Monday, July 2, 2012

2012: The Year of New... Appliances.

In the Smyth household it seems to be a year of new appliances. You know, stuff.
Not by choice. It's just seemed to be the year when everything gives up the ghost. Right after our honeymoon mortgage rate expired.

Far be it from you imagining Mr S and I merrily skipping the aisles of Big W and The Good Guys to buy new appliances, we'd both rather stab our eyes out with hot blunt needles whilst listening to the Hot 30 Countdown.

I prefer to shop online, but when together, Mr S and I are masters of the Kamikaze-shop. You know, it goes a bit like this:
Mr S: 'I think we need a new washing machine.'
Me: 'Why?'
Mr S: 'The pump on this one just broke. It doesn't work any more.'
Me: 'Oh. Crap.'
We Mr S tried to fix it. I put out the call on Twitter for a good second hand one. I wound up buying a second second second hand one from our local tip shop for $30 whilst we figured out how the heck we could afford justify a new one.

Like this, but $30 and much much less shiny.
(image from

Our second second second hand washing machine worked well. As in, it worked better than the last one. As in, it worked. However when it spun it sounded like a spaceship was taking off in our laundry and all conversation was nigh on impossible from the noise. Not to mention it would randomly short out our circuit board.

Then the bathroom broke (I'd link you to a post, but there's too many to count.) and we talked to our mortgage broker. So it was time for a new washing machine.

We left M with the Smyths Snrs for a day and went to Hobart. We went to one shop, looked at the washing machines, decided that one looked good and that we'd come back at the end of the day. Shopping around? Whatever. We are infinite cheapskates who do not enjoy shopping around for a better price, so we took a catalogue and went on our merry way. Past The Good Guys. We strolled in, pointed at the washing machine, pointed at the catalogue, accepted a much lesser price, paid, put the washing machine in our car and went home.
That's how you Kamikaze Shop.

Voila! New washing machine!
(image from

A week or so ago I lifted up the kettle and a lot of water came gushing out of the bottom. Far more than the 'condensation is normal' sticker would imply. I mopped it up, ignored it and kept ignoring it. Then Mr S noticed and the conversation went like this:
Mr S: 'Hey Amy, I think we need a new kettle.'
Me: 'Oh really? Crap.'
Mr S: 'Why crap?'
Me: 'Well. Um. It's just that I can't remember where the receipt is. I know I bought it at the beginning of the year I think, or was it last year? If it was December that's when Millie wasn't sleeping so who knows where I would have put it? If it was this year I guess it could be in the receipt pile on my desk* or in the filing cabinet**?'
Mr S: 'How about you look for it?'
Me, panicked: 'I DON'T KNOW WHERE IT IS! We just need to buy a new one.'
Mr S: 'How about you just have a little look for it? It was not a cheap kettle, remember?'
Me, hyperventilating: 'O. K.'

The kettle that sadly could not contain itself.
We were quite fond of it's pot bellied shape.
(image from

Fast forward two hours time. The receipt is not on my desk, Mr S has looked where he might have put it, it's not in the kitchen, it's not ANYWHERE. I am mightily annoyed, because as scatterbrained as I am, I am diligent with my tax receipts and my tax returns. Mr S is not, but can always find receipts and warranties. He puts them immediately away in the file marked 'Receipts' or 'Warranties'. In my receipt hunting travels I found a receipt for a $30 pair of jeans he bought in 2008 in the 'Receipts' file. Scoff as I might, it's a foolproof system he's got going on there.

I continue searching, getting angrier and angrier with myself. I look in my tax folders, I look in my desk drawers, my handbag, my wallet, books I've read recently... nothing. I was convinced it had gone the way of my 2009 journal. (Gone. Disappeared. Never to be seen. Gulp.)

I stomped past the bookshelf and saw a new-ish recipe book sticking out, and remembering my tendencies to put things in books I decided to check. I found the manual (Millie did not eat it, as I had insisted she had) and tucked inside the manual was the receipt.

Turns out it that at $38 it was actually a cheap kettle. See above comment where I admit to us being cheapskates.

I go back to Big W and exchange the kettle. There's no more of the same one on the shelf, which is fine with me. After Mrs S Snr bought us our old Sunbeam kettle in 2002 and it died 10 years later (it was still working, the plastic was simply so degraded I couldn't stand it any longer) I was wary of having another fancy kettle that would die 6 months after I bought it.

However, unless I wanted a no-brand kettle there wasn't a lot between $20-$90. 
Enter Aquella, our new latino kettle. He is stylish. He has a flip top lip. He doesn't leak water all over my bench leaving me stuck between a needing-a-cup-of-tea rock and a oh-my-electrocution hard place.

Shaped like an old-school coffee pot, quiet boiling, flip button lid. I'm in love.
(image from

Aquella was Kamikaze-bought too. Millie in the trolley, munching biscuits like a champion but really wanting to just get out of the gosh-darned trolley. LOOK! A KETTLE! IT'S PRETTY! Done.

Next is a fridge. The fridge that came with our house alternately leaks water all over the floorboards (gulp) or freezes the vegetables. It's a tricky one because there's a space built for the fridge. Can any of you recommend a good website that lets me search by measurements? There must be one out there...

This has been a boring year of appliance shopping. I haven't even told you about kamikaze-shopping for the bathroom. It goes a bit like this:
  • The Smyths enter a tile warehouse. They point at tiles, take a photo of the them, do a cursory once around the shop and leave. Mr S returns the next week and purchases the photographed tiles.
  • The Smyths go to three bathroom shops to look at toilets. Mrs S feels extremely stabby. Mr S loves bathroom shops. They go to Bunnings. Mr S loves Bunnings as much as Mrs S loves Spotlight. Mr S points at a toilet. Mrs S says things about needing to use a loo, have a cup of tea and something to eat. NOW. They buy the toilet Mr S pointed at.
  • The Smyths look at vanities. After three weeks of talking about it as it turns out Mr S has a very particular idea of what he wants, Mrs S feels stabby and tells Mr S to just buy one. He goes antique shopping, finds one, takes Mrs S to look at it. She says yes. They buy it.
  • The Smyths discuss paint options for the bathroom. Mrs S renounces all responsibility. Mr S goes to the hardware shop and buys paint. He is currently painting the bathroom as Mrs S types.

I'd like to have some fun appliance shopping. Like a Thermomix. Or a dishwasher. But really, I'll tell you a secret. Home appliances warm the cockles of my heart.

Bring on new appliances... just let me shop online for them.

* Receipt pile is under my monitor. Sounds hazy, but it's worked for the past three years. Receipts get put there, entered in my spreadsheet and filed in my tax file.
** Filing cabinet is top heavy and hazardous. Needs cleaning out and a decent system installed. Any takers?


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