it has been lovely to see you ladies. Hope I haven't frightened you away with my lewdness. No, hang on a minute - it's you two I'm talking to. Ha. What was I thinking about? So, I trust we'll be talking more soon.

x x and mwah and mwah

NMJ said...

Jesus, Anna, honey - Through the cooker-hood/broken shower/fucked kitchen sink disaster-filled summer, at least I didn't ever have to deal with workmen pissing in my toilet and leaving stains - that takes the goddam biscuit, that would have been the undoing of me. The painter who came yesterday was a delight, he ate his packed lunch in the kitchen, and I made him tea and we had gentle banter. No pissing, no trauma. My faith in workmen has maybe almost been restored, although the kitchen sink (temporarily repaired in August) still needs replaced, I can't even go there, I won't even go there. x

Maggie said...

Hello there, came on over from Cusp's I think - get very confused these days!

I was looking at your dish drainer thing, and I think if you took the drainer out and put it in the other way round it might work... The wide gap for bigger plates would then be at the front, and not at the back. If you see what I mean! Still might not be big enough for your plates, but at least it would take bigger plates than at the mo.

Am just doing a bit of reading through your archive since I found you, and it's only polite (I feel) to let you know.

Best wishes from Liverpool, where after a horrid grey day the cloud is streaking up and I have some wonderful golden linings to the clouds near the horizon to look at. :-)

Anna MR said...

Hello Maggie, welcome and nice to see you. I am a bit baffled by your suggestion for fixing the draining thing (I am hopelessly impractical, I'm afraid) - but I think nothing can be done, anyway, it is fixed quite firmly with these screw thingies. There's nothing for it, I'll just have to suffer for ever more. It's alright, it's good for the soul I'm sure.

Please feel not only entirely free to look through my archives but most welcome to do so. It is a nice thing and a compliment that you should feel an interest in my writing and my nonsense.

Your Liverpudlian clouds sound lovely, Maggie. Wishing you golden linings for today, too, and again, you are most welcome here at my house. Hope to see you again soon. x