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August 2010

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Friday, October 30th, 2009 10:05 pm
My kettle just broke.


The little red light is coming on, and I've tried plugging it into another socket, but it's not doing anything else (such as, y'know, actually heating the water). No, it's just sitting there smugly. Stone-cold.

For any international LJ-ers who might be reading this and wondering why I see fit to be kicking off about it, let me assure you that if you're British, kettle-b0rkage is a serious situation. It means you CAN'T HAVE TEA.

:cue much wailing, gnashing of teeth, and similar:

:deep breath: Alrighty-then. Come on, Wolfie. Think this through. If British troops were capable, in the midst of the Normandy Landings, of stopping halfway-up Sword Beach to brew tea whilst under enemy fire*, then you have not the least grounds to claim you can't manage producing a cuppa in vastly more tranquil conditions.

*I am not making this up.

The little camping kettle is currently lost (most likely lurking under a large pile of muddy wool and bandoliers from the last time I used it), so mess-tin on the camping-stove it is, then...
Friday, October 30th, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC)
I'll be honest, I've never understood the British affection for tea. Sure, I like tea. But not nearly enough to set aside a specific time for it. And certainly not enough to religiously adhere to such a schedule. Some Americans think that tea and the British is just an old cliche. But I have to assure them that 'No, all my British friends do indeed drink tea'. Funny little quirk.
Friday, October 30th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
I have to disappoint you here. 3/4 of the modern British Army drink coffee. NATO standard coffee*, admittedly, but coffee. It's the caffeine in it. And I'm blaming the Army for the fact I'm a coffee drinker.

*White, with two sugars.
Friday, October 30th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
How times change. I too blame my military experience for making me a coffee drinker. And sure enough, it's 1 cream two sugars.
Friday, October 30th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
Most of the rest of the British population are, however, addicted to tea.
Friday, October 30th, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
Too right. When I was 14 and on a two-week German exchange placement, the very sweet student whose family were hosting me proudly opened a kitchen cupboard door to reveal a shelf absolutely crammed with tea. They didn't even drink it themselves, but they'd stocked up specially so their Brit Visitor would be okay. :D Bless them.
Friday, October 30th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
How nice of them. Germans are hospitable indeed.
Saturday, October 31st, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)

Friday, October 30th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
:points at [ profile] sharpiefan's comment: She's right. Tea is generally srs bsness over here. Also addictive.

It's difficult to evangelise tea (specially to the kind of heretic who doesn't believe it warrants an actual schedule :P ) to those who aren't in the habit, but... I've always viewed it as a kind of gentle rocket-fuel for energy, emotional well-being, and occasioally First Aid - the stuff solves EVERYTHING, honest.

I'll do coffee, but generally only for those pulling-an-all-nighter-typing-at-the-computer occasions when higher-octane rocket fuel is needed :P
Friday, October 30th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
I think I get your meaning. Like a subtle pick-me-up in the middle of the day. Still, I have taken to the horrible habit of downing those monstrous canned energy drinks when needed. I'll leave the subtlety to you then.
Saturday, October 31st, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
I do have a coffee when other folks have a tea, so I'm not completely uncivilised. Well. Mostly, I'm not.
Friday, October 30th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
Boil a saucepan on the hob, dearest heart. Lots and lots of bubbles = water suitable for tea-making.

(I'm a coffee-drinker - for which I blame the modern British Army - but the same rule applies: Broken kettle = not happy bunny.)


And nip down to Argos or somewhere first thing and get a replacement. Better yet, get two. :D
Friday, October 30th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
Hey, don't you go busting my national beverage stereotype with your pesky real-life experience! ;) (*snerk* at your icon)

Very wise on all counts. :D I'll be hot-footing it down to Argos at break of dawn tomorrow...

*ahem* The sequence of very recent events went something like this...

Dig in cupboard for camp-stove. Cannot find. Probably in same place as camp-kettle. Remember self has a hob (lightbulb moment!). Crappy electric hob, admittedly, but a hob nonetheless.

Fill mess tin. Stick on hob. Turn on hob. Return to desk. Shortly thereafter, realise suspiciously chemical odour is wafting in from the kitchen.

Dash into kitchen, realise have turned on wrong hob-plate, which is engaged in gently melting the handle of my frying-pan. Meanwhile, water sits cold and forlorn in mess-tin.

Wonder briefly just how in hell I've actually survived the decade since I left home... :P

And finally...Mission Accomplished! XD
Saturday, October 31st, 2009 12:16 am (UTC)

You really were caffeine-deprived. Sounds like you needed that cuppa!
Saturday, October 31st, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC)
*chortles* Oh, dear! What a saga! :D This sounds like one of my days - so much energy spent on things that should have been easy, on the face of it.

I couldn't even reply to your post, I had to scan down through the comments and make sure you'd replied to some of them and were still alive, because there are far too many deaths every winter here in Maine from people trying to cook indoors on outdoor cooking apparatus. People don't realize camp stoves will suck up all the air in your house and leave you none to breath.
Sunday, November 1st, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
:sings Still Alive from Portal: Sometimes I don't think I should be trusted to live on my own. :P

And, oh, thanks for concern, and apologies for inadvertently panicking you! Using stuff like that in a well-ventilated area is one of the things which I do know somewhere in the back of my mind, but tend to forget :S , so I am glad you mentioned it (also helpful PSA to anyone reading this who wasn't aware).

Mess-tin on the electric hob it is, and new kettle tomorrer. :)
Friday, October 30th, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC)
Friday, October 30th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
:cracks up: Perfect portmanteau!

[Hah, portmanTEAu! XD ]
Saturday, October 31st, 2009 12:33 am (UTC)
(Sounds like the element has gone, alas poor kettle)

I hope you managed to get tea, I don't think I could go without a kettle. I sometimes look at the swanky kettles in the Argos catalogue and think "some day I'll own you." (The kettle that is, not Argos...)
Saturday, October 31st, 2009 12:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think you're right. Not worth fixing it, to be honest; it was a fairly cheap little thing, and I've had it over a year.

I did get my tea, though. Boiled up t'mess tin on the hhob (eventually!).

(The kettle that is, not Argos...)

Hey, think big... XD
Saturday, October 31st, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
No, this reminds me of the day a blade on my coffee grinder broke off mid-grind.

...And yeah, I used the beans anyway. The shrapnel will filter out, right? How else am I going to make it to the store to get a new one?


(and I boil pots of water if I'm making iced tea... it's at least a suitable backup?)
Sunday, November 1st, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
The shrapnel will filter out, right? How else am I going to make it to the store to get a new one?

Unassailable logic! Ah, we think alike. :D (You should see some of the stuff I smoke when I've run out of tobacco and am reduced to splintering apart my previous dog-ends for rolling afresh...I try not to think about it.)

Edited 2009-11-01 10:53 pm (UTC)
Monday, November 2nd, 2009 04:45 am (UTC)
That BLOWS....

My recommendation seems to be the same as your solution - saucepan, water in, heat up on the stove, five mins and Bob's your mother's brother.

Mmm, tea.

Monday, November 2nd, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
"Hancock. I've got lunatics laughing at me from the woods. My original plan has been scuppered now that the jeeps haven't arrived. My communications are completely broken down. Do you really believe any of that can be helped by a cup of tea?"

"Couldn't hurt, sir..."

I has a kettle now. It's a cheapy Wilko's one which will probably prove to have a lifespan that would make an adult mayfly's resemble Methuselah's by comparison, but I HAS A KETTLE, so let joy be unconfined.

Mess-tin-on-hob worked surprisingly well! Was actually a lot quicker. :D
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
A Bridge Too Far. Love it!:D