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Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,460
Thanks: 274
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

I live in an area where we experience increasingly frequent power cuts, and had another one just last night.  Undecided
My neighbour is an 85 year old lady who spends her day drinking tea and eating biscuits. 
Each time there is a power cut that lasts longer than it takes for the last cup of tea to go cold, then she starts panicking because she needs her tea to wash the biscuits down !.
Consequently she gets herself into a right state.  Cry
My involvement began when one of her 'helpful' friends gave her an ancient camping gas burner, which then got passed to me to make it work for her - but it had seen better days.  Angry
My initial problem is that this burner is intended for outdoor use only, it is taller than it is wide and therefore is unstable, and the gas smell is quite overpowering.
All things considered I don't feel that it would be responsible for me to return it, because she is so bloody minded about things that it will be more important to her to make one more cup of tea, than have any concern about burning in a fireball when her living room goes up in flames.  Undecided
Can anyone suggest a SAFE method of boiling some hot water, for tea and cooking, bearing in mind the following -
1.) There is NO way that she will go outside to use it.
2.) There is also NO possibility that she would EVER open a window for 'adequate ventilation' of a gas burning device.
3.) She is a bumbling old fool who often knocks things over - so it needs to be stable.
4.) She has NO common sense - especially regarding dangerous situations, and it is amazing that she made 85 !
5.) She can't be told to do anything, so the solution needs to be FOOL PROOF.
6.) She has poor hearing, poor sense of smell, diabetes, limited mobility. - so would not hear or smell gas or something burning !
7.) All her cooking pans are for induction hobs (I don't know if that is significant).
8.) We can't get to her when in trouble, as she locks herself behind two sets of doors (front and back).

So I need to find an alternative quickly, so the death-trap camping gas burner can be disposed of ASAP.
Any sensible suggestions would be very much appreciated.  Smiley
12 REPLIES
thisoldman
Grafter
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Registered: 06-04-2009

Re: Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

Tell her to join plusnet      the digital care  team will look after her. Cheesy
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,460
Thanks: 274
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

[quote=thisoldman]Tell her to join plusnet
Don't get me started on what she thinks about computers and the internet !
She could save so much money if she had broadband - especially if she had VoIP, as she spends about an hour a week on the telephone, calling her son in Japan !
I'm going to end there, as I can feel a rant coming on, but it would not be relevant for this thread  Angry
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

You may be able to source this...


With a little "ingenuity".... it could be made/fixed  into a metal frame (box) so that it is more stable.... and using the criteria you have already mentioned, the design of that box/frame could make it a very safe alternative for her to use in the kitchen on the work top surface....
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

Try a Trangia? They are a bit slow, but very stable, and burn a small amount of meths, so are fairly safe.
jmd
Grafter
Posts: 2,933
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

How aboiut that she has a thermos that she regularly fills up so if power goes off she has hot water?
Community Veteran
Posts: 767
Registered: 29-10-2008

Re: Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

Possibly a car kettle (if the battery goes in a plastic storage box so she can't short it accidentally). The induction hob sounds like a good safety measure.
Gabe
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,460
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

Thanks for the suggestions so far, I'm quite liking the car kettle idea, I will give that some thought.
While the solid fuel block cooker looks great,  BUT another concern I have is that she is frighteningly dangerous with matches.
The most recent matches incident was at Christmas, when she invited friends and family for a Boxing Day buffet.
She prepared the dining table so there would be two sittings, the first sitting for all the children (aged from 2 to 6), and a second adults sitting - while the children played elsewhere.
So all the adults were in one room having drinks and nibbles, while she supervised the children in the dining room.
Next thing we know is my daughter shouting for help,  we rush in and find the old lady had put a paper table cloth onto the wooden dining table, then scattered about a dozen tea-light sized candles (without the metal holders) directly onto the table cloth (near the toddlers so they could see the pretty flames up close).  She had been lighting the candles, but when the matches ran a bit short she was putting them down onto the paper table cloth - which of course caught fire.  So we had the match/tablecloth fire to extinguish, some children were trapped in high chairs,  the youngest child was putting his fingers into a lit candle, and the other candles were dripping boiling wax onto the remainder of the table cloth.
Another time, I wandered over to see what she was doing - piling up a mountain of bin bags outside up against her sun room wall and windows.
She said she was building a bonfire - because she kept forgetting to leave the rubbish out for the dustman.
I of course immediately took all the rubbish away to the local dump.
After that she started piling her rubbish up underneath trees between our gardens.  Unfortunately on at least two occasions she managed to light the rubbish (when I wasn't there) and I cam home to find my trees destroyed - as it was very dry in the middle of summer, and there had been a big whoosh when the leave all went up in a fireball.
Out of desperation, I bought her one of those metal incinerator dustbins, as most of what she burnt was paper, as I was hoping that would stop the out of control fires destroying my garden.
First time she tried to use it, I find her filling it in the middle of her kitchen, so with much protest I forcibly took the bin outside, and put it in a safe place in her garden - where she proceeded to burn her rubbish.
Next time she was filling it, the bin was hard up against her sun-room window - where the bonfire was previously built !.  Again I took it down the garden - and she burnt all her stuff.
Following that I have now chained one leg of the bin, so she can't move it somewhere dangerous.
Since then she has "gone green" and has decided that it is "criminal" to put her rubbish plastic into the normal household refuse (because our Council don't recycle plastic yet) - as it will go into landfill and poison the land.
So instead she fills her incinerator with plastic bottles, expanded polystyrene, etc,  then has great delight asking passing children whether they would like to come and light her bin using matches.  So usually the first thing I know is our house getting enveloped in acrid fumes,  sometimes followed by my children arriving smelling terrible and coughing !
We simply despair at her constant lack of common sense, and wish we could just get rid of all her candles and matches.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

Have a search here http://www.fieldandtrek.com/ - they do a lot of camping stuff, and there are some self heating gadgets around
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

get onto the local council and insist that they get social services involved.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
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Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

Nop get a generator.
wacky17
Grafter
Posts: 134
Registered: 25-06-2008

Re: Help an old lady make a cup of tea ?

Can't you look into self heating tea as tesco's use to sell self heating coffee. Just click and shake and the drink is hot.