Devices and designs

One thing that puzzles me about showers is that the controls are usually right under the jet, so one has to get one’s arm doused in icy water while turning it on.  When I have a shower installed, I’ll remember to insist on a different arrangement.  Not that it’s important, just a minor design or fitting flaw.

Another flaw, and this is certainly in the design, is in the spray arms of dishwashers.  When Weeza was buying a dishwasher a few years ago, I advised her to ask if there were any makes where you could take the arm apart for cleaning, but there weren’t.  Once in a while, an odd melon or pepper seed is bound to find its way into the machine, then into the arm, and the only way I’ve ever found of getting odd bits of grunge out is by poking the tiny holes with a pin, swishing water into the thing and then banging it on the sink; repeating as necessary.  If there were a nice little plug, how easy it would be.

When my children started families of their own, I was quite sure that the design of car baby seats would have got so much better than in my day, but they hadn’t.  There was still the awkwardness or coordinating four straps and pushing them into one catch, accurately and simultaneously, however much the infant wriggled.  And altering the straps as the child grew was still really difficult.  Pushchairs were little better – I never did master dismantling Squiffany’s and had to shove it in the back of the car (I had that Mercedes estate that I disliked so much, at the time) when I’d taken her out.

I can only think that the people who design these things never use them.  But why don’t they? It seems so odd.

Years ago, our friend Herman, who was a builder, asked me to visit the house he was in the process of finishing – he used to buy plots of land and build on spec, usually, rather than to order.  He asked me for advice on the layout of the kitchen, because he liked my kitchen so much (not the present one, where the characteristics of the room gave me little scope) but the first one I designed. I explained various aspects that a cook and housekeeper would find useful, especially an efficient one – anyway, he invited me back once it was finished and it was brilliant, full of nice little touches that set it a cut above the usual.

Tim’s kitchen is really well planned, by the way.

8 comments on “Devices and designs

  1. Tim

    The kitchen does work well, but it wasn’t planned that way – there were very few options as to what went where, and it turned out as it did, as much by luck as by judgement.
    I agree about showers, even though I’d never seen it as an issue. My second shower (heh) is much better in this respect.

    1. Z Post author

      Seems odd that people who fit showers don’t use them too, though. Otherwise, I’m afraid you’re right, though that also seems inexplicable.

  2. helen

    I have often thought the same thing about showers. Shower screens are another one for me. Having to stand inside to reach the controls then try to dart backwards to miss the first blast of cold water, we have a curtain now. 😀

  3. PixieMum

    The new shower mechanism has been fitted to accommodate both mine and Ian’s lefthandedness. Of course for those who find this awkward there is another shower upstairs.

    Our first kitchen was designed specifically for left handed use, it was so narrow that I could stretch out my arms and touch both walls, but it had been so well thought out that it worked.

  4. PixieMum

    My comment didn’t make sense unless everyone had read my recent blog, we are having our downstairs cloakroom converted into a shower room, whole thing is taking much longer than expected so we feel a bit down about the builders lack of planning and organising of subcontractors.

    At least the skip went today, the tiler may finish by tomorrow, he started on Monday, the tiles are bumpy white 200×200 so not exactly fancy, just a single black pencil line so no fancy matching.

  5. Z Post author

    You couldn’t turn this shower on left-handed, you’d have to be in there to get the full icy force! I find Feedly inconvenient on pad and phone, so will catch up with blogs when I get home.

    My shower at home, which needs replacing, can at least be turned on from outside. I can’t see why they all aren’t!


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