Domestic concerns

(I might add photos later).

My washing machine broke down last month. I was in no hurry to buy a new one, as my parents were out of the country and I simply did my laundry at their place until they got back last week. It gave me time to time to restrict my luxury spending to the extent that I only had to pay 1/3 of the price of the replacement washer out of my savings, with the rest coming out of my daily expenses account.

The ageing AEG had already undergone one repair and if I added the cost of that to what repairing it once more would cost, it would amount to half a new washing machine. Given that and its venerable age of 15 (almost geriatric for a modern washing machine) and I could afford it, I decided to get a new one.

I have a tragic history of things breaking down on me when I can’t afford to replace them. This was a nice change.

First, however, came the problem of getting the old one out of the house. Did I mention I live on the fourth floor and there is no elevator in my house? There was no way I was going to carry that sucker out of there myself, at least not in one piece. The shop I bought the new one from actually offers removal service, but I had my eye on making something out of the drum, so I decided to take it apart myself. So I dived into my toolbox (every girl should have one!) and took out the tools I was most likely to need: a Phillips screwdriver, a torx screwdriver (there is no machinery nowadays that does not have at least a half-a-dozen torx screws in it), a hex key set, a socket wrench set, locking pliers, needle-nose pliers and a utility knife. All got put to good use.

On and off over the weekend I disassembled the machine little by little, with much washing of hands (there was a lot of grease in that sucker) and occasional cursing. Apart from the drum, I gleaned a number of interesting electronics stuff I think I’ll be able to upcycle into craft projects. I also got an impressive number of bruises on my arms and legs and one shallow cut on my arm when a very tight screw suddenly gave way and I caught my arm on the surprisingly sharp edge of the washing machine casing. There are still two torx screws that firmly resist all pressure, but I will persevere…

On Monday the replacement arrived. I did all I could with it on my own and then called in my father to help me put it into place – it needed to be lifted 10 cm up onto the platform a previous owner of the apartment put up in the bathroom. Since the floor is tiled and the washer is heavy I didn’t want to take any chances by trying to do it by myself. Dad also removed all the stuff I didn’t want from the old machine and I was left with a shining new Electrolux washer and a cleaner bathroom than has happened in a long time. The accumulated sticky dust bunnies and washing powder crud under the old machine had to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately, I also chipped two tiles when I was taking the old washer apart.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go home and start the first of several loads of laundry.



I went to a union rally on Thursday. I expected several things, but certainly not a jazz band – all wearing colourful kanga shirts. They played a few songs while the meeting hall filled up, and then the rally began.


Click to enlarge