With a traditional toaster, there's pleasure in the process.

With a traditional toaster, there’s pleasure in the process.

Photo: Glen Hunt

I spend most of my morning these days trying to make a cup of tea. Sometimes I even get the tea bag into the mug. But before I can finish, something happens – my husband can’t find his shoes; my daughter spills her cereal; the dog, busting to go to the toilet, eats a doll house family member out of sheer frustration (turning his vengeance in particular on mini-Dad, who no longer has a right arm, but does have his shoes).

So when I saw on sale on a kettle that keeps the water warm for half an hour, with a matching toaster, I indulged. And in doing so, I unwittingly killed off yet another of the simple kinetic pleasures in my life.

The toaster is electronic. Instead of savouring the working of my index finger muscles as I push down the lever in the mornings, I now only have to lightly touch a button and the bread is slowly lowered into the toaster and returned in the same quietly sinister fashion.

I mourn for the mechanics of bread burning. I miss the squeak of the old toaster. The shock of surprise as the spring uncoiled at some unexpected moment and the bread leapt out.  The delight of my young daughter at watching this happen.


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