Staying Clean In 2016

The new year has begun with a couple of ups and downs, probably a sign of things to come. Plain sailing can be so boring! Troughs and peaks are so much more exciting! But a small plea to the One in charge: please, not too rough a sea in 2016, I’d be grateful for a spell of doldrums now and then!

It does seem that our household gremlin likes to make his presence felt around Christmastime. Four years ago, we were treated to a burst boiler on Boxing Day: timed for the alliteration, maybe? Then the bathroom heater died. Last year, the flame control device on the gas oven failed and couldn’t be replaced, and this year the washing machine gave up the ghost.

During the Christmas and New Year break I investigated various possibilities including renting a machine, but finally decided to buy a new one. Ordered online, paid for, delivery scheduled next day (it was actually three days later, but that’s near enough) with removal of the old machine and installation of the new one all included: it seemed perfect. Two men brought the machine on Saturday afternoon. The first one, six foot six and built like an American fridge, pulled the old machine forward from its niche, looked behind and shook his head.

“Can’t do it,” he said. “The electric socket is in the adjoining unit, so we’d either have to remove the plug, which isn’t allowed, or cut a bigger hole in the side wall of the unit. We aren’t allowed to alter a client’s existing installations, so can’t do that, either. Health and safety.”

Could he at least take the old machine out? Oh no, because that would mean cutting the plug off. But it’s the old machine, it doesn’t matter if the plug is cut off. Ah, but the pipes also run through into the adjoining unit, so they couldn’t detach them, either. Arguing, pleading, availed nought.

“You need a plumber and electrician,” he said, showing scant sympathy and obviously eager to get away. “You can claim your money back for installation and recycling, though, since we can’t do it.”

Our kitchen is very small, and offers no space for the new washing machine until the old one has gone. Our new acquisition was left standing in the dining room, awaiting the arrival of a plumber/electrician. How easy that sounds! Plumbers and electricians are becoming rare breeds. Luckily, a friend of a friend has promised to come and have a look tomorrow and see whether he can help. Meanwhile, the laundry is piling up. Once upon a time, there were laundrettes …

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30 thoughts on “Staying Clean In 2016

  1. Poor you! I could live without most household appliances except for cooker and washing machine. There is a launderette down the road from me, they have not entirely gone out of existence . I should thank my lucky stars then shouldn’t I ?

  2. Oh poor you. Here in NZ the washing machine is never in the kitchen. If it’s not in a laundry it’s in the bathroom. Bukit that’s no help if plumbers and electricians are away for the Christmas break. Bring your washing over. We have a brand new Bosch

  3. What a bother and aggravation. I mentioned to my hubby the other day that we would not need a washer and dryer when we move. For $5.00 a fortnight we can have it all washed, dried and folded

    • It was indeed humbug – the kind friend who installed the machine managed to get the plug through the available hole quite easily. I think (a) it was Saturday afternoon and they were eager to get off work and (b) since they were both enormous, they couldn’t bend down in the limited space. So yes, the new washer is now installed and the first load of washing done, and the old machine is waiting for the “Any old iron” man to come by. The dining table is also free!

  4. How annoying for this to happen at Christmas time!
    One Christmas lightening struck the tree down the road and there was a blackout until 3 pm.
    We ate a VERY late Christmas turkey that year!
    I hope that your were able to sort out the demarcation dispute of the contractors in order to get the job done (and get your washing done).

  5. Oh no… they don’t mention ‘mental health’ when they talk about health and safety, do they?! What about nerves!!
    Sorry to have been awol, pottering/hibernating in the cold grey rain!

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