The toll so far is:
- one of my old hi-fi speakers died a little - or at least one woofer did. A little investigation confirmed that it was too awkward to replace so we bought new speakers. No big deal.
- Our old TV (cathode ray tube job, not flat screen) began giving us clear indications that it was in its death throes. Brightness adjusting itself at random intervals, whole set turning itself off and on for no apparent reason and with no human intervention. We sighed and ordered a new TV. A big, shiny flat screen one (can't have it being shown up by the new speakers now, can we?). It is very nice and we are very happy with it.
- After New Year I tried to start up one of our cars. It wouldn't start. Flat battery - not surprising since we had allowed it to cower in our driveway, shivering and unused, for over a fortnight. After the purchase of a new toolkit (to get the old battery out after hours of trying) and the loan of a battery charger, the battery is declared dead. New battery duly purchased.
- During the whole trying-to-recharge-dead-battery process, Husband phoned from work to say that our other car (which he had at work) was beeping loudly at him and claiming to have run out of brake fluid. Also, we discovered when we tried to take the boys to school that of the two back doors, one would not open at all and the other one would open but then not shut again. (I suppose this meant that, on average, our car was operating fine but it was a bit useless as an actual mode of transport.) One visit to the garage and a leak in the braking system was found and fixed and one of the two doors fixed. We are still waiting for the bill for that one.
- The dishwasher has had a bit of a flaky and is now refusing to run unless we tape the door firmly shut with electrical tape. And the spring that holds the door has broken so you have to lower it carefully down by hand otherwise it bounces off the floor with a thwack. I suspect a new dishwasher is in the offing.
- The DVD recorder took the huff and refused to release a DVD RAM, regardless of how much we begged. Husband had to dismantle the entire machine to get to the DVD drive and prise the disc from its jaws. This involved covering the living room floor with an array of yogurt pots, each containing different kinds of teeny tiny screws, carefully labelled, so that Husband would have an outside chance of being able to put it all back together again. (He did, for he is a unique mixture of handy and thrawn. Useful to have around.)
- The bulb in the light in the microwave has died. I can live with this.
PS On 3rd January, I noted with horror that Sainsbury's are already selling hot cross buns. Words fail me.