Friday, 27 November 2009

In memory of the Little Washer.

On arrival: The now-bedroom caravan, the rear end of. Parked up by the Pig / Chicken Hut now the Hutto 'office'. In the doorway Hubs's generator. To the fore of that, a petite green stool used for sitting my posterior on. To the left of the stool, water bottles. Centre is a once upon a time wine making container, again being used as a water container. Beside that lies the black plastic thermal shower bags. Two.

And gracing the entire photo is the blue washing machine, the Little Washer. It is a twin tub. You put the clothes in one side, the machine gives them a swirl. You then take the clothes out of that side, putting them into the spin dryer side, not forgetting to put the water outlet pipe into the wine making container so that the outgoing water from the spinner can be recycled back into the washing water, the heat of which has been provided by water from a kettle, and some more water (lukewarm) from the thermal shower bags.

The electricity to run the whole operation came from the generator. It was noisy and coughed up a fairly large quantity of fumes. Not to worry, at least we had electricity. That was before we had mains supply. When we did, the generator was retired from ops and I graduated to an extension lead.

It is surprising how much washing can get done in this way, even though the constant recycling of the washing water as the pile of clothes is worked through turns the colour of the water not far of black.

At the end of the washing, that water is finally emptied out, and fresh water put into the washing machine, carried to the machine by the water containers. This was before we graduated to a hosepipe.

Then the whole procedure of washing starts over again for the rinsing of the clothes, only this time clean water is used to top up the machine as the rinsed clothes are removed and put into the spinner. Hence the stool for my botty. It is a long process. But, heyho, we are camping, and at least we can have clean clothes. And surprisingly enough, the clothes do come out clean.

People visited during one of the washing ops. When the Little Washer was in its second home, which was the gazebo. Down her jaw dropped as she surveyed the machine. Quite frankly she was shocked, herself being only forty and conditioned to automatic washing machines. This twin tub thingy was too primitive for her to comprehend, so she kindly donated her old top loader. Wow! I had become upgraded!

This is the 'before' photo, when the gazebo was pristine. It didn't stay that way for long. One blast of a summer storm made us realise that it was really a 'in-waiting' kite. Thereafter it became covered in big green tarpaulins anchored down with loads of rocks.

Which worked for five months until this happened. A big tempest blew in and squashed it flat. It was either that, or letting it take flight. We said it couldn't do that, so it sank down in a heap instead, helped along in the sinking by an almight blast of the fiercest wind. (The bedroom caravan had now been moved to the other side of the courtyard).

But beneath the tarps the Little Washer was safe, which was just as well because the front loader died a couple of months later, and back into ops the twin tub came. As you can see, I had now graduated to a proper washing basket, proper buckets and bowls, with the electrics running off the main supply but via the kitchen caravan (which replaced the gazebo). Out of view is a hosepipe.

And then a bit of a weeny problem started. "Ouch!" I said. "What happened there!" And "Ouch!" again as I pushed some clothes into the washing water. It felt like pin pricks. Not hurtful pin pricks. Just prods really. But surprising nevertheless.

I was being electrically shocked by the Little Washer.

Hubs came running over to investigate my squeals. Banned me from using the machine ever again. Suggested a new washing machine. But: roof not on. Nowhere to put a new machine. So moi said "No, I will soldier on." In grand manner did I say those words.

In true 'Dunkirk spirit' I did.

However: it all got a bit silly. Over the weeks the machine kept snapping back at me. I started phantasizing about my body being belted through the air in a great curving arc of electric shock. I started to become afraid of my friend, the Little Washer.

It was eventually taking me all day to get the washing done because I had to keep taking the electrical plug from its socket to break the electrical current coming from that, through the washer, and from thence into me. Enough!

Roof partly on. Time up for the Little Washer. I am sure it would never have deceased me, the shocks were only tiny, but it was the fear of what it might do which finished me off with it. That, and the time it was taking to do the washing. I am back in the saddle with my work now, and need to find more time.

So last Saturday Hubs marched me to the shop and here is the new equipment. Whoooopppppeee for Hubs! Whoooooopppppeeeee for the Little Washer! Woweeeeee for the New Washer!

Now all that has to happen is for the water to be connected, which Hubs is having trouble with but I am sure he will fix it, being my Hubs / Head Gardner / super duper IT man / and now DIY fixer.

And so I say in all gratitude to Bruv Bill who donated both the Little Washer and the gazebo: Many thanks, and Hoorahhh to you for having the forethought to donate two such necessary pieces of equipment.

Now: what to do to the Little Washer. A plant pot perhaps?


Ron said...

Oh Vera, I love reading about your construction adventures! You live so humbly that it inspires me to want to do the same. If only more were like you the world would be a cleaner, better place (especially with recycling washing water as many times as you do :) haha).

Oh, and I think turning the old washer into a plant pot would be just perfect! Take pics!

Blessings to you!

Roz said...

OOhh!! get you with your posh washing machine! What a brilliant blog - it really made me chuckle, I think we are all mad living like this and we have lost count of the amount of times we have said "One day we will look back on this and smile" - I'm sure we will but oh, for a clean heated house as winter approaches! Soldier on Vera - everything comes to those who wait....and wait....... xxx

DUTA said...

Your little washer reminds of a certain period when I was without a washing machine and I also made use of some small washer that washed but didn't spin. What an adventure! I had to use my hands a lot.

Well, enjoy your new washing machine!

Barry said...

Congratulations on the new washer and dryer. You certainly paid your dues (I can picture you arcing gracefully through the air after an electric shock, and landing on your little stool).

Vera said...

Thanks Ron, for the encouragement about the recyeling of the Little Washer into a plant pot. Will post a photo, as suggested! Hope I give you an smidgeon of a smile when you read my blog. Hope you are travelling safe. Hope your smile doesn't slip too much.

Barry: You made me laugh about me landing up on my stool. The stool is quite small. My posterior, although somewhat smaller than it was when we arrived, will not quite all fit on that stool should I land up on it after my flight through the air. One cheek might though! Blessings to you, and hope you are also managing to keep smiling.

Roz: Nice to here from you. And you are right: looking back does make one realise how far one has come. Reading my older blogs is already doing that. I don't think you and I are mad. I think we are adventurous! Bon courage to you, Roz.

Hi Duta: Crikey, no spin dryer! That must have been really, really, hard work. But it does make one count one's blessings when one does upgrade to a proper washing machine. Hope you are well, and hope your day is full of light.