Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Today, we kicked out an old friend. This is a Sharp D6120 microwave oven. The interior light had failed, and replacing it would involve taking the casing off and grubbing about in the workings. I wouldn't have minded that, but we had a newer microwave, bought for the caravan but never used, and we decided to install that one and get rid of the old.
The Sharp pre-dated my involvement with Anna by a long way. She bought it in 1978, and it has been in constant use ever since. For a number of years, she did all the catering for a local yacht club, and took the oven in the back of her car every day during summer, to help with the preparation of meals for hordes of hungry sailors. It certainly saw some work. And, apart from the blown bulb, it has never failed.
It's quite a museum piece. It's very big and heavy, and the timer is a proper electro-mechanical device that ratchets when you turn it round, and does a nice 'ping' when the time is up. The 'ping' is a proper 'ping', too. Something hits something metallic and makes a 'ping'. It's not a bleep or a buzzer. It has seen internal fires, explosions and volcanic milk eruptions. It has never failed to do what it was asked. And now it's sitting in the trailer, waiting to go to the tip. I feel a bit guilty about this. I hate to throw away things that are in good working order. But we already had another one cluttering up another part of the house, and as new microwaves are cheap and easily available, I can't see anyone buying it or even taking it as a gift. It's old technology now - it doesn't do anything fancy, just heats things up for a specified time and then goes 'ping'. Who wants that these days?
It was bought just when microwaves were becoming popular, and cost a lot of money - Anna thinks it was between £200 and £250 in 1978. But it was obviously built to last. 32 years of service from any machine is good going: most cars would have been scrapped long before that.
I won't shed a tear when I take it to the tip later this week, but I will give it a small and unobtrusive salute.