Several years ago, our trusty washing machine failed us. I can’t remember how long we’d had it, some considerable time and it had served us well. Although we live in the west of the country which is warmer, it is also wetter, and so when we’d bought it we made sure it had a dryer as well. I’ve written many times about putting washing out on the line, and I always do if I can. With that old machine, I would rarely use the dryer unless I absolutely had to, otherwise putting damp things on clothes-horses to air.
Suddenly mid-cycle it failed; for some reason I wasn’t at home so husband called the washing machine repair man, someone we’d used ever since we’d been here. We didn’t realise his firm had been taken over by someone else and when he came to see to the machine he said we needed a new one (I’m sure he was probably right) and husband agreed to let him supply one. I t was brand new, and properly fitted, and the right price… but I came home from wherever else I had been and looked at the machine and saw it had no dryer. Now I know my mum survived wash-day without a dryer, and in the early days without a washing machine, but that was then. However, I thought of my mum and thought if she could manage, then I could – as I had for many years in the past.
The machine was a disaster; compared to the previous machine, I couldn’t alter the spin speed nor how long the spin cycle should be, I couldn’t do half-washes, I couldn’t alter the temperature, the tray where the powder/washing liquid went didn’t seem to flush through properly so there was always a clog of soggy powder or a pool of washing liquid which should have been cleaning the clothes. Most of all, there was no dryer for long periods of rain. I soldiered on and persevered, thinking again of mum and how she hadn’t had the luxury of this sort of machine, only a single tub, and then a twin tub.
It went wrong a few times, as they do, just ordinary things, nothing to do with the machine, just clogging, or a coin left in a pocket, or split hose, that sort of thing, and I persevered with having damp washing on several clothes horses much more often than I liked. Getting jeans and towells dry was the worst. Finally it went wrong one last time and would have cost a lot to repair so I said ‘blow, let’s look for a new machine’. We couldn’t afford it right then so I started taking the washing to the launderette.
Here’s what I wrote about my launderette experience:
Having saved up our pennies we found a place which sold machines cheaper -probably discontinued or reconditioned or something but the place had very good reviews, so we went over, found a new machine with a dryer and all the features I wanted and brought it home… and it works really nicely, everything smells really fresh, I’ve used the dryer a couple of times only despite the amount of rain we’ve had, and all is well!
This is something I wrote about the old washing machine: