Writing process

Continuing on from last week’s theme on automation

This is not a washing machine, or even a dryer, but when I was looking for clip art for this post I got pictures of cats in dryers. I know cats love dryers, because they’re warm and soft. The pictures are cute but call me paranoid—I didn’t want a picture like that. Too scary. So instead, I chose another cat laundry picture. Mum’s cat, Mercedes, used to love our laundry basket when we took the warm clothes out of the dryer. (Of course, our laundry wasn’t neatly folded like this. 😊)

Maybe it was talking about bots that set it off, but last week our washing machine stopped working. We did the obvious. Plugged it into a different power source. It still didn’t work.  We still had power everywhere else in the house, so it took a while for us to check the fuses. Sure enough, the circuit breaker had tripped.

We reset the fuse. The circuit breaker tripped again as soon as we turned on the washing machine.  Or the dryer. We then ran an extension cord from another part of the house. The washing machine worked perfectly.  At least we could wash clothes.  Albeit with a few OH&S issues.  But it was enough.

We called the electrician.  He came.  Tested the power points.  Everything worked, including the washing machine, and the dryer, in the same sockets it wouldn’t work for us.


“It’s probably the washing machine,” he told us. “If it keeps tripping as soon as you turn the appliances on, it’s probably the appliance.”

It worked for three days.  After that it started tripping again. Two days after that, it started tripping on the light switch in the garage (or, officially, Sherylyn’s art studio), and when she tried to use a heat gun out there.

Naturally, we’re waiting on the electrician again, but meantime, we’re not washing our clothes as frequently as we used to. Come the weekend there’s an overflowing basket of clothes.

To me, one of the most freeing inventions of the industrial revolution is the washing machine.

If I could only have one single electrical appliance in the house, it would be a washing machine. Driers, robot cleaners and dishwashers are lovely to have, and they free up time, but they don’t free up any way near as much time as the washing machine does. I’m off now to get my extension cord and do a week’s worth of washing.

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