I'm not a great believer in labour-saving devices. I evicted my husband's microwave when I moved into the vicarage. I rely on the remaining intact pages of my road map rather than entrust myself to a satnav. I've never owned a tumble-dryer and I would be clueless about loading a dishwasher. There are, in my view, few domestic challenges that can't be overcome by a dustpan and brush and a pair of Marigolds.
I am, however, thrilled with my dual-function washing machine: whenever it drains a cycle, it washes the kitchen floor. Muddy paw prints and cemented cornflakes no longer crust my vinyl. Desiccated peas have been washed out from under the fridge and the mysterious scabs round the cooker feet have been dissolved by Fairy non-biological.
Admittedly there are drawbacks. Lately the machine's thoroughness has turned the kitchen into a boating lake. Yesterday's copy of The Guardian is no longer adequate defence. I've had to restrict my laundering to Mondays when the Vicar has finished with his Church Times and the Sunday supplements are to hand.
But the plus points far outweigh the inconveniences. No longer does the spin dry carve creases into the family cottons. And garments outgrown by the children stretch to fit as they sag soaked on the airer.
A replacement appliance arrives next week. The Vicar, weary of wellies at breakfast, insisted. But I am grieved. I'm still wary of mod cons, but I've had a fortnight freed from unloved chores and it was a heady feeling. Now I've got to remind myself where I keep my floor mop.
What's your favourite mod con?
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