Ode to a Tumble Dryer

David is away this weekend doing the 24 Peak Challenge – a charity event where teams go to the Lake District and hike up 24 mountains to their peaks in 48 hours. Saturday they met at 4 am for a 430 am start. Today I got a text at 330 am, as they had a 4 am start. I’m glad they’ve got some good weather this weekend. David’ll be home tomorrow.

As for me, I’ve had a lovely weekend catching up on basics. The first of which is laundry. Lots and lots of piping hot, clean laundry.

And the reason for this is a new addition to the family. Haha not a human baby (though a puglet may be on the cards for later this year). We recently got a new tumble dryer, something I have been wishing for since I moved to England. Back home, my mom has a typical north american top loading washing machine, and stand alone tumble dryer. It is such a treat to take a huge pile of dirty clothes, drop them in the cavernous washing machine, and 30 minutes later presto it’s all washed. Take same and dump in dryer, and 60 minutes later, dry, hot & clean laundry comes out. I came to truly appreciate these machines a the godsend they are after spending a year in Beijing, washing clothes in the dorm washing machines – horrid plastic things with metal drums that literally ate your clothes and burped back the shreds for you to take home.

Here, I’ve always had washer/dryer combos – and because of the way the washing machines are plumbed, instead of piping in hot water, the machines pipe in cold water, and heat the water in the machine. This means to wash a load of laundry takes just under 2 hours (unless you do a ‘short’ wash) which is about an hour) as the water also needs to heat up.

Then the drying function in the machine just sucks. First, our machine can only take half the load just washed (otherwise there is risk of fire, according to the manual) and the load never really dries, just sort of steams. Anyways, we now have a little room which is the perfect size for a utility room/work room. It took some convincing as David seemed to think it should be a reading room/nursery (??). Anyways, we went to John Lewis to see what tumble dryers they had. I was looking for a Maytag, and though we didn’t get the US import that I wanted (something about having to plug it into a cooker socket), we did get a fantastic deal on a cosmetically damaged model. It had huge scratches in the top of the machine. Nothing damaged to the parts or mechanism. It was reduced by 50%. We hesitated, then reasoned that since we were putting a work surface on top of it anyways, and in a few years would get a stacking kit to put the dryer on top of the washer, that we’d never see the scratches. And frankly, it really was too good a deal to pass up. And, though David will never believe it, I love the thing. I love it so much I’ve done three loads of laundry today and emptied the whole laundry basket! And folded all the freshly laundered totally dry, hot & clean laundry. Heaven!

Another thing we found recently was a swiffer. Melis introduced this to me when I lived with her way back when she first moved to London, but in our last move we stupidly left it thinking it would be easy to find another. I finally found one a couple weeks ago. It has these little electo magnetic dust sheets – great for swiffing up dust and hair (and having copious amounts of long black hair that end up on the floor, that’s a good thing!). So Saturday morning, I also spent a couple hours swiffing, vacuuming and wet swiffing the floor. Very satisfying!

Saturday I hosted our spinning group, and we had the regulars, Ali, Jan, Grit, Michaela, Diane all present and accounted for. Ali brought her lovely new wheel (majacraft rose, I think it was). Ali’s hubby made ice cream and was an honourary spinner for the day (though he spent most of it feeling a bit peaky). Nora came to join us (with a lovely pear and chocolate cake) as did Emms & Laura. Ems, Diane, Nora and I were left still knitting just before 1 so we made a salad and ate it in the sun on the balcony. As usual, I forgot to take any piccies!!

Today I’m planning on hitting B&Q for some soil (um, I have still to replant my tomato plant… poor thing), and the last task, which hopefully we’ll do this week, is to go to Ikea to get some bracket shelving for the little closet in the yarn room, the utility room, and for my office! Ahh we’ll be able to hang David’s shirts to dry in the utility room, not all over the house from all the door frames. Then I will do before and after piccies. The major thing in my office is a new desk – I love sitting at my desk now – as can look out the window to Battersea bridge and cars zooming back and forth across it.

4 down 2 to go

Phew! These are what Diane and I packed last night.

4 big postal bags of shiny yarnie goodness. All my little slivery babies have been sent off today. And now to do some catch up! Off to get knitting on some projects that were put on hold during the sock club frenzy and are now way overdue (yes Frank – yours is first!). Clickety click – i wish i could grow an extra pair of arms like Barbapapa!

Surfacing for air

Sorry for the long silence, I’ve been underground recently getting some secret project stuff together. But finally there is light and I’m coming up for some long overdue air!

Now B – I’m diligently looking for a D but not gotten very far. Have found a great G and a fun R but no D’s yet. I’ll keep looking!

So I’ve been busy also doing non-secret stuff.

Take this:


And a slightly bored and fed up with my hair Alice, and you end up with this:


I cut myself a fringe and some layers and some length off my hair. It was actually quite liberating and, though a bit messy, kind of fun. Next time I should get a decent pair of scissors rather than the kitchen ones!

Last Saturday the Socktopod knitters got on the trains for a day by the sea:


We had ice cream, lunch on the beach (shingle beach, as I learned!), and went shopping in the Lanes and the Laines. Not enough knitting time i think, so next day out will be somewhere a little further – Cambridge – for some punting!

More piccies here.

Oh I also have been organising the yarn room. Shelves have arrived, my Ikea desk top too – so now that my secret project stuff has wrapped up, I’m going to spend the next couple of days organising and then do a photo show & tell! i have some before photos so you can compare to the after! 🙂

David off this weekend to a charity Peak marathon hike. Me, I’ll be hanging at home, with some spinners (spinning group is at ours this sat) and hopefully enjoying the sun and pimms. A trip to Ikea is on the cards, but hopefully not till next week.

C is for Cookie!

Okay maybe not. But I do love cookies. Especially Sam’s peanut butter ones… C today is for Canister – as in gas canister!


Met up with D for an early morning (ok ok early for me!) coffee and powwow session (read rant & support). D produced a gorgeous braid of Fleece Artist amethyst roving to cheer me up:

Thank you D!

Now time for some cuddles with Deuce who has been a bit neglected as of late….

Lust – and Lust

Still pretty bunged up – bleh. Had a very nice weekend – up early for a bit of a run on Sunday and then a visit to Chook in Winchester. Nice day for it. Saturday has already gone from my mind – I have a feeling it was productive… I think DH and i went somewhere and managed not to bicker (huge achievement!). Ah yes – long walk in the park with puggie… pleasant stroll with productive discussions. Deuce has taken to getting aggressive and nervous with other dogs – this is a concern for us. We’ll be doing some obedience classes and training sessions to try to sort this out.

Sat we also went and got a movie – Lust, Caution – a movie by Ang Lee based on Eileen Chang’s short story. I’ve read one other of Eileen Chang’s works – and it was oppressive and beautiful in a haunting and chilling way. While I do think it is a good film, a beautifully tragic story, as the ratings warning goes “Contains strong sex”. And they ain’t kidding. Very explicit doesn’t even cover it. I mean… when do you get to see a male lead’s balls? I’m still of two minds about all the sex – does it add to the movie? I’m not terribly sure it does. But then, it is pretty integral in showing how things develop… still. I could have done without the balls.

Dreary rainy day today, but I did get a chance for a quick visit with Alicja – helped her move some things from her old place to her new place a block away.

Oh and I got my RSC May kit! Piccies to come as battery in camera is dead.

DH still at work – actually he came home then had to go out again to a meeting. Poo.