My trusty friend of a washing machine, which I've had for the best part of twenty years, finally stopped working on Saturday.
It's been a wonderful companion, sticking with me through thick and thin. I got it when I bought my first flat here in Brum. Buying the property had just about cleaned me out (no pun intended) and I had to choose between carpet, or a washing machine. Having survived the previous three years in a rented flat with nowhere to put a washer, I chose the latter and managed on underlay for the next two years.
The machine followed me around the country, first to Loughborough, then back here to Birmingham. It never broke down, it never sulked, it never even thought about not working. I've used it every other day (sometimes every day if the drying weather is good) and it's been just about the most reliable piece of electrical goods I've ever had. But finally, after eighteen years' hard labour, it decided it had had enough. I switched on on Saturday morning to wash a load of towels and... nothing. Not a peep. The door didn't lock, no water flowed, no hum echoed through the utility room. Dead, as they say, as a parrot.
We dashed straight out and bought a new one and I'm sure it will be terrific. It's a washer-dryer for starters so I can get clothes dry in wet or very cold weather. It has a larger capacity and a wider-loading drum so I can actually wash duvets. It comes with all the latest energy-saving settings, and it even comes in a snazzy grey-and-white design.
I shall miss my loyal old Tricity Bendix, though. And I bet the new one won't last eighteen years....