Thursday, 28 June 2007

End of the fridge

We come home from being Tudors and the fridge has disappeared. I discover this when I try to put away some cheese. Dig says it is not stolen, but swapped for a freezer. He says that last week he went to John Lewis, and while me and the junior Grits were all cavorting around on Tudor lawns the delivery men arrived and did the swap. They took the fridge, and left us with the freezer. This is a relief.

Me and Dig don't actually get the chance to talk much. When we need to talk about things like why the accounts haven't been filed since 2004, we try to sneak to the office next door. However, the office has become a site of struggle since May thanks to the nesting blue tits, and the constant stream of children in and out to see daddy blue tit fetch mealy worms for the babies. Thus, just about every conversation me and Dig try to snatch about important things like accounts and fridges is constantly interrupted.

Actually, as an aside, Shark, Squirrel and Tiger have been interrupting every conversation since February 2000, at first with sustained wahahwhahaha or snuffly noises, and now with rubbish about why horses need swimming lesssons and who's stolen the tiara and who has thumped whom and why nothing's fair.

Anyway, between Squirrel's demands to go on a bike ride, Tiger's complaint that it's not Friday, and Shark demanding her tiara back, I gather from Dig that last week he bought a freezer because he was unable to bear the fridge any longer, and feared his reputation if Ermintrude photographed the inside and stuck it up on an au pair website with the caption, 'This is what you're in for'.

Now it is difficult to describe the inside of the fridge, and I fully agree that the best way to get it discreetly removed is to buy something else from John Lewis because they take the old one away. We have another fridge in the office which is disgusting because it's never cleaned, but it is not a patch on the one that's just gone.

The problem started when Dig bought a washing machine, so I'll blame him for the state of the fridge. The front of the washing machine bows out and, being adjacent to the fridge, prevented the fridge door from opening properly. At first I threw a dishcloth in there to mop up the spilled orange juice, but I couldn't reach the cheese crumbs, nor the upturned jar of moulding peanut sauce, nor the spreading oily layer from the green pesto jar, nor the toffee someone put in there and which glued itself to the shelving. The whole interior started to resemble some sort of industrial waste site: the orange juice gradually turning brown; green stains dribbling in sticky lines down the insides; crusty layers of unreachable vegetable off-cuts frostily gluing themselves to unfathomable parts. The soil, Hama beads and snowman's head didn't help. In fact, after a few months, there was no clean patch of white plastic left at all.

Then last week the worst happened. And for Dig, the final straw. A whole open carton of Tesco tomato passata got pushed in there and knocked against the back wall. It exploded. Now I'm not sure what the inside of Idi Amin's fridge looked like, but I bet it was pretty gruesome. Well, our fridge looked like that. Stick a cabbage head in there, with the tomato sauce sprayed all around and the cheese deposits growing underneath with bits of dead carrot sticking out of them like finger ends, and you have a pretty good idea about our fridge.

So the fridge is gone, and a freezer is in its place. Not plugged in, mind, because that would be pointless. Because next comes the difficult part. Dig argues that he's decided we need a fridge in the kitchen after all, and not a freezer. There is nowhere to put butter except for the fridge in the office, and that's a long walk for some butter. So he says we must take out the old fridge from the office, clean it up, and swap it for the new freezer, thus making it pointless using the freezer, because it will soon move.

There's only one problem to this plan. To get the fridge out of the office, and to get the freezer in we would need to clear a pathway.

I will leave the office to your imagination. Suffice to say the last time a vacuum cleaner was in there was 1998. I haven't actually seen the carpet since 2001. Punching a hole in the wall and exchanging the fridge and freezer through that seems a simpler option than suggesting to Dig we have an office tidy up.

Or we could just live with an unplugged freezer in the kitchen. And accept that this was the price we had to pay for getting rid of Idi's fridge.

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