Craft fairs are good fun and very good for self marketing and a bit of local publicity, so I do one or two per month throughout the Summer. I do find them quite exhausting to do though, starting at about 6 o'clock by taking the dogs out, then getting ready and driving over there and setting up my stall. Then spending all day chatting to people, answering questions, explaining techniques and hopefully selling a few prints, occasionally even the odd original picture. But what with my rheumatoid arthritis and a few other physical problems taking their toll the older I get, I'm always knackered when I return home.
A regular fair I do is in Southwold and I returned home Saturday evening after the three days as usual totally drained. I can't just put my feet up though, first there is the van to unload and my stuff to be sorted and stored away. Then I have my two lively canine friends who, having been stuck indoors all day are wanting a good romp on the beach. So after that I get home about seven in the evening ravenous as well as tired.
Jenny has been kind enough to cook my tea and it's sitting on a plate in the microwave, ready for heating up.
Mmmmmm sausages.....my favourite.....can't wait.
Set the timer, press the button wait a couple of minutes....DING! I'm salivating I am.
Press it a bit harder.....still nothing.
Pause to get my brain in gear, what am I doing wrong? Nope...it should open OK. Perhaps if I give it another blast the door will reset and open? DING!.....still nothing.
Now I find myself pleading with the microwave to release my sausages...I promise it a good clean afterwards if it will just co-operate......Nope!....still no joy. (I suppose I would have been a bit shocked if it had actually started to negotiate with me)
Okay. What to do. Probably something has become lodged in the door catch mechanism so I give it a good thump with my fist.....Nope! Still no joy.
Optimistically I get my trusty screw driver out and begin prising at the door as I repeatedly press the door switch. Harder..harder...faster...faster...thump!....thump!....Nope! No joy. There's a three pound lump hammer in my tool box....I know that'll do the job but I fight off the urge to smash my way in.
Okay I'm going to have to take the thing apart. It's a fitted one so I have to remove the trim around the aperture and lift the bastard out. Hmmmm. The cable isn't very long....put it back, drag the kitchen table over....lift it out again and place it on the table.
Right, how does it come apart..... Power off....several screws later the outer cowling is still firmly in place. No amount of pulling and banging will remove the thing, there's obviously another bugger underneath. No problem, I flip the bloody machine on it's back to get at it (completely forgetting my poor innocent sausages trapped inside)
Crash! That'll be the plate smashed then. I swear the microwave is laughing at me.
Never mind, perseverance is my middle name.....I finally get the cowling off the sodding thing to reveal the internal workings. It's like something from NAASA in there, an unbelievable array of wires, coils and general electrical jiggery pokery. The bit I need to look at is hiding behind more framework which I swiftly remove. I can see there is a plastic linkage which operates when the door button is pushed and disappears into the guts of the machine to activate a micro-switch which in turn will open the bloody door. But my linkage is hanging loosely down and is obviously busted. So I try to remove it to see if I can bodge up some sort of repair. That ain't going to happen easily. Part of it comes out, the rest is screwed and fixed behind yet more framework and complicated circuit boards which of course I have to remove. My kitchen table by now is looking something like a formula one pit with bits of metal, screws, wires and tools everywhere.
With the afore mentioned plastic linkage laid out on the table I can see it's beyond repair, I'm going to have to get all new bits if I can find them online. Meanwhile I'm desperate to release my sausages, I don't care if it's now laced with broken china.............
I JUST WANT MY SAUSAGES!
My next idea is that if I plug the stubborn, infernal, bastard machine back in I should be able to trip the micro-switch which in turn will activate the door mechanism and release my bloody dinner.
Power on....BANG! That'll be the house main fuse blown then.
Hmmm....power off again, fix the fuse.....pick up the microwave and hurl it to the top of the garden. That makes me feel a lot better.
Two days later, it's still out there. The dogs have tried to get in it, just about every creature in the neighbourhood I should imagine has tried to get in it.
It's going to the council tip later today and I've ordered a new microwave to replace it.
So, there go my profits from the craft fair.