29 December 2012


The old washer-dryer bites the dust. I guess when it reached the age of seven it decided it had had enough, I could tell by the way it screeched when the dryer was on, as if it was grinding it’s metal teeth. I know how it felt, I was grinding my teeth as well.

That was on Sunday. Sunday afternoon Joe and I went to a Curry’s store to look at new machines. I chose one made by Hoover. We always try to buy products made by a reputable manufacturer; rightly or wrongly, if I don’t know the name I don’t trust it.

The chosen machine had all the attributes necessary for a good working model plus a few extras so we decided to buy it there and then.

‘When would you like it delivered?’ asked the salesman.

Gobsmacked, I tried to think of a date! Then I saw a notice that said We deliver products whenever YOU want them. I was about to suggest a day when the salesman said ‘Tomorrow?’

Oh heaven! No waiting to do the next wash.

We were told that the company would ring us an hour before they were due to deliver but it was also pointed out that if we looked on line we could see the delivery slots ourselves.  I checked the site first thing Monday morning, inserted the required code number, and saw the words WE’RE ON OUR WAY. The delivery slot was 6.55 to 10.55. The time then was 7am. Shortly after that, the phone rang. We’ll be there in ten minutes.

‘What?’ I cried, ‘I’m not dressed yet.’

That caused a laugh.

How wonderful that you can have a product delivered so quickly. Ordered Sunday ... in possession of new machine in a matter of hours. We told everybody about the wonderful service.

The machine was duly installed and over the next few days I used it twice. The third time... wait for it... it broke down, or so I thought. Oh, it washed okay but didn’t spin the water out. I tried another programme but the same happened, or rather didn’t happen. The problem was reported and an engineer came out to see what the problem was.

It seems the machine is programmed to override the wishes of the person using it. It is cleverly designed (presumably by a man!) to weigh up items for washing, judging that one ‘towel’ too many will stop the draining process. The machine has a ‘half load’ facility which it selects all by itself.  Clever stuff! However, if it’s that clever why can’t it just nip over to a full load wash and forget the fact that there’s one small piece too many?

Gone are the days when you shoved everything in, selected a programme, pressed a button, and waited for the machine to do the work. Now it ‘weighs up’ what you put in and woe betide you if you get it wrong. Don’t misunderstand me, it works fine, it’s just that it’s fussy about draining water from clothes when there’s a misfit in there.  

Fine. So I had a small ‘sheet’ that needed washing, one that was big enough to ‘fool the machine’, or so I thought. Actually I use the word ‘sheet’ because I don’t know what else to call a piece of lightweight candlewick that was once used as a seat cover when doggy had muddy paws.

At the end of the programme, there it was, soaking wet. Take something out, the engineer had said. Considering there was only one item in the machine I found that rather difficult. I tried something else. I tried adding a couple of towels (clean ones!!). Pressed the button and waited. Everything came out soaking wet. I took something out all right, I removed the item I was trying to wash in the first place.... the small sheet. Pressed the button and watched while the machine happily spun water out of the two towels and then proceeded to dry them. Why the hell couldn’t it do the small sheet at the same time?

I have visions of future conversations with this machine:

I’ll just add another garment.
Like hell you will.
Just one more, pretty please?

It rather looks as if I have a battle with technology. It’s either me or it, and if it thinks it’s going to dictate my life then it’s got another think coming.  I will not be beaten by a mere machine; no matter how long it takes I am DETERMINED to win over this newfangled appliance.

Finally let me record my latest attempt at success:

The load: a typical lightweight wash programme, man’s shirt, winter weight sleeveless vest and pants plus one pair of socks, and three pairs of lady’s panties. All items were washed perfectly but not spun. Upon opening the machine I found the clothes lying there – sodden.

Remembering the engineer’s advice I removed the shirt and selected the spin programme,  which worked perfectly. Afterwards I returned the shirt to the empty machine and spun it. So it seems that in this case the shirt was the culprit. Hubby now thinks he should rethink the way he dresses! Maybe he should wear more shirts so they can be washed without other garments? I’m thinking of putting a notice on the laundry bag – NO SHIRTS BY REQUEST. That should do it, don’t you think? Think of all the ironing I WON’T have to do unlike my former machine that I controlled in such a way that ironing was almost non-existent.


  1. OMG how frustrating! I'm afraid that machine would have to GO!!!

  2. An intelligent/argumentative washing machine? Whatever next!

  3. These things are sent to try us, Denise... smiles.

    Pearl, it nearly did go back... I am in conquering mood though :O)

  4. I gotta tell ya, one of the things that just captivated me in England was those darn wash/dry machines. They're one in the same! Not two units--one. ONE.
    *shaking head* Unheard of here! Still. And to have one machine that does the wash and the drying.....AND converts to the size of load (down, of course, not UP) boggles my mind.

    OMG.....I'd have to make some huge life changes. *laughing*
    This from a woman who constantly 'overloads' the ONE machine that does the wash.

    You have my undying admiration! LOL

  5. Mel, you do make me laugh. Thank you. We've had washer-dryers for years in the UK. So space saving, you know.....

  6. i think this would frustrate me to no end....not like i like to stuff it full (cough, cough) but it would take me forever...i dont want any machine smarter than me....just saying...

  7. I'm afraid that would drive me crazy. I can't stand things that don't work! Well, that don't work the way I think they should.

  8. "How wonderful that you can have a product delivered so quickly. Ordered Sunday ... in possession of new machine in a matter of hours. We told everybody about the wonderful service."

    OMG...that is truly amazing because it's unheard of when it comes to most customer service. Usually you have to wait days or even a week to get something delivered.

    "All items were washed perfectly but not spun. Upon opening the machine I found the clothes lying there – sodden."

    HA! That just happened to me when I was doing my laundry too! I went down to the basement of my apartment building to find that one of my washers was unbalanced, so the machine just STOPPED in mid cycle. Which meant I had to readjust the load and then restart the washer. Grrrrrrrrrrrr!#@!#

    Hope you're having a FAB weekend, dear lady!


  9. lol Brian, I know what you're saying....

    Ron, we are SO reliant on machines, aren't we? I'm getting there with the machine ... but still amazed over the rapid delivery.

  10. Great post... I am still using the Maytag we bought 15 years ago...having
    said that it will most likely break with the next load....

    Love Technology , but sometimes less is better...

    Fantastic new header !!!

  11. I use the launderette since my machine gave up. Its warm in there and I read the paper while I'm waiting.
    Counterpane, isn't that what you call the sheet thing?
    Happy New Year Valerie!

  12. Wow, fast delivery!
    We'll be having to order new machines sometime in the new year, I'm sure. *sigh* I never do like having to decide from all the different models.
    Hope the glitches on your new purchase will be few.


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