Saturday, 4 January 2014

Spring Cleaning

 


I crawled out of bed really early this morning.  Last night my new washing machine was delivered.  It weighs, I noticed on the warning label, 65 kgs and was, therefore, designated a two man lift.  Now sixty five kilos isn't exactly heavy but packaged in something as awkward as a washing machine, I guess it could be a bit of a handful.  Certainly the two Mr. Shifters made a meal of their suffering as they struggled up the steps to the veranda with it.  In fact they so overplayed their agony and woeful lot as serfs, rather than give them a tip, I got annoyed, told them to leave the bloody thing where it was and piss off.

At the crack of sparrows (actually, under the gaze of a curious Yellow Billed Hornbill) I was faced with being hoisted by my own petard.  The carton was secured with two plastic tape bands which cut into my hands as I tried to drag the carton up the steps.  It was very important to me to have the washing machine installed and ready to go before Marcia awoke.  The more awkward the carton behaved, the more the packaging snagged, the more bloody minded I became until finally I wrapped each hand in a tea towel and almost threw the thing up the steps.  I dragged it all the way into the shower room and sliced off the packaging.  All that was left was the polystyrene tray on which it was sitting.  I tried to get my arms as far around the machine as I could and heaved.  I dug my knees into the side and rolled back slightly lifting the bottom of the machine from the floor.  The packaging came with it.  I put the machine back down on the floor and searched around for my bollocks which I was convinced had popped out under the strain. 

Taking my eGo out of my pocket, I had a little vapour break and a swig of DomTom.  From the kitchen I fetched two chef's knives and from the garden I brought in two building blocks.  I stabbed a knife into opposite sides of the polystyrene base and placed a building block on each knife handle.  Grabbing the machine and heaving it off the deck I was pleased to see the packaging remained pinned to the floor.

This isn't the first new washing machine I have bought in my lifetime and I have never repeated the mistake I made with the first, which was to forget to remove the transit bolts before operating the machine.  On full spin, it behaved and was noisy as a jack hammer.  I leaved through the instruction manual to see where and how many transit bolts there were but was only able to find one line which stated that it was very important to remove the transit bolts before operating the machine.  No hint as to the location or quantity.  Buy anything here and the instructions are usually in Chinese so I was pleased they were in English.  They were bloody useless, however, and might as well have been written in Chinese.  In the end, after a careful examination, I found only three for which I would need a 14 mm spanner.  Opening my tool drawer I saw it was largely empty and of my spanners, there was no sign.  I searched the house as quietly as I could.  I used to get very excited when someone, usually Marcia, helped themselves to anything out of my desk but now I am crushed and resigned to the fact that with a woman in my house, nothing I have will ever be truly mine or worthy of respect again.  Having exhausted even the most unlikely of hiding places I turned to the shop.  I have often mentioned in passing how I detest the slimy shit Marcia has working for her in the shop.  This morning he came closer than he ever has to an unpleasant death.  He helped me search the shop from top to bottom, from display floor through to the stores and the loos.  It was then, only then, that he told me that Marcia had some spanners in the car. 

With the machine positioned and plumbed in, I pulled on my crampons, climbed to the top of the laundry pile and started sorting out loads for the washing machine, cotton whites, coloured cotton, synthetics, bulky items such as towels and sheets etc. and got the first load in before Marcia was on her feet.  Such industry on my part inspired the rest of the family and we started a general sorting out of clothes.  Some were honestly too far gone, washed out (the maids love bleach here) or full of holes. Some were too small or items that would never be worn again so they all went into the charity pile.  Every shelf was stripped bare, the items examined and either tossed or added to the laundry pile.  I had determined to spend the whole day and half the night if necessary washing every item of clothing, every sheet and pillow case, every throw, every table cloth and tea towel, anything that would benefit from a good soap sudding.  I know that once I am on top of the laundry, then it is a small matter to put a load in each day, there are only a few of us and we all generally run around in shorts and T shirts so hardly onerous a task.

The proof of the pudding came when I fetched the first white shirts through the wash off the drying line and compared them with a 'clean' white shirt yet to go through the wash.  The difference was astonishing.  The other thing I noticed was the absence of that cloying scent of mould all hand washed clothes exude in the tropics.  And as anyone who has suffered the awful irritation and misery of Dhobi Rash in the tropics will attest, there's nowt as can compare with clean, well rinsed keks.

"When I say I am washing every item of clothing, I mean EVERY item of clothing!!"

67 comments:

  1. OMG hippo, you could have warned a gal before she got to the bottom.

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  2. Mercy! There's a sight to gladden a girl's heart.
    Congratulations on the new machine. I'm awaiting the delivery of mine even as I write.

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    Replies
    1. I take we can all expect a photo of you hanging the washing in your boots?

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    2. Of course, I realise it is not the sight of me naked that gladdens your heart, it is the thought of a man doing the laundry...

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  3. When they came up with that bit about "mad dogs and Englishmen" they were thinking of you.

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    Replies
    1. You are only jealous because if you went outside dressed like that where you live, your nuts would freeze off!

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    2. Perhaps in Africa it is not uncommon to see folks running around in their birthday suit, but here in the "civilized" world if I tried that stunt I'd be arrested for indecent exposure. Besides I would not want to encourage my my crack whore neighbor to add to the chaos she already provides for us all.

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    3. Oh dear! Perhaps you ought to buy a bigger property or hang your laundry in the basement...

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  4. But I am pleased to see you're finally wearing appropriate footwear for the job at hand...sweet cheeks.

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely| No more snake bites for me. I even tied a knot in my willie to keep it out of strike range...

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  5. Praise be that there is no bandit at 6 o'clock.
    It's been raining so much and with some high winds that I've lost my satellite on the tv again. Luckily I cannot see how crap we are in the cricket. Again.

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    Replies
    1. In your case, clouds and silver linings and all that...

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  6. Lovely photo!
    Your storey reminds me of the time my first front loader was delivered- husband was out of town working again...They brought it down to the basement laundry room and left it. My son, who was about 10yrs old at the time, helped me wrestle it out of the box and remove all the bits and set it up. They certainly do a great job of cleaning though.

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    Replies
    1. No Mr Cheeky, the washing machine :-)

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  7. Replies
    1. Where else am I supposed to keep the clothes pegs!

      Thank you for taking the time to notice.

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    2. Well, you are obviously quite good at it. For your information, I wasn't clenching, In your expert opinion, does this mean my buns are deformed?

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  8. Ah, but you forgot your socks, I see!

    There's nothing nicer or more therapeutic than clean washing. At least you have the advantage of good outside drying weather. Here, it'd all go mouldy hanging on the line!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am wearing boots, without socks, and Australian Light Horse leather gaiters to protect my tender toes from snake bites!

      The weather here is so good for drying that by the time another load has come out of the machine, the last lot is dry already!

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  9. "The proof of the pudding..." Eh? What do you mean? I'm not Sherlock Holmes! Your new washing machine looks superb. Please don't post any more pictures of your arse as it caused me to splutter tea over my computer keyboard - such was my disgust!

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    Replies
    1. My unusual behaviour is perhaps a side effect of giving up alcohol without medical assistance.

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  10. Nice bum. Shame about the socks!

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    Replies
    1. They are not socks! They are leather gaiters! I would NEVER appear naked all but for my socks! That's as bad as wearing speedos or a ready tied bow tie! A good soldier, however, ALWAYS wears his boots in the field.

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    2. Nothing wrong with Speedos. You just need the right figure or a pair of socks secreted away. My wife hates them though.

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    3. My wife doesn't wear socks either.

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  11. What? no hand truck? I find it beats brute force every time. Nice boots.

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    Replies
    1. I'm in training, I need to lose weight, or hadn't you noticed?

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  12. I am the keeper of tools in my family. The son still packs them around and drops them where they were last used. He's in a profession where tools are important, they must just buy new ones all the time. I don't want new ones, I want MINE, my old ones that I'm used to. I understand your irritation over misplaced tools, just be aware it isn't gender-specific.

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    Replies
    1. Just as I am getting in touch with my feminine side, you have obviously grasped your masculine side, and tools, with both hands!

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  13. You are forgiven the bum parade considering the fact that YOU did all the washing without having to be nagged, cajoled, berated or beaten into it :)
    P.S You would be amazed at the tool shop I own :) I have everything a man / woman could need for any job including rather large transformer looking contraptions and many yellow tools (DeWalt, my favourite). Hubby is a builder and even he knows not to touch a single piece of weaponry in my work shop :)

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  14. All right, all right! Please excuse my misogynistic remark about women and tools! Some women have tools, some women love tools, some women marry tools.

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  15. Marcia is a blessed woman...more ways then one.

    I have my own tools. And I dont like to share either.

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    Replies
    1. I think she still needs convincing. Just think what I have given up for her: fast cars, motorcycles, fighting, drinking, smoking, chasing other women. Has she stopped over salting my food? Has she hell.

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  16. Never mind your bottom, Tom. Lots of men, people in general, do have one. You missed a trick there. Real men know when to lose their socks. Usually BEFORE they are out of their boxers and into assorted knickers. Elementary, Tom, elementary. Back to the drawing board. Try again.

    U

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    Replies
    1. If you try reading the comments or buy yourself a new pair of glasses and have a closer look, Ursula, you will realise you were talking out of yours...

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  17. My goodness, you're khaki colored, with brown boots. Every soldier's highest aspiration?

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    Replies
    1. We were born khaki brained, just take a look at the colour of my shirts and trousers, only one 'civvie' shirt among them!

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  18. I was reminded of an advert from back when we lived in England:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCemJAd3KZA&feature=youtu.be

    The other thing I'm curious about is if you have to iron your laundry. When we lived in Nigeria all washing had to be ironed, one time a towel wasn't ironed properly and my father had eggs in the skin on his back - I looked it up and tumbu fly seems to be what they were.

    Helen

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    Replies
    1. I remember those Carling Black label spoofs, they were very good!

      Regarding the need to iron, it does not seem to be a necessity here. I have had a few puppies who were infected with maggots but these were from eggs laid on the skin. Personally, I like to wash clothes properly and then iron them. The biggest problem we have with poorly washed, badly rinsed clothes are rashes, especially what we in the Army called Dhobi rash which affects genitalia and can drive you wild with itching. Ironing clothes with a steam iron really does finish off any bugs or bacteria still hidden in clothing.

      As an aside, when I first joined the British Army, it was once again under pressure to cut costs so all the uniforms including socks and underwear, were made of cheaper synthetic fibres, These can only be washed at low temperatures, The rates of foot rot, dhobi rash and other skin ailments soared and that, coupled with the fact that uniforms used to melt onto the soldier's skin if they were exposed to heat, encouraged the Army to go back to cotton and wool. I see many tourists pitch up here dressed in what they think is safari kit but if they ever spent some real time in the bush, they'd regret their manmade fibres.

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  19. I'm relieved that your exertions getting the machine in place didn't cause you another myocardial infarction. Here ours were installed by the contractor who did the renovation of the flat, but of course the dingbat forgot to remove the transit bolts which nearly caused the granite tops under which it and the dryer are located to dislodge from the cabinetry. But there's nothing better than clean laundry. Well, there's one thing better. Clean laundry ironed and back in my chest of drawers or wardrobe. Happy scrubbing!

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    Replies
    1. I was at it until midnight last night and started again at seven this morning. Hopefully by midnight tonight I will have cracked it! Then all I have to do is keep on top of it. Easy.

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  20. You are welcome to do my laundry any time!

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    Replies
    1. Not only can I do laundry including ironing to military standards, I keep a tidy kitchen, am a good cook, I am brilliant at cleaning pools, love mowing lawns and could teach you German and/or Portuguese and all I run on is good food, DomTom, good books and detective series such as Morse (now Endeavour) etc.

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  21. Woe betide anyone who takes my tools, and doesn't return them. A hanging offence in this house!!

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    Replies
    1. I would love to be able to get away with hanging a couple of offenders as a salutary warning to the rest!

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    2. p.s. There used to be a company here (maybe there still is), that made very simple, one button, indestructible, washing machines (Laden ?). Basically it was a miniaturised ready-mix lorry inside a white metal box. You loaded it up, bunged in a shovel-full of soapy gravel, pressed a button, and went out for the day. Fantastic machine, ours lasted for about 30 years and washed everything perfectly.

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    3. Everything came out looking like a navvy's string vest but, oh so clean!

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  22. Ps
    Is there ANYTHING YOU WONT do to get more followers
    X?

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  23. Replies
    1. Those shirts are clean, aren't they?

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  24. It's a bit too chilly here to hang out the clothes with nothing but my boots on. Today we had the warmest temperature we've had in days, reached nearly 30°F/-1°C. All last week we hardly cracked 0°F/-17°C, so the washing i did last week was dried in the dryer or on the drying rack.

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    1. I recall trying to get back to UK from Belize one winter. There was air traffic chaos in the States. I was supposed to fly from Houston to UK but there was a problem and we flew to Miineapolis/St Paul where there was a delay so dressed only in a sports jacket and flannels, I stepped out of the terminal to smoke a cigarette. First breath, my lungs froze up, immediately followed by my eyeballs! To complete the journey we flew to Detroit where I drank myself silly in one of the bars, then we flew to Boston and then in a blizzard, took off for UK. I once spent a very long night lying behind a GPMG in minus 18 Celsius, that was cold!

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  25. Don't do this at home:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25618683

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    Replies
    1. But it is OK to try it anywhere else?

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  26. Lending tools and not getting them back is something that drives me up the wall. I have to admit that I lend very few now if I can help it. Nice picture, the wife wants to know if you'll do signed copies if we pay the postage!

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    Replies
    1. Rather than lash out on postage, treat your good lady to a new pair of glasses!

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  27. Replies
    1. You too, Sten! I see from your blog you are doing more shooting in suburbia than I am in Africa!

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  28. Tom. You seem to be acquiring more female readers lately.

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  29. It's been days, Tom. How long does it take to do some washing with the help of a machine? They say a woman's work is never done. Going by your current output I'd say a man's work is never ever ever ever ever done. Where that leaves you and Alex in boxers and socks I do not know. Why not try the local laundry?

    U

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  30. Been 10 days since laundry day, Tom. Too much sunburn on your bum to sit down and post? ;-D

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    Replies
    1. Watch this -- my flippant comment will bite me when Tom's next entry is about losing his foot, getting deported, drowned in a tidal wave or something else awful. Apologizes in advance....

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Please feel free to comment, good or bad. I will allow anything that isn't truly offensive to any other commentator. Me? You can slag me without mercy but try and be witty while you are about it.