Friday, 27 April 2012

A Mighty Return

Yesterday, being the *good* housewife I am, I noticed Pete's 'dress-down' jeans were still in the laundry basket and quickly gathered up a load of laundry.  Before I started the wash I texted Pete to let him know the jeans were going in the dryer to be ready for tomorrow. 

No problem, he replied.  If they aren't ready, I'll just wear something else.

This is where I should have left it.  He had something else to wear, no need to rush things and get the dryer going.  Especially after this...

The noise actually stopped shortly after I sent this out.  I forgot about it and moved on.

The washer stopped, everything seemed normal, no need to think anything was wrong.  Although now I think about it, when I rearranged the clothes before the dry cycle they were a bit heavier and more wet than usual. 

Then, things started to go a bit wonky.

Disregard the time stamp at the top.

See, I went down to check on the dryer and there were suds.  Lots and lots of suds.  Needless to say, there are not suppose to be suds.

Pete couldn't handle anymore bad info, so I took to the interwebs. 

And then things got worse. 
I started pressing buttons with the hope of figuring out the Mystery of the Drying Suds. 
I turned it off.  Waited.  Turned it back on. 


So now I had a washer full of clothes and water and suds.  And because it is a front-loader, there is no way to get the clothes out until the water disappears.  Which it wasn't.

This is around the time I started to freak out a little. 

I know. It's just a washer, it's no big deal. It can all be fixed.

It's a testament to how stressed we both are that this turned into a drama.  A really big drama.

I cried.  I kicked the washer a few times in the hope that it might literally kick-start. 


I tried shaking it.  But it is a washer full of water and sodden clothes.  It wasn't budging. 
My twitter friends offered advice, from the usual, 'unplug it' to the more fanciful, 'sing to it and stroke it gently.' 
I offered it chocolate.  Really good, 70% Dark Chocolate.  But the washer remained uncommunicative and cold. 

I mean I was willing to work with it here.  I would give it whatever it wanted.  Anti-limescale tablets.  Gentler, more expensive, washing powder.  Two days off a week.  Whatever it wanted. 


Still nothing.

I started to get desperate and began collecting tools to disconnect the water hoses and poke around inside the washer.  I stopped myself just as I was unscrewing the first connection. 

This was probably not the best plan of action. My attempts at home repairs, more often than not, just make the problem worse. 

So I gave in and informed Pete of the situation.

You'll notice that after I gave in and admitted to Pete it was broken.  He didn't respond. 

30 minutes later he tells me he's on the way home.  But no mention of the washer drama.

This is where it all turned around.  I decided this was going to be a shit situation any way we sliced it.  So why not try and turn it into an adventure.  A story of our joint triumph over the washer. 

I threw some beer in the fridge and waited. 

We tackled the washer together and came out the other side. 

There was a lot of water.  A lot of sodden towels and buckets, tupperware and mugs of dirty water.  A fair amount of swearing (but not as much as I expected).

And a collar stiffener. 

That was the culprit.  Those little arrow looking tabs that go into shirt collars to keep them from curling.  That innocent little piece of white, pliable (yet indestructible) plastic.  How it got jammed into the water pump I will never know.  I vaguely remember a shirt loosing one months ago.  Like last year. 

That's how the story ended.  A collar stiffener jammed in the water pump. 

We put it all back together.  Had another beer.  And ordered pizza. 

Here's the surprise twist.  The rest of the night was really nice.  I mean, we didn't do anything terribly exciting.  We watched some TV and got ready for bed.  But we truely enjoyed each other's company. 

Our nights of late have been a bit sullen and quiet.  None of our usual silly banter or joking. Just sitting side by side quietly watching repeats on TV while eating a boring meal.  The joy of being at home together is squashed a bit by the realities of grown-up life lately and it's been getting us down. 

Our triumph over the washer was just what we needed to give us a little boost.  We fixed something.  We didn't have to wait on anything or anybody.  We fixed something that had gone wrong.

In some intangible way it reminded us that we are a solid team and we can totally do this grown-up thing.  

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Snot-nosed ramblings

Well hello!

This is earlier than expected.  But I'm bored and it's raining.  Why not shake things up?

As I write, The Queen* is 'officially' opening some touristy-historical spots in my City Centre.  As a volunteer of one of those tourist-historical spots I could be enjoying the Royal sighting with a special view. 

But it's raining, again.

And I have bright yellow snot, again.

So it goes. 

I'm pretty much writing off the month of April.  It has been nothing but rain and snot.  At least that is my lasting memory of the month.  The photos on my phone tell me there were some moments of sun but those memories are hazy and squiggy around the edges.  That must be the snot taking up residence in my brain.

Simply put, the quicker this month is behind me, the better. 

In other news, I applied for a job that has the potential to be the elusive 'dream job.' I was diligent about this one and attempted some networking, put quality work into the CV and cover letter, and convinced myself I was the perfect candidate in order to also convince the HR intern whose job it is to short-list candidates** that I am the perfect candidate...

We'll see.  It's all a crap shoot. 

This faux spring is not bringing around the rebirth I usually expect from this time of year.  In fact it is doing just the opposite and causing hibernation tendencies. I haven't gone for a run in over a month and the lack of exercise is definitely beginning to take its toll. I haven't been writing and the creative juices/chops are going the way of the snotty tissues (in the trash).
I'm even in a cooking rut and can't be asked to crack the food magazine I obsessively buy every month to find something new and interesting. 

I'm so desperate for sun and warmth I've taken to stalking the EasyJet website and fantasizing about impulsively booking two tickets for a weekend anywhere in a four-hour flight radius that can guarantee me sun and temperatures above 50F/10C.  If you've ever had the pleasure of a four-hour EasyJet flight you can understand how desperate the situation has become.  If you haven't, well, consider yourself lucky.  Hell is upholstered in orange and grey. 

Alas, looking at old holiday snaps will have to suffice. Not the same at all.

It might be time to re-instate the tradition of the 'Winter Burn-off' party. 

* HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Her Royal Majesty, Queenie?  I have no idea about the proper etiquette for this kind of thing but I'm sure it's included in some journalism stylebook somewhere or at the very least on the 'Life in Britian' exam. Today I can't be asked to find out. Bad former journalism student.

** I'm assuming it's an intern sorting through the hundreds of applications. Let's just hope they aren't too disgruntled by the time they get to my application in the pile. Or maybe that's what I need.  A disgruntled intern that throws my wacky CV in the mix to stick it to 'the man' just enough to feel rebellious but not enough to get fired. Let's face it, no one wants to go from sorting CVs to sending CVs.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

In the Meantime II

Hello dear readers,

You face-less and ever-diminishing group.  You're wonderful.  I really don't deserve you.

What can I say?

We've had a hard few months over here.  Lots of uncertainty, lots of loss, and lately, lots of mucous.

Lots and lots and lots of orangey, yellowey, greeney mucous.  Going on 18 days...

When months like this come around, and around, and around all you can do is circle the wagons and hunker down for the duration.  And that usually means cutting out some activities that just add extra stress.  Like blogging. Or laundry*. 

We are taking turns taking care of each other, physically and mentally.  As painful and annoying as these turns can be, they are also one of the best parts of being married, I think.  I mean right up there with watching the luggage while you pee and being contractually obligated to clean up your mountain of snotty tissues.  That 'in sickness and in health' clause is handy. 

But it's not all tough.  We have a better appreciation of each other as the mucous starts to diminish in color and frequency.  (all together now, aaawwww or eeeeewww)  And while there is still a lot of uncertainty, we are beginning to move forward despite the unknown. 

This is all very vague, but some things are best left off the interwebs.  We are at one of those moments in life where everything could suddenly change or it could stay exactly the same.  We are hoping for change, as we quietly dread it at the same time.  (And just for the record, and I hate that this is exactly where everyone goes when a married woman of a certain age talks about change but... all this talk has nothing to do with offspring.  Mom, I'm looking at you.)

With that being said, or not said as the case seems to be, we could use some good vibes.  So whichever way you lean, I humbly ask you to burn some sage, light some candles, say a little prayer or do a little dance and send some good energy our way. 

And with that, I leave you for another undisclosed amount of time. 

Cheers and much love,


*However there is still time for baking and after two over-heated hand mixers and one crying-jag over my inability to determine 'stiff peaks,' I made that monster Pavlova and it was SWEET! I mean literally, so sweet it hurt your teeth.  Sadly, no photographic evidence, but trust me, it was awesome. In both size and taste.