Our microwave oven decided to die this weekend, along with the water pipes. It feels like we only just bought the previous one, but it’s probably roughly as old as Adrian, and I guess one cannot really expect longer life than this from low-end kitchen appliances.

Last time we went shopping for a microwave oven, it was a real hassle trying to find one that had a simple interface. We wanted two knobs – time and power – but almost all the ovens had lots of cryptic buttons and programmes. I think the one we came home with was the only two-knob model in the store. This time I was surprised at the choice we had. I wonder if the tide might be turning, and the producers are becoming aware that more complexity is not what people want from their ovens.