Dead television No. 100

When televisions die – the 100th

Having notched up a century of dead televisions, it seems appropriate to mark the milestone and consider the meaning of laneway life. The dead television was one of the first dead things to be recorded, just over three years ago now. It took about two years for the first 50 televisions to be accumulated but […]

Dead television on a cliff

When televisions die part 3

This death obviously comes from outside the usual round of dead televisions that are derived, by and large, from the same old streets, day after day, week after week… I sometimes wonder if there will ever come a time when the neighbours have no more to discard – perhaps by then their houses will be […]

When fridges die

Ah, the fridge – cooler of beer and sundry other items. I feel compelled to make a confession here, just in case you ever find me standing in your kitchen, invited or otherwise: I am a habitual fridge browser. It’s not so much what exists inside that interests me, unless it involves beer of some […]

Dead vacuum cleaner

When vacuum cleaners die

If ever we require further evidence as to the deleterious effects of taking too many stimulants, we need look no further than the vacuum cleaner. Just what the hell is going on? Once upon a time, vacuum cleaners looked like this: They were stiff, upright fellows, made out of good solid steel and usually came […]

A dead printer

When printers die

Dead desktop printers sit like environmental landmines, innocuous-looking booby-traps packed with plastics and metals and wasteful inks. They are the embodiment of ‘built-in obsolescence’, not simply through the use of cheaply-made parts with all the life expectancy of a soap bubble but also by being deliberately programmed to stop working after a certain number of […]

A dead flat screen

When televisions die part 2

To mark the occasion of having notched up 50 dead televisions, it seems appropriate to include this much rarer item found on the street – a dead flat screen. To date, all of the dead televisions unearthed have been of the boxy CRT variety, tubby tellies turfed out to fend for themselves as part of […]

One dead microwave oven

When microwave ovens die

I came across these two items on the same day, not far from each other, and was struck by the disparity of their circumstances. One of them sits there all clean and neat, its plug laid carefully on top. There’s even a lime lying in the gutter next to it, as if Nature itself has […]

dead fan heater

When fan heaters die

Plucky little fan heaters are further casualties of the winter months when, along with oil heaters, they are called into action, their tiny motors and heating wires pushed to the point of overload. Fan heater death is always a puzzle to me. Why, oh why? They are such simple creatures; shaped like single-cell organisms, they […]

A dead fan

When fans die

If winter is the season of death for heaters then summer is the time when fans fall by the wayside like leaves from the vine. And rather like its sub-species, the fan heater, the death of a fan is always a little baffling. Power goes in, a little motor turns and around go the vanes, […]

Another dead oil heater

When oil heaters die

Every oil heater knows – as only an oil heater can know – that winter is the dying season. All summer long, these elegant columns lie dormant, their oil still and silent, waiting for that first downward shift in air temperatures which signifies they will soon be called into service. Sadly, not every oil heater […]