I was going to write something different tonight but that needs a bit more thought than I, post-quiz, post-Marathon #theArchers commentary tweetathon, am able to give. We came second tonight, by the way.

Here is a picture of my new coffee machine with which you might be familiar. (I posted it last night too, for those less eagle-eyed of you.)

We can use the coffee machine though. Red for Caffeinated beans; green for decaffeinated.

We can use the coffee machine though. Red for Caffeinated beans; green for decaffeinated.


Looks reasonably innocuous, doesn’t it? But already, ALREADY, I am developing a love/hate, co-dependent relationship with it. I love it not least because it is the first of the Unnecessary¬†but Desirable Gadgets of which I am Queen to be installed in the new kitchen. Which means I can play with it now.

It makes all sorts of hot beverages. No, not tea. But Latte; Latte macchiato; long coffee; espresso; cappuccino, hot water. All those. Two types of latte.That’s great isn’t it?

It IS a bit of a palaver, though. You press the button to switch it on and immediately it goes through a rinse cycle. Which is understandable and logical, except that it’s already been through a rinse cycle on being one-touch switched off. Then it might tell you to empty the drip tray, which it’s just filled during its latest rinse cycle.

Then, you are requested to fill the coffee bean drawer. Even though the coffee bean drawer might already be perfectly reasonably stocked with beans. It’s just checking though. And I’m learning that this is is less of a command than a sort of request. It could just as easily say “You have put the coffee beans in, dear, haven’t you?” Today, I worried that I hadn’t filled the dispenser with sufficient beans so, blood sugars low from a night’s sleep after a day’s fast, I tried to prise open the new (red) Guzzini canister for caffeinated beans. It’s new so it’s a bit stiff. Raffles watched me with his usual impassive gaze as finally the coffee beans cascaded out all over out new slate floor. Picking up the precious beans, I was Cinderella without all her birdies to help her.

When you’ve added the beans, the machine flashes up a message to remind you to fill up the water dispenser. Seems to me that if the thing didn’t spend so much of its damn time rinsing, I wouldn’t need to fill up the water dispenser so often but, hey, cleanliness is next to Godliness, and all that. So I obey.

Then I add the milk to the milk jug. It’s a bit clumsy the way the milk jug fits into its little slot: one millimetre out and one senses that the machine would have a panic attack so it’s worth the three or four attempts to slide the jug properly into its finely-calibrated housing slot. No matter. I’ll get used to it. Then the message flashes “CLEAN THE MILK DISPENSER IN THREE DAYS!” Tomorrow it will be “CLEAN THE MILK DISPENSER IN TWO DAYS!!” until Friday when, if I fail to do as I am bidden by by machine, it will figuratively cross its arms in front of it, in the manner of the French, the Chinese or the Indians, and refuse to serve me any milky coffee concoction until I comply. I have deleted a remark about it being in a union here. I know some of my readers have sensibilities.

And that’s just the milk dispenser. All in all, there are three sorts of cleaning concoctions and a brush and a little tube of silicon lube. It is tyranny, I tell you.

Damn machines: can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.