Five reasons your kitchen timer is in the wrong room

Shocked by our latest gas bill, we decided to take drastic measures – it was time to shorten our showers.  A cheap digital kitchen timer serves as a useful device for our new challenge – to shower in four minutes or under.  This simple regime has already demonstrated benefits – including some unexpected ones…

 1. Save water

No surprises here – shorter showers mean less water used.  Good for the environment as well as for your water bill.

 2. Save gas

This was our main motivator – to reduce our gas bill.  Every extra minute in the shower is another minute of boiler power, heating up your morning waterfall.  Given that gas bills have doubled since 2002 and are predicted to rise by another 27% by 2020, the shower timer should lead to some significant savings.

3. Save time

Quicker showers means you save time.  You choose whether that’s extra minutes in bed, or extra minutes on your work flexi-sheet credit.

 4. Boost your energy levels

Okay, this one was unexpected.  But in order to finish your shower before the timer rings, you have to ‘gee yourself up’ and get moving, rather than mindlessly daydreaming in the bathroom.  Adjusting to a fast-moving pace stays with you for the rest of your morning routine, and we’ve found you start moving more quickly and purposely in getting dressed, eating breakfast and getting out of the house – and you start your day with more of a spring in your step.

5. The ‘sport’ factor

Yes, that’s right – its become a source of friendly competition in our household.  An unintended consequence of the shower timer has been a challenge to see who can take the quickest shower!  Perhaps we should spend the money we save on gas bills on a special prize for the winner…

So, there you have it – five reasons to move your kitchen timer to your bathroom.  And I didn’t even say “money down the drain” once (sorry).

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Is the world taking the piss?

Things annoy me.  Lots of things.  Most things.  Sometimes everything. I walk around in a perpetual state of irritation.  It’s like the world is taking the piss.

You know the kind of thing.  Your bed doesn’t quite fit the room and every time you walk around it your blood pressure spikes.   It’s not long before the bed and how it gets in your way is all you can think about.

Artwork by Josephine Scales

This bed ‘problem’ eats away at you.  It becomes an obsession.  You think about how wrong the bed is and how it ruins your room.  You hate the bed.   Until one morning when you’re innocently trying to find both of your work socks it occurs to you that if said bed was just 6 inches shorter it would fit the room better.   Your bedroom would be perfect.  Suddenly there it was, the way to happiness. You grasp it with all the strength you have.

Once the dream’s got hold of you you’re helpless.  If the bed fit the room better you could start and end the day in a haven of correct proportions.  You could walk around the bed in space that you have created.   You might even find a spot for a small chair where you could sit and quietly read.  What fool wouldn’t chase such aspirations?

Because you are no feckless dreamer, a feasibility study must be made and plans drafted.  You examine the bed closely to establish the exact nature of its’ construction.  You measure and re-measure.   You draw up mental lists of the tools required and the necessary steps to be taken.  Once you have assured yourself the plan is viable you are ready.

I suppose it might have been polite to tell the other occupant of the bed what I was doing, but it hardly seemed necessary.  Of course they will be pleased, delighted even with the positive change I’m bringing into their life.  Besides, in my experience it’s best not to give other peoples lack of faith and vision a chance to interfere with a good plan. What if you fuck up completely?  What if you destroy the bed?  Don’t internalise it.   While you are striving for the perfect world others imagine devastation.  If you take it to heart you’d sit on your arse most of your life.

As it was, I was discovered mid project, with bed bits, chopped up bed bits, tools, and dust everywhere. I was using a kitchen chair as my sawhorse while I removed the last 6 inch section.  Trying to remember what St Johns Ambulance taught me about treating shock all I could say was ‘Don’t worry, it’s not finished’.   My explanation wasn’t satisfactory, the reply was confused, ‘you’re cutting the end off the bed, chopping it down 6 inches and then sticking the legs back on?’.  ‘Yes’ I said ‘so that it fits the room better’.  The idea was ludicrous but made perfect sense and it was too late to stop now.

You’d never know the bed had had major surgery and it does fit the room better.  The joy I got walking around it, admiring my work was immeasurable.   Sometimes I did a little skip round just because I could.  And I was happy, truly happy, for 2 weeks at least.  It’s the kitchen doors you see, if only they weren’t grey, I can’t stand them.  Every time I look at them I think how much happier I would be if they were different.

Welcome to MixedPickle

Hello there. This is MixedPickle, a collaborative blog run by a group of friends in Liverpool, UK.
We’re a mixed bunch, hence the site name, and hopefully the content we post will be equally varied. The authors will introduce themselves slowly but surely, and I hope you’ll like what we have to share 🙂