Who would have thought that UK appliances could be different enough to drive a person crazy.

To begin with, all power outlets and appliances in the UK have an on/off switch on the outlet itself. No big deal. Well, when we moved in the switches for the dish washer and stove were off. Makes some sense, it saves energy.

Fired up the dish washer, all works okay. However a small red light comes on under the word “salt”. Salt? huh? It’s all Bosch appliances by the way. Well, after asking the neighbor it turns out that the dish washers have a built in water softening function and it requires non iodized salt. Who knew? There is actually a small container in the bottom of the washer for salt.

 We have a double oven. Top is smaller, bottom is a convection oven with the fan. Figured out how to make the top section work, yet the bottom section wouldn’t even turn on. Darn, broken stove. Three days later we discover that the bottom oven won’t even turn on if the time isn’t set. Huh?? Yep, sure enough, set the clock on the stove and suddenly the darn bottom oven starts to work. Go figure.

 Now it’s washing machine time. When we leased the house the advert said there was a washer/dryer. Well, there was a hole where the washer/dryer used to be. So, £375 later we have a washer/dryer combo machine. There is no hole to vent a dryer and we can’t just cut a hole, so we end up with a washer/dryer that has a condensor built in. No venting required. By the way, hanging your laundry out to dry is still very common here.  Back to our washer, it’s a front load system that gets delivered on Saturday. We paid the extra £10 to have it installed so it wouldn’t be a problem. We’re not that lucky. The delivery guys show up on Saturday, drag it into the laundry room, plug in the water, then say, “We’re done, you don’t have the correct under sink attachment for the drain. Bye” So, off to the hardware store I go. Nothing is the same as what I have under the sink, I end up getting the whole S trap assembly with the appliance funnel attachment, cross my fingers and head home. After some messing around, success, it’s attached. We start our first load of laundry in our new house.

We spend 30 minutes trying to figure out how to start a wash and dry cycle. By the way, the universal symbols they use, they make NO sense at all. There are 3 dials, 6 buttons, and god knows what else on this thing. We had to read the manual just to get an idea of how to start a load of laundry, let alone do it correctly. We finally figure it out enough to start a load. 10 minutes later the washer is flashing an error code that says call technical support. It’s now 9pm on a Saturday. Grrrrrr…. Out of box failure. I’m not a happy camper. I say screw it and go to bed while Roberta keeps messing with it.

1am. I’m awake again and irritated. I decide to take the back off of our new washer to figure out what the heck is wrong. I grab a beer and go to work. I know at this point it’s not draining. I pull the hose, drag the washer out and take the back off. Suddenly water is on the floor. What the hay? I put the back back on, put the drain hose into the sink and fire up a drain cycle. SUCCESS! Well, that was interesting. I put it all back in the hole, reattach the drain hose to the pipe and fire off a drain cycle. Error, error, error. What the hell?!?!?! I pull the hose and check the connections. I then find that there is a plug in the drain side of the appliance adapter. Grrrrrr!!!! I cut the end off the adapter, reattach the hose, and Voila! A working washing machine, and it only takes about 3-4 hours per load to wash and dry. Minor detail. (-; It works.

Well, that’s saga of the appliances. We’ll get into the cars, driving, phone, mobile phones, stores, parking, eating, etc, later.