This is a piece about first world problems. There is nothing deep and meaningful here. Sorry.

Last week I took delivery of a new dishwasher. Those of you who count yourselves amongst my oldest and most loyal readers will know from a blog entry back in the depths of time (well Summer 2015) that my old dishwasher was, well, pants. If I could be bothered to trawl through my old posts I would give you a link here for those that are keen. Or at least keener than me. But I am not. Bothered that is.

We inherited this dishwasher from the previous owners of the house. Along with dodgy electrics and a leaking downstairs loo. A couple of viewings and a survey are never enough are they? To fully identify all those little ‘quirks’.

Anyhoo it has never worked. Quite how bad it was has only really become apparent since I took delivery of my new dishwasher.

I bought it from a local Euronics dealer which my children call ‘the plug shop’ as it has a giant smiling plug on the roof, which lights up at Christmas and is joined during the festive period by a blow up snowman and Santa. As such I already liked this shop before I even set foot in it. I like shopping local. And independent. And they were happy to provide a man called Steve to fit the dishwasher in for me. There was no way I was going to rock up at some appliance superstore and buy one to fit myself. No siree. We don’t do things like that here. I will plumb in washing machines if I must. But I draw the line at integrated appliances .

It being an independent retailer the brands on offer included some I had never heard of. I was still in mourning for my Miele dishwasher which I left behind at my old house in favour of my current piece of built in crap. But they didn’t sell those. The salesman said he had something almost as good. At around half the price. And it had a cutlery tray. One of those things that makes life easier. Is there anything more horrible than trying to drop food encrusted cutlery handle down into a cutlery basket? Well is there?

I had never heard of the make- Blomberg. I have heard of Bloomberg and was momentarily confused until I spotted the missing ‘o’. The company is apparently German. Always a good start. I know, I know I should buy British. But really one cannot beat a German appliance. Plus it came with a 5 year guarantee as these missing ‘o’ people are so confident in the durability of their product. They haven’t met my kids yet.

We went for it. I balked at waiting 3 weeks for the lovely Steve to be free to fit it. Until husband pointed out that we had been living with ‘top basket falls out when pulled, smells constantly of curry, moves dirt from plates onto glasses, sounds louder than a Jumbo jet’ for over a year. Fair point.

Anyway Steve over delivered and turned up 3 days early. I could have kissed him. But that would have been a bit ’50 Shades’ and also embarrassing if I had to call on that missing ‘o’ 5 year guarantee. I could just imagine all the chaps in the shop laughing over him having to return to ‘so excited about getting a new dishwasher three days early she kissed him’ woman. So I restrained myself.

It was a good idea I did get this lovely chap (and he was quite lovely) to sort the fitting for me as as soon as he tried to remove the old dishwasher things started to get a bit hairy. In such a way as the ‘cupboard’ door it was attached to was ‘not right’. The side panel of the end run of my units was actually glued to the side of the old dishwasher. The cupboard next door was a bit rotten and so had extra longs screws holding on the hinge which would have scratched my new lovely dishwasher and needed replacing. With a bolt. Etc. God I hate this kitchen.

Steve was not happy with the outcome of his fitting. The door levels are uneven. I have no side panel anymore. The kick thingy doesn’t stay on very well. I couldn’t care less. The new dishwasher is awesome. It easily rivals my Miele. It has passed the ‘porridge stuck to bowls left in it all day’ test. It has passed the ‘mashed potato’ test. It has even passed the ‘reheated macaroni cheese dish’ test. My glasses sparkle. It has reduced the amount of hand washing-up exponentially.

It has really made my life easier. And more joyful. I actually look forward to opening up the door, once the little red light projected onto the floor has gone out signalling the end of the (very long) wash cycle, to discover how it has tackled my latest challenge. And, yes, I love that light. It is so cool.

This got me pondering on other things I have discovered that make my life easier, more joyful, better. So here you are. In case you are interested.

  • Baking parchment circles. Before I discovered these little circles of loveliness, and once I had returned them to the store and exchanged the 9 inch ones for 7 inch ones, who said men are the only ones who over estimate size?, cutting out rounds of baking parchment to line cake tins was my least favourite baking step. No more! I merely smear my insides liberally with Stork and pop in one of these beauties and get onto mixing. Genius.
  • Not ironing. Nothing is ironed in this house. Well that is not strictly true. Husband occasionally irons something. I have been known to iron a Beaver Scout necker before life got too hectic to care about the state of one’s scouting children’s neck ware. But generally nothing is ironed. I hate ironing. It hurts my arm. I send out my husband’s shirts to a lady who does like ironing , for cash (my god that makes me sound SOOO middle class, but hey I am so there) and everything else is merely hung up straight from the washing machine to dry. No one ever comments that I or my children look unkempt. Maybe we do but if no one says it what do I care? Life is quite honestly too short.
  • Cutting chicken breasts with scissors- I know it sounds nuts. This was my little brother’s idea passed on to me via my mum. Cutting up chicken breasts, to make a curry or some such delectable dish that at least two of my family will love and two will declare inedible, with a knife is a ball ache. Well not actually, as I don’t possess testes, but you know what I mean. It could have something to do with the sharpness or otherwise of my knives, but even so. Bro suggested using scissors instead. It has revolutionised my life. Again not quite but it certainly makes butchering more bearable.
  • Avoiding moving dust- you can’t see it unless you move it. Or the light is unkind. As it is when it shines on my (annoyingly badly installed) kitchen black granite worktops. But in dimly lit spaces unmoved dust is virtually invisible. Giving me back hours of my life.
  • Delay timed washing machines- I love my Miele washing machine which I consoled myself with when I had to leave my Miele dishwasher behind and my old Bosch died in the move. It has a delay timer. As do a lot of models. And so every morning I wake to a drum full of freshly washed laundry ready for the line. Simples.

So there you have it. Some solutions to my first world problems. Try some if you like. Especially the no ironing one. Go on I dare you. Or at least stop it with the underwear already. OK?