I am not going to lie to you, I am not renowned for being a domestic goddess. I am a spray the Pledge and dim the lights down kind of lady when it comes to cleaning. But I do have a love affair with my Hoover, as I have a hatred of play doh infested carpets, and I do adore my toaster in a way that others may describe as odd.
Toast has been a stable diet of mine since university days, and I have had my beloved toaster that long. It joined me in my final year and we have not been apart since. I have made many a nutritious meal as a result of that toaster; it has been the back up to my beans, the crunch for my soup and the first thing I run to after a night out of the tiles.
My toaster makes perfect toast.
But last year, there was an incident.
Prepare yourself, because this is not a happy tale. If you need a second to grab some tissues then please do, I will wait for you. I warn you, this story contains, pain, anguish, and a fatality.
Are we ready?
It was a warm August day in 2012, and I had spent the day playing lovingly with my children whilst fielding calls from the office. We had played in the paddling pool, chuckling as we threw water drops over each other, basking in the rare heat of the UK summer. My Blackberry buzzed rapidly on the garden furniture and I longed to be able to turn it off but knew the volume of messages and emails later would overwhelm me.
The curse of the work from home mum.
Midday came around and little tummies started to rumble and I thought of my saviour - just waiting in the kitchen to pop out some crusty wholemeal toast to go with our eggs for lunch. I told the children I was heading in to make a nutritious meal for them (I repeat, wholemeal toast) and I headed in.
Just then the Blackberry rang, it was an urgent call from an urgent client. I spoke briefly, explained I would call back when out of ear shot of the children, and I promised I would do so within the hour.
It was an important client, one not to be ignored.
But like most parents who work, I have a memory that has holes in it and it was almost 60 minutes on, after the children had consumed burnt toast with eggs and I was clearing the smog in the kitchen that suddenly I cried,
"Argh, client, call."
I scrambled for my Blackberry which had been curiously quiet for the last hour.
It was at that moment I discovered the Blackberry was missing.
I called to the children and we embarked on a search and recover mission. The children declared the sand pit Blackberry free, I hunted through the overgrown vegetable patch and found only raspberries, and I started to flap.
My palms were sweaty, my nerves overwrought, my Blackberry is my main contact to the world and without it I am nothing.
(I am known to be dramatic.)
Hours past and the phone remained gone; I lost all sense of rational and blamed all of my children in turn. I sobbed and wailed at the loss of a client, and tried desperately to remember if I had backed up my contacts.
The day had gone from being a sun filled play date to a disaster zone.
Then suddenly I had a moment, a heart stoppingly distressing moment, and my gaze turned towards my faithful friend, the maker of meals; the toaster.
It looked at me with innocence, the chrome finish swore it hadn't done anything, but I saw the lie reflecting from its surface.
I slowly approached the kitchen counter, accusations sitting on my lips. I flipped the button that pops out the bread and heard a clunk that didn't resonate with any form of toasting. My fear intensified as I peered inside my old friend.
After years of consuming bread, Pitta, and the occasional bagel, the toaster had finally retaliated and had screamed out for one of its five a day, and had mistaken my Blackberry for fruit.
The toaster survived, it even coped with my shouts of horror, but the Blackberry, my beloved Blackberry didn't live to make another call.
Our relationship has never been the same since.
Jane is a working Mum of three and has great hair. One of these things may not be true.
Blogs at: Northern Mum