At last! A cure!
The dishwasher, which was of a venerable age, retained its willingness to slosh water noisily around its innards for some months after Lady Bracknell reported the problem with its "on" button: however, it recently grew unequal to the task of actually using said water to clean the dishes which were stacked inside it, choosing instead merely to rinse them in an apathetic manner.
Lady Bracknell eventually concluded that washing dishes by hand used less energy than washing dishes by hand after they had been feebly sprayed with water by the ailing dishwasher. For some months, therefore, her ladyship has been reduced to washing her own dishes at the kitchen sink. Quite apart from the question of the propriety of an elderly aristocrat having been brought down to the status of a mere kitchen skivvy, Lady Bracknell has better - not to mention more seemly - uses for her severely limited capacity to stand upright. A replacement must be sought.
The Editor was therefore instructed to scour the interwebnet for suppliers. To Lady Bracknell's dismay, no supplier could be found who was willing to unplumb the existing machine on the day of delivery of a new one. Not even for ready money. The Editor consulted Mr Larkin.
Mr Larkin recommended that the Editor identify the supplier closest to Bracknell Towers from the Euronics website. "But the nearest shop is 7.6 miles from here", she wailed, piteously. Mr Larkin sighed deeply. (Lady Bracknell is given to understand that Mr Larkin is often reduced to sighing deeply when in conversation with the Editor.) "You don't have to actually go to the shop!", he replied, through gritted teeth. "A dishwasher is a dishwasher is a dishwasher. You could just ring them up".
Suitably chastened (albeit only temporarily), the Editor telephoned Lunt's Domestic Appliances and explained that none of the residents of Bracknell Towers is physically capable of manhandling large, heavy pieces of kitchen equipment, but that Lady Bracknell would be happy to pay whatever was required for all the heavy work to be done for her. This being found to be satisfactory all round, an order was taken. It then occurred to Lady Bracknell that she might just as well have her equally elderly cooker replaced at the same time, with the result that the order was amended, and a generous discount offered.
Lady Bracknell has long yearned for a stylish cooker with many useful features. However, when she first began to research the subject some five years ago, she soon realised why the lady from whom she bought Bracknell Towers had been so keen for her to pay a little extra on top of the buying price so that the cooker which was in situ might pass into her ownership. The gap for the cooker is 46 cm wide. There is but one cooker on the market of such narrow dimensions. Whilst it may well be perfectly serviceable (indeed, Lady Bracknell hopes very much that it is), a thing of beauty it is not. Nevertheless, it has four working rings: this fact alone is a cause of considerable excitement to a household which has been working on only two rings for the better part of the last four years, and on only three for at least six years prior to that.
Both devices arrived yesterday afternoon. Lady Bracknell can not speak highly enough of the professionalism and speed with which Angus and his youthful but anonymous sidekick removed the existing, elderly appliances and replaced them with the bright, shiny new ones. Nothing was required of her ladyship save an initial opening of the front door, and the removal of the ever-helpful Young Master Bertram from the field of combat. (He was not amused.) The whole operation - which Lady Bracknell is not ashamed to admit she had been dreading - was over in less than forty minutes.
Left alone with her new toys, Lady Bracknell's parsimonious nature soon overcame her initial urge to test the dishwasher on the three plates and a teaspoon which were available to be washed, so she is not yet in a position to report on the standard of its performance. The cooker has so far been used to cook one pan of pasta, and to grill three slices of toast: hardly a thorough test of its capabilities, but there is nothing to complain of as yet.
As an added bonus, Lady Bracknell has now been made privy to the secret of the cure for back pain: according to Angus, he cured his own "bad back" by running the New York marathon. He is clearly of the opinion that this miraculous cure would work for all instances of back pain. Given the service which he had but lately performed for her, Lady Bracknell overcame her impulse to point out to him in no uncertain terms that back pain which responds positively to the impact of pounding the pavements for twenty seven miles is back pain of a rank amateur level and, frankly, back pain of a type for which she would be only too pleased to exchange her own, and merely smiled and nodded politely as Angus skipped lightly down the stairs on his way to lift some more heavy appliances for another customer.
Mr Larkin requested that, should Lady Bracknell act on Angus's advice and enter herself into the next New York marathon, she purchase an extra air ticket so that he might observe her performance. Via the good offices of the Editor, Lady Bracknell advised Mr Larkin that he might wish to choose his location along the route with care, suggesting that less than a hundred yards from the starting line might prove to offer the best opportunity for catching a glimpse of her ladyship prior to her being stretchered off the course.