Of course! I realised it this morning as Julie came upstairs, beaming, to say 'It worked!!" and I beamed back. It was the Xhose. That expandable Xhose (as seen on TV) has been the bane of our last three weeks. For an apartment such as ours, the Xhose seems a brilliant solution to watering the back balcony and front deck, it curls up small, it's lightweight etc etc, but getting it to work, affix to Franke taps, sprinkler nozzle, whatever, proved a taxing and expensive process. Hence one's relief this morning that the German imported Franke (but not Franke) tap connector 'worked!' Now we shall hardly notice the damn thing and it will simply do the job (hopefully). Our satisfaction at this, as with every improvement, was considerable.
Maintaining any house, and that includes designing it, is a many fold process of iteration and improvement. That can be said of the design of your kitchen or the hanging of your pictures on the wall; the choice of your chairs for sitting in (and stools for perching on) lights for reading with, desks for working at ad nauseum. But it is all, for the architect ( I suspect especially the architect finely tuned to these things) about how it works. So, after thirty five years I have to agree absolutely with the great Le Corbusier, that our house is a machine for living in full stop. Where we got derailed off this idea is beyond me, after all it's not as if L-C didn't enjoy cheese, paint, a sensual line, or sunshine, or greenery or exotic dancers.
The problem of course was that metaphorically speaking L-C might have implied that people were like machines (but I can assure you there are no two people less machine like than myself and Julie). It was the disservice of critics and commentators (who found the machine idea amusing) and Nazi nutters (pathologically ill disposed to good sense) who decided houses might be something more ambitious. The latter types (and todays scurrilous politicians, 'home' builders, and media opportunists) believe the notion of 'home' might be, as it were, 'built in' or that by decree, it would be forever watering cans; they thought your house closer to a church.