My freezer is in the hall. This fact causes great amusement to at least one of my friends and he mentions it often. My freezer is in the hall because my landlord is very old. Prior to moving into this flat, the horrible, wretched, useless letting agent asked us if I wanted him to do anything before we moved in. I couldn't really think of anything.
'Really? Because he has to if you want him to. It’s the law. You can make him change things. Fix things. Are you sure there's nothing you want to make him do?' She pressured.
Now I felt obliged. I had noticed that the fridge, like many of the things in the flat, appeared to be from the 1950s. And it didn't have a freezer. Just one of those strange ice shelves you get in older fridges that can fit an ultra-slim packet of fish fingers or a pitta, but little more. So I asked for a freezer.
'Just a little freezer. Nothing fancy'
So my landlord provided a freezer. In the hall. Not just sitting in the hall, but fully plumbed into the hall, with complicated wiring and sophisticated, involved plug systems. A freezer doesn't really fit in a hall. If you think of Terry and June or any other domestic sit-com, you never see a freezer in their hall, perhaps a hat-stand or umbrella rack, but never a freezer.
Like I say, I put this down to my landlord's age. The agent had warned me he was old, but the extent of his decrepitude took me by surprise. As well as installing freezers in odd places, he's also fairly deaf. So you ask him things and he gazes off into space or starts whistling some war-time hit. I quite like him.
But lately the hall freezer has begun to trouble me. For some reason known only to itself, it has started to go quiet. Very quiet. It was never a noisy beast, but would gurgle away happily as freezers do. I'd hear it at night sometimes, slowly chilling the emergency sprouts to a frigid pulp. Now it does nothing. It sits there in total blankness, never a trill or a hum passes its lips. I yank a drawer open, everything is still frozen, but it has now decided to do this silently. This worries me, so I open the door, hoping to raise the temperature enough to kick it into action. Or else flick it off and on at the plug, trying to goad it into life. But it isn’t interested, it’s taken to a wordless protest or some ultra-efficient new regime.
Meanwhile the fridge had taken to making far too much noise. That never stops, buzzing and creaking, bits of it dropping off. Perhaps it’s out of sympathy to his brother in a far off land. From the kitchen, it’s noticed his exiled compatriot has fallen silent and had decided to compensate. A suitable balance needs to be reached, but balance is something that seems to evade my life and my appliances.