Washing machine storms off after tantrum | BBC Radio Solent's Alun Newman

It’s never a moment I look forward to but on occasion me and Mrs Newman go through the family accounts.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 5:53 pm
It's no good you holding your head in your hands... next time you overfill me, I'm off. Picture by Shutterstock

I prefer to have an ostrich-like head-in-the-sand approach to finances.

However, Mrs N says it will stop me moaning if I have a good idea about what’s going on with our money.

No-one I know really talks about family finances. It’s one of those very private worlds that only make sense within your family bubble.

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As we go through this rather arduous if not tortuous process, it becomes apparent that we have far too many direct debits yet all of them have a good reason to exist… depending on who benefits.

The ones I suggest culling are always the ones that, should we lose them, would have no impact on me.

Having said that, when I lobbied hard for getting rid of the internet my suggestion was met with an eye-roll and a lecture about did I not know that the children’s homework had to be done online...

As we concluded our time together in the financial meeting, we agreed that we need to save for some kind of holiday.

Just as we finished the review and closed the laptop, my son came into the room and said that the washing machine was ‘walking’ towards him and making a banging sound.

This, I thought was unlikely, but it must have been something quite important because it had caused him to not look at his phone for at least a minute.

No other ‘white good’ product is quite as threatening as the nearly-dead washing machine.

Turned out he was right.

While attempting to finish a spin cycle something clearly was not right and the machine was banging like a toddler with a drum made from an old sweet tin.

The out-of-balance noise was causing the machine to walk its way out of the gap under the kitchen counter.

Why is it whenever you decide to save for something, something else comes along and gobbles up that saving?

It happens all the time. Save for a sofa, your car blows up. Save for a kitchen, you get a hole in the roof. Save for a holiday and your washing machine starts walking out the house in a strop.

I attempted to do some investigation by rocking the machine backwards and forwards and then pushing it back into the under-counter gap.

My son asked if I thought I had fixed it? If only everything in life was as simple as that.

When the door was finally opened, I stated that the problem might have been caused by the constant overfilling of the machine's drum, now much more than 10 years old.

I was then asked how much is over-filling?

I explained that you need to be able to close the door without using your foot.

The people on the adverts never push in extra items because they think there’s space at the top in the washing machine drum.

In fact, in the adverts they’re usually only putting in one muddy-from-a-recent-race white T-shirt.

Needless to say, I went online to look at prices for machines that don’t walk out of your kitchen. We’ll put the holiday savings on ice for a moment.

However, as I write the machine has been behaving itself and is not making any horrific noises.

It could be my man-handling of the thing that did in fact sort it out. Either that, or it’s waiting until we start saving again.

Clever things these machines. But I don’t trust them.


Without question, a group that has made no fuss during these ‘challenging times’ has been the glasses wearers.

I apologise if you don't have to wear specs full time. You are, what my people refer to as, the lucky ones.

For those of us who couldn’t exist without them, we’ve got used to not recognising people in swimming pools.

If you look underneath a car, they fall off and if you go into a sauna, you wonder why you brought them with you in the first place.

Have you realised, there is no special day for glasses wearers? There’s no moment in the calendar when people send a note of support to someone they love who struggles to go running, skiing (never been) or white water rafting (or this) to let them know that you’re thinking of them.

Glasses, let me tell you, are a saviour and a pain. Because the pandemic has been so awful for so many people, glasses wearers have only had each other to turn to for some support.

If you were to ask them on International Glasses Wearers Day then they would say that they’re fed up with them steaming up wearing a mask. To go with this, the mask strap often gets caught on the arm of the glasses and means that you pull them off your face at least three times a day.

We have tried all kinds of different options and it’s a monumental pain.

However, we keep this to ourselves because that’s what glass wearers do. They’re a kind, understated bunch.

It’s not about the attention but it is nice to be understood and championed just once in a while.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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