The New Washing Machine

In the great traditions of mechanical expenditure, my washing machine packed up. The washing machine and my compound mitre saw had made a secret deal to break within a day of each other but had forgotten that the saw was still under warranty. This is why you should not let household appliances run for government; if they can’t successfully coerce to cause stress in my life, they are never going to be able to create a world wide financial crisis.

Anyway. He Who Knows Everything was enlisted to take the washing machine apart, poke it for a bit, have a few cups of tea and clean up the mountain of mouse droppings lurking behind it. He concluded it was broken in an expensive way.
“It’s probably the motherboard,” he said sagely. Then he had a cup of tea.
A repairman was called. He was a very nice bloke who said a new motherboard would cost about €180 plus labour. He also recommended Bosch as a good brand for the future as he hardly ever got called to fix them.

If my washing machine hadn’t been so rubbish I probably would have had it fixed. All I wanted was to put dirty things in and have them come out clean but this was apparently asking too much of it. It probably didn’t help that I carelessly allowed the insides to be horribly coated in a thin layer of iron ore. Even so, I refuse to believe that magnetism was the cause of its intermittent flooding and 154 minute wash cycle.
After much deliberation, a decision was made to buy a new one and research into the matter was undertaken. With the research completed, the decision was reviewed. In Ireland, washing machines cost a lot.

Anybody will tell you we live in the Rip-Off Republic. They don’t mention that it is also the Monopoly Republic. It’s probably because that phrase doesn’t trip off the tongue quite so easily. There is no point in trying to shop around for the best price for anything because rather than competing with each other for the benefit of the consumer, purveyors of goods and services have got together and agreed to all charge the same outrageous price.
I went into the local electrical appliance store to see what they had in stock only to recoil aghast at the four and five hundred euro price tags on 1400rpm machines. To helpfully quantify this for your minds, in the UK such machines are priced at about two hundred sterling. If I needed more than one appliance, I would have hired a van and headed for the border. I may yet.

After a little more research and some time spent gaping at the Siemens and Miele twelve hundred euro plus selection (what on earth does it do at that price? Dress you?), the reluctant decision was taken to go to Curry’s in Dublin where a new machine could be procured for a mere hundred euro more than one would pay at Curry’s in the UK.
Dublin is a long way away. It is two and a half hours to Liffey Valley, two hours of which is spent on twisty roads behind tractors. It is a tiring drive. Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind because there is also a Marks and Spencer at Liffey Valley but I have no money to throw about in a frivolous manner. I’ve spent it all on a new washing machine you see. Liffey Valley without money to throw about in a frivolous manner is no fun at all.
A phone call to Emile at Curry’s was made. It was explained about the distance and our desire not to arrive and find he had sold all the machines in the model we wanted.
“Have you not considered trying a store closer to yourselves?” He suggested.
It was explained that he was the store closest to us.
“What about Carlow? Wouldn’t they be closer to you?”
He was commended on his knowledge of Irish geography and asked for further information on this mythical Carlow store.
“It’s new. They opened just before Christmas. They haven’t put it on the website yet. Would you like their phone number?”

A trip to Carlow was organised.
As Carlow Town is *whispers* a bit of a pit, I wore my diamonds to make the day a bit special. I also wore my knickers back to front but that wasn’t to make the day special, that was just because I’m incapable of getting dressed in the morning.
When we got to Carlow there was some discussion about exactly where Curry’s was.

“Didn’t he give you directions?” HWKE asked.
“Yes he did. He told me it was next to Homebase at which point you started dancing around in the background saying you knew where Homebase was so I stopped listening.” I replied.
“Hmmm. Well I think it’s this way.” HWKE said and turned left, taking us on a brief and worrying diversion into County Laois.
A number of U turns later and HWKE was sent into a garage to ask for directions.
“They said it’s on the Dublin road. They said you can’t miss it.”
Looks were exchanged. Each of us privately wondered how it could be on the Dublin Road without us previously noticing it. As it turned out, it could be on the Dublin road without us previously noticing it because the signage was all dark blue instead of the jaunty red we were expecting.

Having procured a new washing machine, the next challenge was to take it home and carry it into the house.
The thing about washing machines is that they are really heavy. This is because they have a concrete block in the bottom to prevent them from moving around your kitchen or utility floor in a lively manner when they hit the spin cycle. They are also bulky and have no obvious place to get a handle on them. I do not like moving washing machines.

When Strider had to buy a new washing machine, she cunningly waited until I and HWKE were available to plumb it in for her and take the old one to the tip. Her friend’s husband dropped by moments after I had collapsed on the sofa, incapable of speech due to having wrestled a washing machine up Strider’s very steep 15 step staircase. HWKE explained that we would get up but that we had just wrestled a washing machine up the stairs.
“Oh. On your own?” said the husband.
I, somewhat outraged, replied in the negative. I would have gone on to cross question him as to why he made the assumption that I had not just wrestled a washing machine up a staircase and was it because I was a girl, but it would have been rude and I was too knackered to say anything else. As a result he now thinks I am some kind of mad, grumpy, petulant, monosyllabic, 27 year old teenager who glowers at everything and wears shirts covered in curry. Strider assures me she has done nothing to dispel this impression.

When moving the washing machine, I noticed the pad on the forth finger of my right hand had a deep pressure groove in it from the metal edge I had been trying to grip. I also noticed the pad of the finger was now numb. I assumed that once I stopped moving appliances about the sensation would come back but I was wrong. I suspect at some point I am going to end up with a simply hideous burn on that finger as I can no longer feel if something is hot. Nevertheless, I am confident that this will, at some point in the future, prove to be enormously useful in the performance of some heretofore impossible and, possibly, deeply unpleasant task.

Anyway. The new washing machine was plumbed in. Having decided upon program three, dirty clothes were put it. 125 minutes later, clean clothes were removed. It’s perfect.