And the Winner is …

A Celebration of All Things Ordinary

It looks like this hellish year of lockdowns is finally coming to an end (crosses fingers, toes and eyes) and as we take our first tentative steps back into a world larger than our four walls, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate some of the things within our homes that have made the last year bearable.

Yes, I am holding an awards ceremony for things in my house (Shush. It’s been a dull year – let me celebrate)

The first category I’d like to introduce is:

Most Hard-Working White Goods

This was a difficult category because every appliance has taken a battering over the last year. But after much deliberation, the winner is – the fridge, or more specifically the fridge door.

The fridge has always had to work hard in this house since two of us work from home, but with four people around, not only has the fridge door been opened for the usual meal-based activities, it’s become a full-on procrastination tool, verging on a hobby for every member of the household.

It’s become so ingrained that I can’t imagine a time where we will walk past the fridge door without opening it and looking inside. Well done, fridge door, you’ve done us proud.

Most Divisive Household Item

This was a no-brainer: The dishwasher wins, hands down.

The dishwasher may have been invented to reduce housework, but what it’s gained in womanhours (let’s not argue that point), it’s lost in household harmony.

There are two sets of noises I associate with the opening of the dishwasher when it is full and clean:

  1. The very quiet click of the front being opened, then the muted clack of it being pushed closed and feet padding away.
  2. The disappointed expulsion of breath when it is opened and I am in the vicinity, so the opener knows they have to empty it.

Don’t get me started on the people who leave dirty crockery on the counter above the dishwasher. It’s a miracle they’re coming out of lockdown alive.

Best Newcomer

Who’d have thought that a toastie maker could bring such joy?

Admittedly this item almost didn’t make it into any category since, soon after I bought it, I hid it in the garage and pretended I’d thrown it away (Perfectly acceptable behaviour since nobody ever cleaned the melted cheese off it). But when they found my hiding place and discovered the detachable plates could go in the dishwasher, it became a lunchtime saviour.

Even if my house always smells of burnt cheddar.

Underperformer

This was a toss-up between two strong contenders.

The first is the bath. Some members of the family have gone feral – the youngest may need sandblasting before she goes back to school.

But I can’t, in good conscience, award this prize to the bath because the time I used to spend doing the school run, I now spend submerged and listening to an audiobook. Sorry, my porcelain enamelled friend, you do not win.

The award goes to: The hair straighteners. I might be clean, but groomed? No siree.

Best Value Entertainment

Another hotly contested field. The television was in the running, but when I added up the subscriptions to streaming packages, I realised I needed to pawn the children to fund our viewing habits.

The worthy winner is: The kindle. Where else can you be immersed in a different world for a good ten hours for 99p? Every book is a boon and a bargain.

Most Highly Anticipated

The winner in this category has languished in the back of a drawer, slowly going out of date … but there’s a hope that it might be brought into the light again this year after all.

All hail The Passport! May you never be so badly neglected again!

Special Mentions

Every so often, I have ventured out of these four walls and into the strange, still world for a walk. Walking has become as crucial to the wellbeing of the British people as a cup of tea and a nice sit down.

I’ll tell you what else is crucial – Public toilets. In pre-lockdown days, I’d stop at a café or a bar for a drink, loo break, then be on my way. These days, a walk is just a walk and if you’re crossing your legs for the last half, it loses all relaxing benefits.

That’s why I’m giving a special mention to the Toilet Map App. One tap and a public toilet is pinned on your screen and easy to find. Believe me, for a middle-aged woman, this is life changing.

One last special mention. This one needs no explanation.

Ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses to the 2020 rising star of households everywhere … drumroll …

The corkscrew.

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