Something weird happened yesterday and I’ve only just twigged: not only did the sofa post reproduce itself (a tad ironic, since the post was about reducing the number of sofas) but it failed to include the saga of the toaster. I don’t know how that happened but I think I can guess: I got lost between two blogs. I knew I’d written about the toaster somewhere but I couldn’t find it, so concluded it must be languishing in the Drafts folder (things do a lot of languishing around here; they must be taking languish lessons. Ho ho.) Anyway, I did find it in a draft over on the other blog. It gets very confusing having to sign out and sign in again as my profile over there is a Quaker one but over here I’ve doffed my Quaker hat and donned my Lizardyoga costume (incidentally did you know that the reason Quakers are traditionally shown wearing hats is that, as confirmed egalitarians, they refused to take their hat off to a ‘social superior’?)
I have a distinct memory of copying and pasting the toaster saga into yesterday’s post – yet when I checked, there it wasn’t. Most mysterious. Anyway, here it is:
Last week I went to a repair cafe, organised by Loughborough Transition Network, toting my defunct toaster in a big black bag. It was a four-slice toaster and I was pretty sure that one side at least would still work but the knob wouldn’t stay down. I passed the toaster across to a lovely guy who spent the next 3/4 hr on mending it; most of that time in trying to get the very stubborn casing to open. But though the screw was stubborn Stuart was more so, and eventually we prised the plastic base off the metal housing and looked within to a hell-hole of dust and crumbs.
It’s part of the ethos of the cafe that you stay and watch the repair so that you learn from it. I learned loads about the inside of a toaster, how there are magnetised parts inside which are brought together when the knob goes down and released when the timer finishes, and how once the element is gone there’s not much you can do except buy a new one (hardly worth it.) Enough crumbs came out of my toaster to make a new loaf; and whether it was the cleaning of the crumbs or the polishing of the magnets or the stubbornness of Stuart convincing the toaster to give in and jolly-well work, he got it going again. I did try to freecycle it but unfortunately the pop-up device isn’t working so it will stay with us as a back-up toaster. But I can’t describe the satisfaction I got from having something mended that was previously defunct. It really felt like one in the eye for pointless consumerism – and don’t even get me started on built-in obsolescence.
If you’re in Loughborough, check the transition blog for more details, and if not then google your nearest repair cafe. You’ll thank me.