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!!"|