MY culinary skills, or the lack of them, is legend.

I rely heavily on the microwave, a huge silver beast known as The Empress, and this reliance allows me to spoil food in a much shorter time than if I were to cook it conventionally.

On Thursday The Empress appeared to have hiccups, and fear entered my soul.

However, on Friday she was fine; the small plate of left-over Christmas Pud was gyrating happily.

I relaxed, and removed the Pud – it was stone cold!

Subsequent tests showed that the Empress was functioning perfectly, except for her core skill – heating things.

Fear once more entered my soul, bring with it Dread. To calm my emotions and the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach I ate the Pud.

I know from bitter experience that all things technological are beyond me. As I swallowed the last of the stone cold Pud I decided that I would take her into Electro Curro and hand her over to someone qualified in dealing with ailing electrical implements.

There were two problems with this: One – she is enormous, and too heavy for me to lift – I’ll have to get Andy on the job of lifting her into the car, and hope that a muscular young man will be on hand at the other end to lift her out.

Problem number Two: What am I going to eat?

Can I live on cheese sandwiches for a week? Or maybe more? Will I die of malnutrition? Or possibly of cheese sandwich overload?