18 April 2014

I am a visual person.  When I think of numbers I see them in a line in my head, always configured the same way.  I use my line to add and subtract my numbers. The days of the week are the same, the weekdays are one shape the weekends slightly larger.  I also see the months and years in a similar way too.  The days in the future are blank, white in colour punctuated only by the words of our plans.  The days in the past are a riot of colour punctuated with memories some which stand out but most are a jumble, squashed together a bit like one of those very full cupboards which self deploy when you open the door.  There are highs and lows in those memories peaks and troughs of time.  The beginning of this week was a trough, it has had the potential to become a Mariana Trench of one but now it has flatten out all sorted but it reminded me of an earlier time.......

Fourteen years ago I moved myself three hundred miles across the country, from south to north, giving up my job to live with my now husband, then partner.  We had lived together for a while previous to that when we worked together but it was live in accommodation in a shared flat, more like being students together especially as we were sharing with other people!  Our first house had very low rent, all that we could afford, it was off grid and a mile from the next house.  It was very remote.  We had very little furniture and it rattled around in a big four bedroomed farmhouse.  The first thing we bought was a bed, paid for with the last of my wages from my job.  We were given a fridge and had an aga in the house, the only appliance we lacked and needed was a washing machine which had to wait until I started earning.  In the meantime I made a pilgrimage once a week to the nearest laundrette fifteen miles away in the local town.  Two people created a fair bit of washing in a week and it took me most of the day to get it washed and dried and do all our shopping.  We couldn't afford for me to go into town more than once a week so it was a long day getting everything done.  When I eventually found a job the first months wages bought us a washing machine, oh the joy over something so simple.

It has taken me a long time to realise it that I am a creature of habit.  I like to do the same things on particular days of the week, I don't want or need everything to be the same every week just some things.  A Monday morning has become the day for the house, tidying, cleaning, hoovering and changing the beds.  Last Monday I stuffed the washing in the machine pressed the button to go and the music stopped, literally.  My children were having a loud early morning disco in the lounge, we are lucky to have such as tolerant neighbour, which had gone quiet.  The children were standing still thinking I was engaged in musical statues but I hadn't turned the music off, I suspected it was the washing machine tripping the fuse.  After fourteen long years our washing machine had died.  It did a great job, over four of those years include nappy washes.

We spent that first evening researching machines on the Internet, but it was enough to turn any sane person crazy.  One site I looked at had a choice of a 118 different machines, 118?  When we bought our first machine it was before you would automatically turn to the Internet to make such a purchase.  We had dial up at that time so it really wasn't worth it.  We went into a local electrical shop and bought the one they recommended.  After a couple more days of researching and still feeling overwhelmed and no nearer a decision, I was starting to remember the days of the long drive to the launderette, I never wanted to go back there, but if I didn't find one soon the launderette could become my second home with amount of washing that four people can generate.  I ended up returning to that same shop, still there after all this time no bigger than my living room but crammed full of electrical goods.  I bought the machine they recommended and I am hoping they will deliver it much easier and simpler, just wish I had thought of it before!


  1. A great story. I love my routine, too, and always feel a little lost if something comes along to throw it off.
    Fourteen years is a long time for a machine these days. Some things are just better done(and made) the "old fashioned" way:) Wishing you a wonderful holiday weekend!

  2. Well done to your old washing machine, that's sterling work. I often look at mine in amazement that it keeps going despite wash after wash after wash. They're wonderful! I hope your new machine turns up soon and is just as reliable. The amount of choices for everything these days is crazy. I read somewhere that all of the choice makes people anxious and insecure. They're convinced there are better ones out there and they haven't picked a good one.

  3. It was definitely making me anxious having all that choice, not only because of the washing piling up but because I was trying to work out which one would be best for us. It was incredibly difficult to work out the differences between each machine!

  4. Oh, not good. It's happened to us too and I never realised how much I relied on it until I didn't have it!
    Hope the new one lives up to its recommendation and lasts you another fourteen years!


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