One of the stranger aspects of being a blogger is sharing the more bizarre moments of your life. Earlier this week I had just one of those moments and I am going to share it with you now. It’s a crazy tale involving a frozen turkey, a second-hand fridge freezer and a neighbour who has seemingly caught the Omicron variant of COVID.
If you can picture the scene, I was sat at my desk. The doorbell rang and I rushed downstairs to find a delivery driver at the door.
This was an important delivery. He was delivering the turkey we plan to have on Christmas day, along with a random assortment of other groceries to bring the order up to £40 so I didn’t have to pay a delivery surcharge. For some reason, this included some sachets of baby food which I had no recollection of adding to the order. Not that it mattered, the turkey, the star of the show, had arrived.
All I had to do was contact our very kindly neighbour who had agreed to keep our turkey in their freezer as we didn’t have enough space for it our tiny one. This, my friends, is where things went very wrong.
I messaged her, asking if now was a good time to bring our frozen block of poultry to her house. In response I received a message informing me she had tested positive for COVID. Her partner was, at that very moment, getting a PCR test himself.
Left holding a slowly defrosting turkey
I could not think of a situation that epitomised the past two years more than this. Courtesy of Aunty ‘Rona, I was left holding a slowly defrosting turkey and had no idea what to do about it.
In fairness to our neighbours, they did in fact agree to house the turkey despite being COVID positive. Mrs Adams and I considered dropping off the turkey in a COVID-safe way, but we could see all sorts of potential issues and quickly decided this was not a viable course of action.
Realising there was going to be no immediate fix to this situation, I chucked the turkey in a cool box. Both Mrs Adams and I then started going through our phone contacts, trying to find someone, anyone, who might be able to take in our frozen turkey. Surely somebody out there would have room at the inn, sorry, I mean freezer?
This is the twenty first century, not 1985. I recall the big chest freezer we had in our garden shed when I was growing up, but who has a chest freezer in this day and age? All we got were polite rejections from people who could understand our predicament, but only had small freezers.
Well, actually, there was one neighbour who tried to help. Mrs Adams yomped round to her house with the turkey and cool box to see if they could make room in their freezer but, no, it wasn’t happening.
It’s a mad plan, but it might just work
As I have alluded to in previous blog posts, we have been seriously considering a house move. Our plans have advanced somewhat (expect an update in the new year). All the while Turkeygate was going on, I was dealing with phone calls and emails from solicitors, estate agents and I can’t even remember who else while also having to run the kids to and from gymnastics classes. Yes, this was proving to be a demanding day and for every minute that passed, that solid ice-block of a turkey defrosted just a tiny bit more.
You might be wondering what a potential house move has to do with this story. Allow me to explain.
Mrs Adams and I have had a few conversations regarding white goods. What will we need to buy? What can we live without? You know, the usual house moving conversations. In our present home, the white goods are integral so as and when we move, we’ll have to leave them behind.
This gave me an idea. As we were struggling to find someone with enough space to house the Adams’ family Christmas turkey, would it be such a mad idea to buy a freezer or fridge freezer? It wouldn’t be a waste of money, as we would almost certainly need one in our new home.
I wasn’t proposing to get something new, just to have a quick look on Facebook Marketplace and see if anyone local was selling something suitable. I’d very quickly establish if this idea might work. Lo and behold, Facebook Marketplace was awash with local people selling their old fridge freezers.
Catherine, as I’ll call her, had one for sale that was ideal. The fridge freezer was only a couple of years old and she only wanted £20 for it. Catherine lived a mile and a half away and yes, I could collect it within the hour. She was very understanding of the fact I had to keep our frozen turkey, well, frozen!
I was on a tight deadline. Not only was an estate agent chasing me for some legal paperwork, but an hour later I had to be four miles away collecting one child from gymnastics while dropping the other one off for her more advanced gymnastics class.
By this point, a couple of hours has passed. That frozen turkey wasn’t getting any colder. It was also getting quite late and it was very dark outside. It was in these circumstances I found myself sprinting up and down a poorly lit street with an incredibly noisy sack trolley trying to find Catherine’s block of flats.
Eventually I found it and Catherine was the sweetest, loveliest individual. Catherine explained she was selling the fridge freezer as she needed a smaller one. The new washing machine she’d had installed meant she no longer had space for the fridge freezer in her kitchen.
She very kindly followed me, my new purchased resting on the sack trolley, as I made my way to the lift. The lift was tiny and there was no way the fridge freezer and I could remain socially distanced as it descended, very slowly, to the ground floor. To be quite honest, man and fridge freezer were awkwardly close.
As I traveled in the lift, Catherine insisted on walking down the stairs and opening the lift door for me at the bottom. I thanked her, wished her a happy Christmas, loaded the fridge freezer and sack trolley in to the car and headed home.
I arrived to find Mrs Adams had cleared a space in the garage for our new emergency purchase. Minutes later the fridge freezer was plugged in and our turkey was safely stowed in the freezer section.
The punchline. . .
With every story like this, there is a punchline and this one is no different. Thankfully the fridge freezer had been on for several hours before we went to bed, so it was cold. Before retiring, I went to the garage to lock up and absent-mindedly turned off the extension lead it was plugged in to.
I noticed my mistake early the next morning and turned it back on again. As the freezer was cold when it was switched off, the turkey didn’t seem to have defrosted at all. I really was lucky, I could have woken up to a former-frozen turkey in the bottom of that freezer, sitting in a puddle of water. That said, it’s an error I will not make again and every time a family member goes in to the garage for some reason, I rush in after them to ensure they haven’t accidentally switched the thing off!!
The moral of the story
The next day I took a close look at our new fridge freezer. It was in need of a clean so I scrubbed the whole thing from top to bottom, inside and out and I have to say it polished up well.
There is an argument this frozen turkey, once the cost of the fridge freezer is accounted for, will be one of the most expensive we’ll ever own. On the other hand, we have a cheap fridge freezer and whether we like it or not, it’s moving house with us so we can tick this off our ‘white goods’ list having spent a fraction of what we would have done otherwise.
At the end of the day, I also have to say this story is, without a shadow of a doubt, a prime example of a first world problem. It doesn’t matter the time of the year, there are many people among us who won’t have purchased a turkey and won’t be eating nice food on Christmas day. Added to that, Omicron is spreading wildly and there will be many people spending Christmas in isolation this year. If there is a moral to this story, it’s that I have to recognise I am fortunate and lucky to be in the position I am in. Okay, that was a bit heavy but Christmas is meant to come with a serious message and I feel that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Moving on, I would also like to make you aware that the kids made it to and from their gymnastics classes on time and the estate agent got the legal paperwork she needed. Even if I say so myself, it was quite a feat to pull all this off in just a few hours. I also hope this ridiculous tale of COVID-induced madness has made you laugh. As for that turkey, my word it had better taste good!