At the End of the Day

When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t planning to clean behind the washing machine. I mean, my elder daughter plus hubby are arriving here for a week from tomorrow, but my paternal devotion doesn’t stretch to quite this level of hygiene obsession. However, it’s been an odd sort of day, and as it is now drawing to a close, I thought I’d share it with you.

Truth be told, my main thought on awakening from a dream about forcing a candle up Ed Miliband’s nose was the need to go out and buy a hammock, the previous one (the hammock, not the nose) having died a death and been torn from its tree anchors last year during 70 mph gales. (No 1 Daughter and highly respectful son-in-law very keen on hammocks). I also envisaged a bit of shoe-buying, as there is no country like France for effecting the good value purchase of stylish informal shoes.

The first obstacle in the way of this unreal expectation was the task of preparing the spare bedroom. I’ve never been good at putting duvets into their covers, but I’m usually OK at opening cupboards where the duvet covers are. Today however I was clearly performing below par, as the door literally came off in my hand. The resultant wrestling match with the duvet seemed a small matter by comparison, and so all that remained was to cope with washing that needed doing before my wife’s enforced departure tomorrow.

I put the wash into the machine, and then opened the dishwasher to empty it. But the soap container had jammed shut, and so what I found inside there was a motley collection of perfectly clean but disgustingly greasy crocks and cutlery. I poured soap liberally in all directions inside the machine and started it again. Then I went out to do the necessary shopping.

This part of the day started wonderfully. I found two perfect hammocks almost immediately, and then breezed around the LeClerc hypermarket picking up everything I needed. Sadly, at the end of the shop, I found the sort of crowd that probably greeted Louis XVI as he stepped from the tumbril in order to have his head surgically removed from the rest of him by Madame la Guillotine.

By the time I exited the store, it was midday and hot enough to boil an egg on your head, should you be fed up of having it all over your face. I drove home, put all the produce in various fridge and freezer compartments, and went straight to the washing machine to empty it and get that urgent washing on the line.

I tugged at the door, and it wouldn’t open. A little frazzled by now, I yanked at it, pretty much at the same moment I remembered that the door was programmed not to open if something was wrong.

The seriously wrong thing was that the washing machine was full of water. It poured across the kitchen in every direction in that profoundly iritating way that liquid has. I would’ve dealt with this emergency immediately had it not been for the fact that for around five minutes beforehand, I’d been getting that wobbly feeling in the backside that often accompanies me on visits abroad. A dash to the downstairs lavatory was rapidly becoming the only option, so I waded through the floodwaters and effected the necessary relief. But the flush wouldn’t work, so I took the top off the cistern (this is the third cistern mechanism we’ve replaced in the last two years) and pulled the fully-automatic device upwards manually. It flushed (= good) but then snapped (= bad) and continued to flush. It would still be flushing now had I not ripped out the entire daft innards of the cistern in a frenzy of self-pity. Soon afterwards, I began using the sponge-brush to push water out of the kitchen and over the back door step into the garden.

Wringing out the soaked washing, I hung it on the line and walked over to the swimming pool. I probably did this because I couldn’t face the sloshing kitchen and the unflushing loo. Having started the filtration and surface-cleaning Polaris before I left for the shops, I was over-optimistically expecting the pool to look crystal clear and generally like something out of a David Hockney painting on my return. But the Polaris was floating about in the manner of a not properly working Polaris, and all the muck at the bottom of the pool was still there.

Now I am more than well aware that anyone wanting to start a global charity based on funds for blokes whose pool cleaner isn’t working is doomed to fail. Sympathy stretches only so far, and it doesn’t stretch to that. So I dived into water and performed an odd dance that involved stepping on the cleaning machine in an attempt to make it focus. I am that man here to tell you I rode a waterborne bronco in vain.

So to summarise then, the cupboard door hangeth off, the washing machine refuses to empty, the dishwasher refuses to soap, the downstairs loo is without a flushing facility, and the pool’s cleaning lady is suffering from dust non-removal disorder. But having pulled out the washing machine the better to examine, curse, and then kick it, I did notice the appalling Fourth World filth that lay behind it.

It has often struck me that the hierarchy of worlds on our planet runs only to three. That makes little or no sense, as anyone who has ever flown with the Portuguese airline TAP will understand. A flight on TAP is far worse than anything the Third World could ever throw at a person, and each and every member of the cabin staff is surely vying to create a Fifth World at the earliest opportunity.

Anyway, I didn’t wake up today with the ambition of cleaning behind the washing machine, but I have done so. As the Buddhists say, every day do something you don’t want to do. This has been an exemplary Buddhist day.

32 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. “Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.”
    (Buddha). Tomorrow is another day, JW.


  2. Your day proves the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states ‘shit happens’. (when you need it least).
    Hope Mrs W’s enforced departure is mirrored with a contented return.


  3. sorry john, didn’t quite get the drift of your day, so-to-speak…is your drum half-empty or half-full?


  4. Sympathies John but with respect to TAP I’m afraid you just don’t get it: TAP (and BA, Iberia, UAL, NWA etc.) are the real Third World. If you want service and safety you must go with Singapore, Cathay Pacific, Thai International etc.


  5. Quite possible. Then there’s the simple fact that many machines function best when used regularly and not so well when not used at all. These things are known to occur with summer residences.


  6. Sounds like you and Frau Merkel had similar sorts of days last Friday:
    “Spain’s banks’ doors hangeth off, the Greek taxpayers refuse to empty, the Finns refuse to add more liquidity, Italy is without a toxic debt flushing facility, and poor Mr Cameron is suffering from EU non-removal disorder. But having pulled out the guts of the ESM the better to examine, curse, and then kick it, she did notice the appalling Fourth World filth that lay behind it.”


  7. Hahaha! Johns piece was wonderful, I chuckled where I knew there should be sympathy, but it was empathic chuckling.

    Then when I read your satirical response I laughed out loud which is a great way to start Sunday, thankyou both


  8. Instead of throwing away 5 billion on the ‘Work Programme’ we could have done something useful with the money to reinvent the family, which is where 90% of a child’s education and motivation stems from.

    ”i know im right i saw it on the television …”


  9. ThanQ.

    But credit (if that is not a too dirty word) where credit is due JW did all the hard work……


  10. Yup… I know days like that one too….My sympathy, John ! We now call them ‘King Midas in Reverse’ days after the old Hollies song. The idea is that after a couple of events….’MrsD’ will not allow me to touch ANYTHING !

    We also have times when it is perfectly obvious that the Earth’s Gravity has become much stronger around our home and precious objects will take suicidal leaps from shelves, tables and hands….anyone else come across that one ?


  11. Thanks for that one John. I know we shouldn’t laugh at other peoples misfortune, but your recital was so entertaining, amusing and descriptive that I cannot believe you meant it to be read in any other way.
    Nice to know also that when disaster strikes – its not personal ! We all get those days and as is often said, laughter IS the best medicine. Was feeling particularly grumpy this morning (things not going at all as planned with life in general at the moment) and you have put a lighter edge on the day.

    I wish you well !


  12. Oh John * Hugs for you and Wifey* But I did chuckle…. a little. Now what words must you not say? Answer = it could be worse, count your blessings. I hate when people say that gurrrrrrr.


  13. ‘Interesting’ perhaps Kfc but not at all surprising. I despise Cameron for his dishonesty in relation to a referendum promise made prior to the election but I will be laying a bet for the first time in my life, that when it happens the ‘Stay In’ vote will win.

    The pro EU propaganda has been all invasive for more then a decade, if and when it comes to a vote they will go into overdrive as never before. The ‘Get Outs’ don’t stand a chance.

    In my opinion only of course.


  14. With reference to the E.U. in / out referendum and its ramifications, does anyone know whether or not the information contained in this letter from today’s Telegraph is correct ?


    SIR – Tom Mills (Letters, June 24) states that the continent of Europe has no citizens, and the EU shouldn’t have them because it is not a state.
    Unfortunately, British nationals were made citizens of Europe under the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. Most people do not realise that they and, indeed, the Queen, have been made “European Union citizens” without being consulted.
    They cannot renounce their EU citizenship without first renouncing their British citizenship and becoming stateless, non-persons. This was confirmed to me by Lord Henley, Minister of State at the Home Office, in a written response to my question on the procedure for renouncing EU citizenship: “A UK national as defined above who renounced that status (UK citizenship) and did not have the nationality of another member state would cease to be a European citizen. It is not possible, however, to renounce European citizenship while remaining a UK national.”
    Lord Stoddart of Swindon
    Independent Labour Peer
    London SW1


  15. So if we, in the unlikely situation, of being asked, voted to come out, we would all be stateless? Asylum seekers in our own country?
    Still, with any luck, as hubby says, no matter what they do the figures still don’t & won’t add up, the whole thing will go t,,,,ts up, & they(the scumbags) will all be screwed.
    BTW, JW, hope you get all the mechanics sorted out, that your wife has a good journey there & back, & that you have got plenty of food in to keep you going.


  16. Sounds about right John. Hearing someone else’s experience reminds me why we recently sold our little house in France. Among the reasons was the way everything seemed to need attention, especially on that first trip of the year which we used to make at Easter, taking about 12 hours by car and tunnel. We didn’t have a dishwasher, and the 50 quid second hand washing MC I carted over in the car was superb but Normandy has real winters!
    Some combination of the following generally greeted us:
    The tunnel or ferry was delayed so we arrived knackered in pitch (rural french) darkness.
    The gate padlock had seized over the winter so the car had to be left on the road while we climbed over the wall (the padlock was replaced 3 times in 6 years).
    The house doors had expanded and/or lock seized so you had to decide which one to force.
    No matter how well drained the previous autumn somewhere in the plumbing a pipe would have retained some water creating a split, forced off joint or other leak as soon as the water was turned back on.
    Some combination of unwanted wildlife would have moved in.
    Something significant would have been blown down or off or onto something else somewhere.
    The heating wouldn’t work due to pump seizure, boiler failure or leaks.
    The drains had blocked and backed up flooding the sous sol, and/or the sump pump had stuck off at some point.
    There had been a power cut and the emergency food left in the freezer was useless.
    The gas bottle had emptied itself so the cooker didn’t work.
    The lawn mower wouldn’t start.
    The outflow from the septic tank or pipe from toilet to tank had become blocked.
    The most important letter of the year had spent all winter in the mailbox, having arrived one day after our autumn closing-up trip.
    All the garages were out of diesel due to a strike and we didn’t dare go shopping and couldn’t get home again on schedule. (to be fair only once)

    I miss the place though now it’s sold.

    I really hope your stay improves.


  17. I asked the same question regarding the Scottish Independance situation. Would we still be in Europe or would we have the choice to leave or be chucked out. No reply as yet. My other argument to those bigoted ignoramasus who hate the English just because they are English ( and English nationals who say the same of Scots) I would rather be in the UK than in EU.. YES THAT GETS THEM THINKING. There may be a get out clause, there always is, no man is a slave, we have nuclear weapons and know how to start and finish a war or three, AND we have human rights laws…Oh dear how sweet the smell to use that to ‘free us’ and, besides, the Government had NO MANDATE to shackle citizens to an agreement! So who can stop us from just leaving? The EU is not the world!! a few countries may fall out with us but, nothing we can’t handle. I think the elite are finally getting the message and fear a revolt on a huge scale. They are breaking our tempers, that is very apparent in every walk of life. I can stand in any other country in the EU and shout you do not own me, I have not elected you to govern me, you have no mandate to oppress me. The writing is on the wall.


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