It turns out that, contrary to my earlier claims, a new gas hob will not cost around £100. Instead, because I live in a flat, it will cost substantially more. Due to some obscure regulation passed earlier this year, any gas cooking appliances I buy need to have some sort of safety cut-out thing – house owners are, presumably, deemed responsible and rich enough to dice with death by using a hob without such a device, or maybe creating a giant tyre bonfire in their own living room to cook on should they choose.
And whatever the safety device is, it’s expensive: cheapest hob without is around £60, cheapest hob with is exactly £174.
More annoying still, though, is the fact that there’s so little information on this new regulation (IGE/G/5) – and, although I’ve found it on the web (here) it’d cost me a whopping £107 to read the stupid thing, although for some reason amendments are freely downloadable. Gah. Ironically, the upshot of this situation is that we probably won’t be able to afford a new hob, so we’ll have to stick with the old one. Which is broken. And without any kind of safety cut-off. Brilliant.