When I relied on a galvanised tub and a ponch for the weekly wash I thought longingly of a machine that would do the work. Since then I have progressed from the gas washer boiler to the electric twin tub followed by a washer dryer.
The gas washer had a hand-operated agitator. It also had a small mangle attached. Turning the handle of the mangle was a change of movement from the side-to-side push of the washer dasher. Both made my arm ache.
Imagine my delight when I acquired a twin tub. Here was the answer to my dreams. An all-electric machine. All I had to do was load it, add detergent, switch on & wait for the machine to do its work.
Dragging the clean washing from the wash tub to the spinner was a struggle particularly when shirts and pyjamas were lovingly entwined but I only grumbled when I found there was nothing automated about emptying the blessed thing. Then after three months the spinner stopped working.
The mechanic claimed a piece of lead had got into the works. He insisted it must have come from my washing. I asked if it was pencil lead as my husband was a clerk and no do-it-yourself enthusiast. I gave the machine to my neighbour. Her husband managed to repair it and I returned to the pre-machine era of the sink with a small ponch and a bucket on top of the stove for the whites followed by a mangle in the back yard.
We moved house and an electric washing machine with a separate spin dryer became a necessity. The new neighbours would, I was sure, look down their noses at my antiquated equipment.
Success at last. Until the drums wore out and we bought a top of the range washer dryer. Fully automated with a delay start. To save electricity we timed it to work at night on economy seven. The insistent bleep in the early hours of the morning almost drove me frantic so when the dryer packed up shortly after the guarantee ran out I opted for a separate dryer.
Apparently almost all machinery now is computer operated. Anyone who has a computer will know how unreliable these are.
Back up your work we are advised. I have hundreds of floppy disks with my back ups. Unfortunately the systems have changed and my new xp will not read my millennium disks let alone my windows 95.
The great writers did not have this problem with pen and ink. Nor did typewriters crash.
So while machines work they are a blessing but when they go wrong they are a curse.
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