Sunday, August 07, 2005

Clean and dry

My life this week

Well, I’ve been really lame on the blog front this week. Why, well… no real reason, really. I have a lot of things in train, biting political commentary and witty social observation, etc . However, my really big news this week is that I have a new washer and dryer. I’m actually really excited about this, despite that fact that a) it’s a bit lame and b) I don’t actually do the laundry. That’s the Vol-in-Law’s job. Maybe I’m just excited on his behalf. (That’s how much she cares – V.i.L.)
We’ve had a combination washer and dryer for a number of years now, and while that seems like a great space saving idea, it doesn’t really work. The clothes don’t get dry, they just get hot and steamy, and you can’t (I’m told) put more than a third of a load in the machine during the drying cycle. And lately our clothes haven’t actually been getting clean. Clothes not clean means it hasn’t been meeting the critical success factor for a washing machine.

Now, when I first moved to Britain I had many cultural adjustments to make, but one of the more difficult were the really small washing machines that took a really long time (hours or days to do a single load) and the lack of dryers. Very few people have houses or flats large enough to accommodate a washer and a dryer, and many people don’t believe dryers are necessary. Here just about everybody dries their clothes by hanging them out. Not so bad you might say, but please remember England is a rainy, damp country. Yep, the clothes don’t get too dry in the persistent drizzle. So what happens is you end up draping your clothes over furniture, radiators or if you’re lucky, special drying racks you can prop up in the bath.

Now we have a washing machine, a fancy Miele, German engineered washing machine that cleans clothes fast (not as fast as an American washing machine, but what the hey) And now we have a dryer, a real tumble dryer, that dries clothes. Do we have room for a dryer? No, we don’t. We put it in the shed (you can see a picture of our beautiful shed in the comment section of a previous blog). We had to run a cable out to the shed to power it (after we blew a fuse by trying to power the dryer with an old extension cord that had previously been "repaired" with duct tape). Are we qualified to wire up a shed? Not to worry, the electrical system is different and safer here in the UK. (I told my mom that and she believed me).
Anyway, we’ve done a couple of loads of laundry and our clothes are clean and dry. You can’t get any better than that.

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