In which our reluctant hero receives some most terrible news.
A terrible, terrible thing happened to us this week. The washing machine packed up. It has kicked the bucket and thrown the towel in, followed by the shirts and a couple of pairs of undies. It has bitten the dust. Which is ironic as it was a Hoover.
We should have spotted the signs. It had been increasingly erratic and unpredictable for a while. First the door handle snapped off, which I repaired, but sadly the inner locking mechanism also stopped working. No matter. A couple of weeks of sticking my arm inside to manually lock and unlock the catch was annoying, but we could still wash and dry.
Randomly selected wash cycles followed, which was also annoying, but not the end of the world.
But, then, suddenly, the machine stopped draining properly, rendering it about as useful as a chocolate Brexit secretary. Bugger.
The washing machine breaking is possibly the third worst thing that could happen in life, after death and manufacturers removing more of the triangly bits from Toblerones.
If I checked the washing on a Sunday evening in the olden days (BC – before children) there would be at worst a basketful. I would probably leave it there too as it wouldn’t seem worth the trouble of putting the machine on. And besides, I could save some leccy.
A broken machine wouldn’t have been an issue back then. The washing could be dropped off at the launderette or hand washed in the sink at a push.
Back to the present (AD – After Duggee) and the basket is practically full come teeth and story time each evening.
Excluding the grown-up stuff, there will be two full sets of school uniform, plus an extra set of trousers, socks and underpants should any accidents have occurred. Possibly more.
There will also be the previous night’s pyjamas, pebble dashed with dried on cornflakes and fruit juice reduction.
No autumnal or winter’s day would be complete without a couple of coats having been dropped or dragged through the mud, or their sleeves used to clean mud off the car door. See also hats and gloves.
Then there’s the dressing up clothes and the rogue collection of discarded socks, pants and jumpers that pop up in random places across the house each evening.
Leave that lot over the course of a week and astronauts will be wondering what the curious non-wall shaped structure that they can suddenly spot from the International Space Station is.
There’s too much of it to wash in the bath. We have no river in Wolverhampton to take it to and bash it with rocks either. There’s the canal I suppose, but that’s a bit stinky.
Asking the council to fill the public paddling pool in Tettenhall back up may be an option, but that idea would probably be quashed by our glorious self-appointed community spokespeople. There would be more chance in getting stocks and gallows reinstalled on the green. They’re actually planned for March 2019, once the wall is completed.
Assuming that we did somehow manage to get the washing washed, how would we get it dry?
It’s November and we’re in Blighty. We’re therefore down to minimum daylight hours, assuming that the clouds ever shift and the drizzle stops long enough to let some light through.
We can’t hang it over the bath as the bath is needed several times a day. Our boiler would need to be powered by a nuclear reactor to get the radiators in our 1900’s house hot enough to dry everything before the next load appeared.
So it came to pass that on a cold Tuesday night, I took advantage of an early Black Friday offer and arranged for a new machine to be delivered on Saturday morning.
It’s off to the recycling centre for you old friend. Not the Wolverhampton one, obviously. It will be much more pleasing to get the suckers in South Staffordshire to pay for its disposal by taking it to the skips in Bilbrook.
It’ll be a sad day, but the thing I’m looking forward to most about Saturday is finding out just how much fun that I can have playing with a new washing machine.