Tuesday 14 November 2023

Washing Machine Blues - Part 2

Hello and welcome!

I didn't have to wait too long for the washing machine engineer on Wednesday morning; the first day of November. Once he had left I put on the first of the loads of whites washing I planned to do. Would you believe it 20 minutes into the wash cycle the bloody machine tripped the electric again; plus there was water leaking slowly across the kitchen floor. I contacted the repair company immediately but it would the following Thursday before anyone could come out again. I had a horrible feeling we might need a new washing machine....

 I'd planned to go for a walk once the machine had been fixed but by then it was raining heavily. Instead, I went to Kempston to the library to pick up the book I wanted and then had a look in The Cat's Protection League. They were going to close on the 17th November and the shop looked very bare. Nevertheless, I found a mustard yellow dress/tunic and a lovely photo frame.

I wore this pre-loved Seasalt dress; it's called 'The Mill Pool Dress'. The hand knitted waistcoat was 1.00 rail find somewhere and my thick thermal tights were Barnardo's new goods but reduced to 50 p as the packaging was torn. They were toasty warm which was just as well as the day got progressively colder. The boots were an old Sainsbury's retail buy. All jewellery pre-loved.

When I got home I gathered up the rest of the washing; one load was stuck in the machine still; and headed off for our local launderette. Having established it used coins and not a debit card; I then had to drive to the post office to get coins.  I filled 2 machines with washing and sat and read my Elly Griffith's book. I gave the washing a short dry in the dryer then took it home to finish it off in my dryer. The washes and one dry cost £15.00 in total. I feel so sorry for anyone who has to rely on a launderette to do their washing regularly; it must cost them a fortune. I could have used my daughter or my daughter-in-law's machine but I had so much to do and just wanted it out of the way...

Middle grandson came to stay over on Wednesday night so he could be here when the washing machine engineer called on Thursday. I went swimming as usual in the morning; then made us brunch. After that I got ready and went to the farm shop for coal and kindling and then to Lidl for the weekly shopping.  By 3 pm there was no phone call from the engineer to say he was on his way so I contacted the company. I was reassured he was in the area and I was next on his list. By 4.45 I still hadn't heard anything and rang the company again to be told the engineer had been delayed on his previous job and wouldn't be able to come out to me after all! To say I was cross was an understatement; I was spitting feathers/tacks and the air was blue. The soonest anyone could come out was the following week - to add insult to injury!

In attempt to counter what was a miserable, wet, grey day; I picked my mustard yellow dress to wear and wore it over green thermal leggings and a green patterned top. I wore warm socks with a lime green stripe which is what you can see peeping out of my green boots. Everything pre-loved including the jewellery; with the exception of the thermal tights which I found online.

On Friday, I'd planned to spend the day with cousin Marian in London. We visited the 'Museum of the Home' (formerly called the Geffrye Museum). We travelled to Old Street station and after a few attempts with Google maps finally found our way there. It was a very interesting place to visit with several domestic interiors 'Rooms Through Time' period displays, based on real London homes from the past 400 years. There was an exhibition of what home was and wasn't to a range of Londoners: 'What Does Home Mean to You? Unfortunately, the museum cafe wasn't wasn't open so we stopped close by for a pick me up before going in to view the exhibits. The museum is housed in almshouses built in 1714 for poor pensioners of the Ironmonger's Company (Ironmonger's Row and Ironmonger's Baths were close by). One of the almshouses can be toured if booked in advance. There was a large green rectangle of grass in front of the almshouses behind iron railings which seemed to muffle the sounds of the traffic strangely; and behind the almshouses; lovely gardens representing how city gardens have changed over 400 years including; a Stuart knot garden; working herb garden and a bucolic cottage garden. I spotted lots of old tin baths filled with plants amongst lots of lovely plants, herbs, flowers and trees. We didn't spend too much time outside as it began to rain heavily...

The photos are a bit fuzzy I'm afraid. My phone camera was in fuzzy mode on Friday for some reason and I did clean the lens...

I wore these pre-loved  black and white spotted palazzo trousers; they were the second pair I've owned; having worn the first pair out! Top by F&F and knit tank top had no label; both pre-loved as were the biker boots (not seen) and all jewellery. It was still raining heavily when we left the museum and the bottom of my trousers were sopping wet. It was of course the day I forgot to take an umbrella with me. I had a foldable shopping bag I keep in my hand bag; I used that as a head covering until we caught the bus to the station...I didn't care what I looked like!

Spotted  on our walk to the museum:

A ghost sign on Old Street. The building is now occupied by the headquarters of 'Shelter': a UK homeless charity.

St. Luke's Church. Completed in 1733 and designed by John James and Nicholas Hawksmoor.

At the junction of Old Street and Great Eastern Street.

A Victorian living room.

Edwardian (1913) living room

1930s living room

1970s (West Indian) living room. This room reminded so much of OH's mum's living room which was always kept locked and only used for special occasions. It was the huge doilies and antimacassars (chair backs) that did it for me. Our 1970s living room shared many of the same features; the china cabinet and white phone for one. Apologies once again for the fuzziness of the photograph.

Late 1990s loft conversion living room. There was another room beside this one under construction; presumably the 2020s?

Some of the artefacts on display. 
I loved the Victorian green glass mantle/table lustres which would have sat on a mantelpiece and caught the light from the fire and gas lamps in the room; making the crystals shimmer and sparkle.

Art deco pottery.

There were several photographic displays. The one above depicts the same living room in 24 separate flats showing the contrasting ways people decorate and furnish their rooms.

This made me laugh. 
Peter and Jane featured in a series of reading books used in English schools in the 1970s and 1980s. My children's school used them but I'm so old I remember our reading books were 'Janet and John'. Equally sexist I'm sure...

It was a lovely day out which Marian and I both enjoyed. We'll see each other again in December at her latest grandchild's christening.

Someone posted this picture on Facebook of the Glennif Horseshoe in Co. Sligo; it's the one I walked with cousin Martina back in the summer. It made me feel very homesick for Ireland.

Sunday is the day I usually wear no make up and don't bother to dress up much but Saturday was so wet and miserable I swapped days. This was Sunday's outfit. Everything pre-loved; jeans by East; top, no label. Cardigan by Canadian company, Weekenders. Boots; present from daughter last Christmas. All jewellery pre-loved. I went for a swim first thing and after a late breakfast I went into town to return my two library books. It was a relief not to have rain and in fact it was quite sunny but a bit blustery and cool.  I decided to walk home the long way and popped into the Castle Road charity shops on my home; only 2 of the 3 were open. By the time I arrived home I'd clocked up 3.5 miles. Both grandsons came for dinner as usual.

Monday is Barnardo's day and once again we were having a break from donations. I did the banking and also got some change for the till at the post office; then processed several bags of donations. Another one of those days where I didn't feel I'd achieved very much.  I did buy a pair of green fleece lined leggings for the princely sun of 1.00 though. 

Once home I decided to cook something special for OH (Slow Cooked Belly Pork with Ginger and Soy) and I made myself some curried butternut squash and lentil soup which was both hearty and very filling. There was enough left over for daughter, too.

Everything pre-loved. Clements Ribeiro jacket (left) bought from Bedford Autism; dress by Boden; wool polo neck by H&M and boots, no label; all found in Barnardo's. Striped tights a present. All jewellery pre-loved.

The washing machine engineer called again and what I feared most about the washing machine came true. It would be uneconomical to fix the issues and we would have to wait for parts etc, etc. OH and I decided to go ahead and replace the machine with a new one. I ordered one from John Lewis and it would be delivered, fitted and the old one taken away for re-cycling on Thursday. I can't wait! It comes to something when you can get excited about a new washing machine. I suppose it's the convenience of being able to do washing when you want. Over the weekend both daughter-in-law and daughter did washes for me which meant dropping them off and then collecting them but at least the washing was done.

Busy at the food bank on Tuesday putting away crates of toiletries/ baby food/baby milk/sanitary towels. Then I unpacked a pallet of goods and put them away. Next week is the big move. I'm not wanted next Tuesday but have been asked to go in later in the week and I volunteered to go in next Friday instead. 

You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned the unofficial bus walking group who walk on Fridays; we suspended the walks for November as all of us were busy most Fridays. They will recommence in December.

And talking of walking, I finally went and recce'd my Ramblers walk in the afternoon walking 6.6 miles. It's shorter than the original walk I planned but avoids several very muddy footpaths; one along the outskirts of a copse. The ground was very waterlogged in places and and at times my boots became heavy with the build up of claggy soil. It makes for hard walking and I bet my leg muscles ache tomorrow! It maybe that if we don't have too much rain in the forthcoming week the ground may dry out but I'm not betting  on it...one of my walking boots was letting in water and when I took them off I could see the sole had become detached from the upper. I'll see if OH can glue it back but from previous experience it will happen again. Luckily, I have a brand new pair of walking boots in reserve; a birthday present from OH several years back and as yet not worn.

Bathroom selfie...

I thoroughly enjoyed my walk which was mostly in sunshine. Once or twice it clouded over and I thought it might rain but didn't. The tree colours were beautiful but apart from a couple of magpies and some skylarks there weren't many birds to be seen but I could hear them. I passed 2 badger sets. They were relatively close together (one end of a field to the other) so it's likely they were the same set. I've only seen a badger close up once and that was when we first moved to Bedfordshire and lived in the hospital grounds. I was walking back from the social club; having gone to buy cigarettes one winter's evening when I heard a snuffling, snorting sound beside me. When I looked down at the noise source there was a badger walking by my side. Badgers are notoriously short sighted but I'm surprised it didn't smell me...

I was hoping to walk again on Wednesday but it was one of those grey, gloomy days with on and off showers all day. I took middle grandson to the walk-in clinic at the other end of the town for an appointment. While he was waiting to be seen I ran some errands. Started off at Aldi for some groceries and then went to B&M where I invested in some new black tea towels. If they're any good (absorbent) I'll be buying some more; no more yucky coloured tea towels, I hope. I took grandson home and made him something to eat then I set off to Rushden to my favourite charity shop - Sally Ann's or the Salvation Army. I also went to the other charity shop called strangely 'The Swivel Club' where I found some basic black leather Doc Martens for 10.00 and a few books. In Sally Ann's I bought 2 dresses; one knee length and one midi. I was very glad I went!

You can see this was definitely NOT a walking outfit. The dress was found in a charity shop a few months back at Keech Hospice shop but the first time worn. I had thick knitted brown tights underneath and a full length slip for extra warmth and a knitted tank top  over it; all pre-loved. Boots; retail as before. All jewellery pre-loved. From Rushden I drove home to make dinner and catch up with my reading and blogging. As for watching TV we'd been watching this all week:

Very chilling; some excellent acting and some glorious scenery.

Thursday was brighter and dry for most of the day. I went for my swim and then after having something to eat and getting ready I went to do the weekly food shopping at Lidl and Sainsbury's. Soon after I arrived home and was putting the shopping away; the engineers came to deliver and install the machine. More bad news; they couldn't install the machine as it needed to be wired in and they couldn't take the old one away because it was wired in...their insurance didn't cover 'electricals'. Give me strength....

A hectic day was Thursday; picking youngest grandson up from a basket ball match after school; making dinner; sorting out the fire; then taking grandson to evening basket ball practice and collecting him again. His mum's partner came round in the evening and wired the machine in for us and as I typed this the new machine was merrily washing away...
Outfit all pre-loved except the boots from New Look last year. All jewellery pre-loved except earring bought from Accessorise about 20 years ago.

So many nasturtiums had flowered I was able to pick some!

 Something different on Friday; we went away for the weekend taking middle grandson with us. Where did we go? We went to Sheringham in Norfolk which we first discovered on August bank holiday weekend. We found a tiny airbnb cottage for a reasonable price and set off for Norfolk around midday. We arrived at the cottage around 4 pm having stopped for refreshments on the way.

 Dress pre-loved; pre-loved leggings by M&S. Boots as before all jewellery pre-loved. I wore my Vinted black leather jacket with a big scarf and gloves; Friday was a chilly day. Once we'd settled into the cottage and unpacked; we walked into Sheringham to find something to eat and got thoroughly drenched in a heavy down pour.

I don't know if getting wet through had anything to do with it but by Sunday I was feeling very rough. My throat felt it had razor blades in it and every time I coughed; which was often, it hurt! My nose was streaming and I ached all over. I did manage to drive us back to Bedford where I collapsed on the sofa with blankets, a hot water bottle and cushions, but couldn't get warm despite OH lighting the fire as soon as we got in. I went to bed early and stayed in bed on Monday morning until almost midday. I'd contacted Barnardo's to say I wouldn't be in and I also tested myself for Covid - which was negative. Taking Paracetamol every 4 hours seemed to help and once I was up and about on Monday I felt much better. The sore throat had diminished thank goodness.

This wasn't our cottage in Sheringham, but it was very similar to ours which had a side entrance and was down a little lane. Lots of flint and brick buildings in Norfolk and I think they're charming.

On Saturday, once we were up and had breakfast we set off for King's Lynn; 40 miles away. Kings Lynn was one of England's most important Hanseatic towns and ports from as early as the 12th century. For more information about the Hanseatic towns which include Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Boston and Hull see HERE. Known as Bishop's Lynn the name of the town was changed to King's Lynn after the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry V111.

The Majestic Cinema in King's Lynn.

King John. According to legend King John lost the Crown jewels in the Wash (largest estuary in England which feeds into the North Sea). People continue to look for those jewels today!

Town Hall and old Gaol. Those are chains above the door...

King's Lynn or Lynn Minster

The Guildhall. A wedding was taking place when I took this photo. The Guildhall was also a theatre in the past and Shakespeare is said to have performed here in 1593.

The town was built between two river; Millfleet to the north and the Purfleet to the south.

Custom House, Purfleet Quay.

King's Lynn had a lot of charity shops but we didn't get to visit them all. We left grandson in the museum whilst we looked at a few of the charity shops and then met up with him and had a look around the museum which was small but very interesting. It was a very cold day don't let the blue skies in the photos fool you and my black leather jacket wasn't warm enough. I found a grey and light coloured herringbone coat for 3.00 by La Redoute and put it on straight away. I also found 3 pairs of earrings, a couple of books and a tank top BNWT that I had seen and coveted at Sainsburys earlier in the year but wouldn't pay 14.00 for a sleeveless top from a super market. For 3.00, that's a different story. OH bought nothing! On the way back to Sheringham from King's Lynn we stopped at the King's Arms in Letheringsett for a meal. We'd eaten here back in August with both grandsons and the food was very good. Before we left on Sunday we walked along the promenade at Sheringham and said hello to the sea.

Once I was up on Monday and feeling a whole lot better; I spent the day doing the backlog of washing; waiting for the engineers to collect the old washing machine and making dinner. I also caught up with blogs and blogging. Monday's big news was that the current UK Home Secretary; Suella Braverman had been sacked. What a thoroughly unpleasant woman she was and I will certainly not miss her.

It felt very strange on Tuesday to not go to the food bank but the big move was afoot. I thought I might recce my walk again but the constant rain put paid to that thought. I did go to Sainsbury's for a couple of things and did the last of the washing. Otherwise it was a quiet day of reading and blogging. 

My latest TBR pile. I started on the Richard Osman.

Everything pre-loved. Rain jacket by Damart from The Daycare Hospice shop.

Dress by Simply Be found at the Sally Army last Wednesday. Boots from Cat's Protection League. Tights were also pre-loved but now have holes in the toes; I ordered myself a new pair in the same colour from Snag tights which never go at the toe...

All jewellery pre-loved.

I lead my walk on Wednesday and it's going to be a really muddy one thanks to all the rain. My new walking boots will get well and truly christened...see you in a fortnight!



  1. What a palaver with the washing machine I'm not surprised you turned the air blue! I'm sorry to hear you have been poorly too. I went to the Museum of the Home years ago to see an exhibition about Tea. It was just before Christmas and they had decorated all the rooms it was interesting to see how little they used to decorate in some eras, I guess we are used to seeing TV depictions.

    1. Thank you, Gisela. The machine has been well and truly boken in...I'd love to have seen the Xmas decorations in the room sets in the museum; a lot of greenery I expect but not a hint of plastic!

  2. oh no - i feel with you in the washing maschine drama!
    thanx goodness you found a new one and this was installed finally.....
    the museum of home looks very interesting!! how people furniture and decorate their homes says so much - not only about them personally - but about the society/politics/world at the time too. i would move right in into the edwardian or art deco sets :-D
    fabulous trip to Sheringham - you made some gorgeous photos there..... but sorry to hear it ended with a heavy cold for you - glad it went away fast.
    many chic outfits - gorgeous colour combinations too......
    yesterday i harvested most of my nasturtiums for pesto - we have the first frost in the forecast.... since september the plants got gigantic with 2-3 meter long tendrils.....
    stay warm and cosy! xxxxx

    1. Thank you, Beate. I'm intrigued about the nasturtium pesto - do you use the leaves only? Also mine were trailing on very long stalks this year too; I didn't realise they did that and thought they just grew upright...

    2. i use the leaves, the flowers & buds and soft stems ( the thicker ones tend to be woody) - puree with oil, a pinch of salt & sugar..... thats it. eat it up fast, even in the fridge it gets bad after a few days. do not heat it - it will get bitter!
      have fun! xxx

  3. Oh dear, the washing machine saga does sound frustrating to say the least. I would have been spitting feathers too, I'm sure. I'm glad to read your grandson's Mum's partner was able to fix the wiring in for you.
    I used to do my washing in a launderette when I was in my 20s. I can't remember the cost, but I'm sure it wasn't too expensive. Such a nuisance to drag bags full of washing back and forth though, as obviously I didn't have a car. Those were the days!
    I loved tagging along to the Museum of the Home, which does look very interesting, and your trip to King's Lynn, which looks absolutely gorgeous!
    Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well but at least it wasn't Covid nor did it last very long.
    Fabulous outfits as always, my particular favourite this time being the mustard yellow dress! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann. The mustard dress was a good find and guess what I found a care label inside and it's from Primarni!

      I am feeling better but have a very productive cough which makes sound as if I smoke 40 a day...

  4. Hope you're feeling much better and I'm glad the washing machine saga has come to an end. I didn't have one growing up - it was the laundrette for bedding & towels and handwashing for everything else. When I moved into my student hovel we had a twin tub and it felt like the height of luxury! Whereas most kids who leave home go back to their parents to get their washing done, my mum used to turn up at mine with a bag of washing and a four pack of lager!
    Love the Sally Army ghost sign, that gorgeous Victorian Old Blue Last and The Museum of the Home. I'm with Jane, what terrible examples those books were to young women. I remember reading the Peter and Jane books before I started school and was so bored with them I asked my mum if there was a book about them dying as I hated them so much!
    Great outfits, love the checked dress & the Clements Ribeiro jacket especially.
    Didn't love Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver but as always loved Richard Osman's The Bullet That Missed. He's laugh out loud funny.
    Have a good week, Vronni! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix.

      I love your mum coming round to yours to do her washing! We didn't have one when I was growing up either; I think I was 17 when my mum got a 2nd hand twin tub. I got my first machine in 1980 having spent the first seven years of marriage hand washing and launderetting, too. What a nightmare it was with cloth nappies...

      I remember how boring the Peter and Jane books were.

  5. I love the sound of the Museum of the Home! Another interesting museum I found out about is the Viktor Wynd museum of curiosities in Bethnal Green.
    Love the mustard coloured dress. I love the style.
    £15 in the launderette - wow. And a faff to have to have coins. Good that you now have a new washing machine after all that stress. Enjoyed the Norfolk pics. Never been there! x

    1. Thank you, Gail. The mustard colour dress was from Primarni; I found the label inside although the neck one had been cut out. Both the Museum of the Home and Norfolk are worth a visit!

  6. OMG, washing machine DRAMA! I feel for you - and I'm so glad you have a nice new one after all of that, Vronni! What a royal pain in the arse. I love all your outfits - that lovely mustard tunic/dress, the stripes/plaid/orange trouser look, especially. Black tea towels is such a good idea - I hate how grotty they get. Thank you for all the lovely pics of your travels - gosh, I love the old buildings and signs!

    I hope you have a good week ahead!

    1. Thank you, Sheila. I'm so glad the washing machine drama is over, too!

  7. When we first got married my husband did not own a washer and dryer and we used to bring it to the cleaners where they had a wash and fold service. It was actually not too crazy expensive since we both worked at the time and I guess 20 years ago, the prices were lower. We did buy a machine though within a year or 2. I am glad the washer saga is finally over and you can now wash your clothes. That is a long time to have to deal with that.

    1. Thank you, Mireille. It used to be my job as a child to go to the launderette every Friday to do the weekly wash; I used to bring my library book and enjoy the peace and quiet! Happy days...


Fine weather, flea markets and funerals.

Hello and welcome! Posting a day later than usual; if you want to know why - do read on... (Pre-hair cut of course!) Wednesday was a lovely ...