The washing machine repair man came this week to fix the Hoover, one-year-and-one-month-old and out of warranty.
Parts are free for five years but labour is not, so when the thing suddenly sounded on the spin cycle like the Hadron Collider, we made some calls. As the one-year warranty was up, the only thing we could do was take out insurance there and then, at a cost of around £130. This, we were told, would pay for the labour, call-out and also protect us in future.
It took nearly three weeks to be fixed. In the interim, I have been running across the road with baskets of dirty laundry, diving into my neighbour's house to use her machine while she was away. But there are only so many times you can avail yourself of such kindness. So, in the meantime, the washing has piled up. And this week, the Grigg household resembles a Chinese laundry.
The repair man came from Hoover Candy on Tuesday. He was very sweet, with a lovely Westcountry accent and one of those rotund bodies only a Weeble wife could love. He took an-hour-and-half to do the job and at one point the washing machine was an empty shell. He told me I'd been given a new front and had about £300 worth of parts. He said it in a way that made me feel like I should be grateful.
It would have been more cost effective for the Hoover Candy people to give me a new washing machine.
When I asked him what could be done about the slight damage to the outer casing just below the door, which was caused by the bolt shearing off inside, he just shrugged.
"The protective coating has started to chip off and I'm worried it might go rusty,' I said.
'It won't go rusty,' he assured me, cheerfully. 'Only if it gets wet.'
It's a washing machine. Wet things come out of washing machines.
'Have you got any white nail varnish?' he said.
Do I look like a Chav?
'Well, paint, then, or Tippex, that should do it.'
The thing I am most annoyed about is not how I blithely said: 'Oh, um, OK then', but what happened next.
On his way out to the van, he pointed to the doorstep.
'I've left a big load of cardboard there, is that all right love?' he said. 'I can't carry it in the van. Oh, and yes, a piece of concrete.'
'Thanks very much,' I said, with no hint of sarcasm.
If I'd had quicker reactions, I would have picked up the ruddy concrete block, hurled it at him like a boomerang and knocked the bastard out.
But then Weebles wobble but they don't fall down.
That's about it.
Love Maddie x
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