Saturday, August 11, 2007

Childhood Confession #30

The electric kettle of my childhood lasted until I left home and it went for a good bit longer. I can't recall if it was Sunbeam or another brand. It was slow to heat the water but it was an attractive appliance. My mother would polish it up once a week. Nothing like a shiny chrome appliance.

I just had to clean our plastic kettle. It was disgusting and had not been cleaned for months. Household management has decreed that it does not suit a smart apartment and a new one is required and for once I readily agreed to such overt consumerism. Bugger the poor, I want a new stylish kettle.

When no one was around, my brother and I used to find it quite amusing to put the kettle of our childhood on without water. After a minute or so, the plug of the kettle would fly out of the socket with quite some force. Should this not have happened, the element would have burnt through the base of the kettle and perhaps the kitchen bench too and possibly start a fire.

My grandparents had the same brand and style of kettle and my brother and I discovered that it was made in two parts. How you may wonder? Well we tried the same method of plug ejection on our grandparents kettle, but its heat protection was much less sensitive. After the plug did not eject, we just turned it off and left it.

Soon enough my grandmother filled it with water to make a cup of Robur's finest and she called out that the kettle had sprung a leak. We looked around in astonishment. How could that have happened?

It would seem that the kettle without water in it had gotten so hot when we were trying to get it to eject the plug, the solder has melted where the kettle was joined half way up its side.

"That is sad grandma. It has worn out. We will buy a new one for you for your birthday". Not sure how we planned to pay for it, but it was a kind and generous thought.


  1. My electrical appliance (Hush your mouth Coppertop, I know zackly what you're thinking and you should be ashamed of y'self you ole biddy!) story relates to the iconic Birko.

    I had one in my study at Uni college. Was essential for preparation of the nightly Ovaltine/Milo/Horlicks/Gluhwein.

    Design flaw of the late 60s Birko?

    They were manufactured long before the all-singing, all-dancing all-protective thermostat was invented by Thomas Edison-Marconi.

    Meself nods off to sleep after imbibing the soporific Horlicks (followed the serious imbibing of Stones Green ginger Wine far as I can dismember after all these decades) quite forgetting to turn the shiny stainless steel beast off.

    Can't say that I've ever come to appreciate the smell of burning laminex in the morning.

  2. Andrew

    One word - wicked!



  3. Thanks for the early morning laugh! (Will assume that given the long life of yours that you did not try the experiment on it.)

    My kettle is shiny chrome and is quite lovely.

  4. M'lord, I believe Birkos are also made in two parts with a spring like element wrapped around them between layers. Btw, did you save a bottle, empty of course, of Stones?

    Thank you Pants, you are too kind. Of course I only talk about the acceptable wicked things.

    Alessi look alike is it Daisy Jo? I am sure it is very nice and almost looks like the real thing. Sorry, don't quite get the bracketed comment. I expect it will come to me at 2am.

  5. Childhood appliance: Ice Cream Maker
    Location: Unknown
    Usage: Perhaps once or twice

    We are talking about two decades ago, but the icecream that was produced by this contraption was the stuff dreams are made of. It wasn't anything fancy, just one of those damn good machines you grew up with but have now been replaced by Chinese made knock-offs that won't last two seasons. God, I even remember the red and white stripes on the box! I wish I knew what happened to it...

  6. What's wrong with thinking about your electric golf buggy, Sedgers?

  7. ... full of woods, irons and niblicks.

  8. Oh nooo, do you feel guilty? Haha, too funny, the experiments we performed as kids.
    My memories of good appliances was the good old chrome toaster with the pull down sides. It got hot as all buggery and you had to handle the pulling down of the sides to turn the bread over and toast the other side with caution. That toaster lastet all of my childhood. Much better than the appliances of nowadays..chuck aways after 5 years!

  9. I don't really feel guilty Cazzie, as I was accused of putting something in the oven that melted. I didn't do it!

  10. There's no way I'll niblick your wood M'Lord.

  11. I am wondering what a niblick is I was a little alarmed to learn that they or it could be detached and stored in an electric golf buggy.