Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Latch Won't Unlatch

Well, yesterday turned out to be better than I expected, weather-wise. It rained in the morning -- in fact, we had pea-sized hail, twice -- but by afternoon it was intermittently sunny and I even got to take Olga to the cemetery.

On one of our walks we passed this little shop, above. It's on the high street right near the tube station. It's a mysterious little place that's been there for years. I can't believe it makes a profit, but maybe it does -- or maybe the owner has a really good deal on the rent.

I tried to do laundry yesterday morning, threw in a load of t-shirts and random white items, and then, when the wash cycle ended, I couldn't get the machine open! It's a front-loading washer/dryer combo, and when that door is latched, it is seriously secure. I watched videos on YouTube and tried to figure out a way to get it open, even having Dave tip it at an angle so I could reach up inside and manipulate the latch with my fingers. (Obviously, we'd unplugged the machine.) Nothing worked.

We wound up calling a repairman. He'll be here this afternoon. Meanwhile, our t-shirts are stuck in damp limbo.

Another high street trash find. The two Charlies?

Last night Dave and I had our friends Gordon and Donna over for dinner. Dave made beef Wellington and potatoes duchesse, and a celeriac soup with truffles. There were going to be carrots too, but they were left unattended while we ate the soup and let's just say they got a bit overdone. (As in, charred.) We had a good laugh making the potatoes -- they're basically potato mash squeezed through a pastry tube, and you've gotta be careful about your technique or you wind up with something that looks like what Olga leaves in the back garden. I think ultimately Dave thought they were more trouble than they were worth. Plain ol' baked potatoes might have been better.


  1. The high street trash find sent a chill through my bones as Charles Peace was a famous Victorian ne'er do well. He murdered a man named Dyson in an alleyway that is a hundred yards from this house. Peace was hanged in 1879.

  2. Potatoes duchess sounds like a lot of work for mashed potatoes. Glad you were able to get out for a walk.

  3. I think you should visit that shop and see what's going on in there. Maybe get your cards read, or your palm. Buy a candle scented like lavender and patchouli, perhaps a healing crystal or a pretty prism to hang from a window to make rainbows. Take pictures. Report back!
    Wait. I've just googled it. It would appear that some believe the shop owner is racist. Hmmm....
    Other than that though, they get great reviews!

  4. squeezing mashed potatoes through a pastry tube does sound like more work than it's worth. our last cold spell is done. everyone thinks that that was the last freeze of the year.

  5. So how many nasty words wee used when the washer door wouldn't open? I hope there's not much wrong with your washer.

  6. Interesting about your washer door not opening. My sister's freezer door has frozen shut. I think our appliances are in revolt these days. I hope the repair man can get that door open and those damp t-shirts get into the dryer.

  7. My husband found a really tasty (and decadent) recipe online for baked potatoes. I've posted it on my recipe blog:
    It's become a favourite around here. I don't always use that much butter, mind you, but the first time you try it, I would!

  8. My sympathies to Dave. Sometimes those fancy recipes are just a pain. Judy made a beef stew in the slow cooker yesterday. We'll eat some of it today some time. It smells heavenly.

  9. What an elegant dinner you had even without the carrots. It sounds wonderful. Glad to hear you were able to get out for a walk yesterday. However, too bad about the washer door. I can't imagine what could be wrong with it. It will be interesting to hear once you get it fixed.
    I posted a comment on my blog about the age of that building. It was built in 1928.

  10. Your efforts to open the door remind me of a favorite scene in a book:
    the characters in "Three Men in a Boat" trying to open a tin of pineapple without an opener. They resort to bludgeoning it with a boat oar...

    Good luck!

  11. Bummer about the washer door. I would have been tempted to reset it, or even run another wash on "small" or however your washer defines "least water", to see if it would open after that.

    Or maybe not. If it's a programming problem, something more dire might happen!

    I'm picturing your mashed potatoes and thinking of the "nailed it" memes!!


  12. Sorry about your washer door. Please tell me what the repair person does in case I have that problem here. That mash isn't a good image to have in one's head. Hope the potatoes tasted okay.

  13. I was going to suggest the same thing that Jenny did. Ours is finicky sometimes too.

  14. What a good idea, A dinner squeezed through a pastry sock to make Olga inspired plops on a plate! That would be such a fun party.

  15. Your dinner party sounds delightful. I noticed you didn't mention cocktails...
    Sounds like the door lock on your washer has slipped a cog. I'm not opening my door, either. Hopefully the repairman won't soak you on the bill.
    I have been following the weather in your part of the world. It looks really bad. I hope you and Dave and Olga are staying safe.

  16. YP: A hundred yards from YOUR house? I had no idea your neighborhood was so bad! LOL

    Lilycedar: Well, exactly. Plain ol' mash would have been better.

    Ms Moon: OK, I admire the fact that you searched out their Google reviews! I'm not very interested in Tarot so I think I'll leave that place alone. I like the moon & stars theme, though.

    Ellen: Fingers crossed! I think we've had our last one, too.

    Red: Ha! Several! It's not a huge problem -- just the latch on the door.

    Robin: It's like that Stephen King short story where the cars take over!

    Kate: Parmesan on a baked potato sounds awesome! I'll check it out!

    Catalyst: I really feel like the simpler the better when it comes to cooking.

    Sharon: I had a feeling it was a '20s building!

    Fresca: Ha! If we'd had a boat oar, we'd have tried that.

    Jenny-O: We tried that, actually. We ran another spin cycle. But it didn't work. Turns out the mechanism of the latch was broken.

    E: It looks like it's just a matter of replacing part of the latch.

    Bug: Didn't work!

    Linda Sue: Ha! We could have the guests squeeze their own pastry tubes! Interactive food!

    Penelope: Well, we certainly HAD cocktails! The latch is operated by a handle, which is attached to a spring and a plastic piece that pulls back the metal latch. The plastic piece broke.

  17. Sorry about the problems with the washer. Sometimes I've forgotten that something was cooking and ended up with a panful of "gosh knows what!" Obviously, not edible. I don't really do fancy cooking. Baked or normally mashed potatoes is just fine with me. I love love that little store. I could spend hours poking around in there. You could just plop it in my neighborhood and I'd be a very happy camper. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.