Sunday, 3 January 2010


If you were wondering why it had all gone a bit quiet over here, it's because I still have a fucking chest infection, and feel like shite.  It went away for a few days, then came back with extra phlegm and coughing just to remind me how great it was first time around.  So, back on the phone tomorrow morning to try and get an emergency appointment with the doctor, more antibiotics, and probably some steroids to help me breathe.  I am SICK of it. 

I have had it for over three weeks and it is boring, painful, alarming and disgusting in turn.  Lucky old Mr WithaY gets to hear me cough, choke, splutter, gag, retch and then swear about once every six minutes.  How nice for him.

On the plus side, my finger is healing up nicely.  I will have an Interesting Scar to add to the many others.  Don't you agree, scarred knuckles make a woman look extra-specially elegant?  I bet Audrey Hepburn had knuckles you could grate cheese on. 

Added to the docker's cough I have going on, I am quite a catch, let me tell you.

Other news:  We have more fish in the aquarium.  All the "old" fish are still alive, and the "new" fish are looking cheerful too, so we are very pleased.  Mr WithaY has been doing all the scientific stuff with pH testing, and water changes and gravel sucking* and the like, and so far, so good.  We now have:

5 x freshwater shrimp
7 x glowlight tetra
5 x leopard cory
6 x pentazona barbs
1 x dwarf Gourami

We also had some teeny snails, but Mr WithaY hoiked them out and disposed of them, bloody freeloaders.

Also, the dishwasher was blocked**.  We've had it for about  4 years, and it has always been great.  A simple arrangement, but it works.  We put dirty greasy dishes in, a little while later it beeps, we take nice hot clean dishes out.  It's like having a robot slave in the kitchen, which, frankly, is what I was hoping would happen in the Twenty-First Century. 

Anyhoo, today it beeped, I opened it and instead of hot clean dishes there were hot wet dishes and several inches of hot grey water in the bottom of the dishwasher.  Gah. 

I did what any self-respecting modern woman would do: removed the filters, then poked ineffectually in the water-filled hole with a long spoon before going to ask Mr WithaY to fix it.

We both considered the problem from all angles, poking with the spoon in between discussing probable causes of the blockage, and how much a plumber would cost if we had to call one out next week.

After an hour or so of this useless flapping about, Mr WithaY decided to pour a bottle of Mr Muscle sink unblocker into the dishwasher and leave it for 15 minutes, as per the instructions.  Once the 15 minutes were up, we ran the empty dishwasher on a Rinse Cycle, congratulating ourselves on our amazing fixing skills. 

It beeped.

We opened it.

We closed it again hastily, great clouds of toxic, corrosive Mr Muscle bubbles spilling up from the drains, in danger of seeping out of the edges of the door.

We looked at one another in horror. 

"We've fucked up the dishwasher!"

"No we haven't.  It's just a bit....frothy."

"How are we going to get rid of all that deadly poisonous foam?  We can't put our hands in it or we'll strip ourselves down to the bone!"

"Hmm.  Let's run another rinse cycle and see what happens."

Mr WithaY is a fan of the "Let's See What Happens" school of thought.

We ran another rinse cyle.  Then a third.  We poured several jugfulls of tap water into the dishwasher, hoping to wash away some of the Foam of Death.   We ran another rinse cycle.  After what seemed like many hours of this, the foam level subsided by inches. 

We were winning. 

If you've never stood in a kitchen on a Sunday afternoon listening to the noise a dishwasher makes as it drains, trying to establish what a free-running drain sounds like, you've never lived, that's all I can say. 

*I think there is a more technical term for it, but it escapes me.

**I didn't say it was interesting news. 


badgerdaddy said...

Someone suggested a cough-kinda thing to me once, and I have to admit, it worked. But it tasted like the water you would find in the bottom of a huge, flooded family crypt.

It's called Pulmo Bailly, check it out. It is fucking rank, and I think my awful cough went out of pure fear that I would take some more. You can find it in some branches of Boots, hidden away on the top shelf behind the counter like pharmacy porn.

Anonymous said...

When my dishwasher goes on strike, I feel as though my life has ended - is that sad? The last time it was because a cocktail stick got stuck somewhere in the filtre system.
But through sheer desperation I courageously managed to dislodge it and heaved a sigh of relief as I flopped on the sofa to recover.

Middle Sis said...

Our new dishwasher leaked quite alarmingly not long after it was fitted. We both thought it was a dodgy piece of equipment and the kitchen would have to be ripped out to replace it. Turned out that Mr. Middle Sis had shut a spoon in the door and it couldn't close properly.

I love the thought of it as a robot slave. Brilliant.

UberGrumpy said...

Did you know Mr Muscle gives you a really chesty cough if you breather it in after putting it in the sishwasher? Interesting eh?

livesbythewoods said...

Badgerdaddy, that sounds terrifying. If I am still coughing in a few days I will sneak out to the sleazy back-alley chemist with a paper bag at the ready. I'll say Big Len sent me.

Dragondays, it was the first time ours has been anything other than excellent, so it was a bit of a shock. Luckily a large glass of wine for Mr WithaY and some chocolate for me helped us get over the trauma.

Middle Sis, it's a brave new world in my kitchen. Give Mr Middle Sis a smack upside the head for being such a galoot.

UberGrumpy, are you a doctor? I will be laying off sniffing the drain cleaner now.

@eloh said...

Huh, and I was thinking that sniffing the drain cleaner might actually help hack up a lung.

There might be a spoon or something hung up down there.

livesbythewoods said...

Eloh, I am *not* going to sniff drain cleaner. Even on a dare.

And we checked for spoons, no joy.