I'm sitting in my home office and surveying the scenery.
A radio controlled racing car with three wheels – but this is no pit stop. It's been there for six weeks.
A deflated England football (well, that's how we all feel).
A small person's chair with three legs.
Three watches and a clock that the land of time forgot.
Two PCs and a Mac that may or may not have gone to meet their silicon maker.
An iPod with its back off, a headless Spiderman, a necklace (don't ask about making ends meet), two torches (they make excellent paperweights), headphones with one ear pad and a video camera with its tape trapped and doomed. Doomed, I tell you.
There's much, much more in drawers and boxes, but you get the picture. The family bring in an endless succession of broken things. My twin boys are especially adept at finding every weak link in every toy and testing them to destruction. And top end consumer electronics, jewellery and even kitchen utensils seem to be made of less stern stuff these days.
But my track record is not that bad. I estimate that one in 10 are returned to active duty within an hour. What they don't know is that seemingly complex repair was often a ten second job – a hidden reset button here, a loose wire there.
So – that buys an hour of peace for me in the office reading the paper and playing Internet chess. So bring in your dead stuff I say – but do read the disclaimer on the door– Bob the Builder and Jim'll Fix It work down the road.