Friday 27 March 2009
My alarm goes off. Usually at this point I reset it and go back to sleep, but today is a special day, so I leap out of bed singing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning!" at the top of my voice (if I have to get up I don't see why the neighbours should be allowed to keep snoozing).
All right, I don't. I crawl out of bed bleary-eyed and go to make a coffee. I probably still wake the neighbours up since I keep bumping into walls and things until the coffee starts to take effect.
I'm ready. I never like to be late for anything. While I'm waiting, I log onto the computer to read the news.
The waiting really starts now, since they said any time between 7 and 12. Maybe they won't come. After all, I arranged it all online, and I haven't had any confirmation.
Every time I hear traffic outside that could be a lorry, I look out of the window. They say that they usually phone before hand, but they probably wouldn't if they're arriving this early. And anyway, I could have typed in the wrong phone number. I have done that before - I give the STD code for a town I used to live in with my correct number.
I'm no good at waiting. I can never stop thinking about whatever it is I'm waiting for, even if it's something relatively unspectacular, or something that might not actually happen.
I'm getting hungry, so I make myself some lunch. I'm getting low on supplies, so I cook two jumbo hot dogs and microwavable Mexican rice. While I'm waiting I play "The Harmonious Blacksmith" on the piano (or try to).
I've got absorbed into trying to work out the fingering for the 4th Variation, when the phone rings. The phone hardly ever rings, so my reaction as usual is to jump in surprise as if I've just seen a small spider.
It's the delivery people. They say they'll be here in about half an hour.
I've just finished my hot dogs with mustard and rice when the big blue Argos lorry pulls up. Minutes later my new washer/drier is sitting in the kitchen waiting to be unpacked.
The washing machine really is a wonderful invention. A simple but magical device that by a combination of turning a drum in different directions, doing nothing and pumping water in and out manages somehow to wash your clothes. If it wasn't for this machine, a single man like me would need a live-in maid to do all his laundry. Now I come to think about it, perhaps I should have looked into the different options before buying another washer/drier...
The shop provide an installation service for washing machines. Obviously I wasn't stupid enough to go for this. £37 to connect up a couple of pipes? I'm not exactly Mr DIY, but I'm not that incapable.
Before I can install the machine, I've got to remove the restraining bolts that they use when transporting it. There are four of these green harmless-looking things. I look through my tools for a spanner. Sadly, it's the wrong size.
I go to B&Q (a DIY store). Luckily it's only a short drive. Of the two major domestic DIY chains (B&Q and Homebase), B&Q is the slightly scarier one. It's not as bad as Wickes, which is for real hard-core enthusiasts. That's the sort of place that won't sell you a door, but instead the right kind of wood to make it with.
I pick up a small adjustable spanner, since I've no idea what fraction of an inch or centimetre these particular bolts are. Whilst I'm there, I remember that I need a better screwdriver, and a new bedside lamp. Whilst getting a light bulb for this lamp, I remember that I've been meaning to get an 8-way extension cable with surge protection for the computer...
Arrive back at the flat with armfulls of stuff. The lounge floor is already covered with little bits of polystyrene from unpacking the washing machine, and now there's loads on my bed from unpacking the bedside lamp.
Bugger! The plastic green "filler pug" around the bolt has got sticky-out-bits (I'm sure they have a technical name) that prevents the use of an adjustable spanner.
11:36 - 11:38
Spend a bit longer cursing.
I take a trip to Homebase (which Helena and I call "Gnomebase" for hysterical reasons). This is about the same distance away as B&Q which I don't want to go back to, since I don't want to look like an idiot when I buy a different type of spanner.
Gnomebase is slightly less scary than B&Q. It sells more home furnishings and stuff. It occurs to me that FADKOG's Tool Man would know exactly which of the millions of implements to pick out. I go for a T something or other with several different attachments (I learn that these are technically known as "bits" - aren't they used for saddling horses?). I also buy a pack of regular spanners, since I don't want to have to make another trip out, especially since the only place left to go would be WIckes, and I'm not dressed for the occasion - I shaved this morning and don't have any paint/oil/blood-stained overalls.
Back to the flat. The T-thing does the job. The bolts come out easily, but the green filler plug things are a bugger to remove, mainly because I don't know whether it's safe to use brute force, or whether I'll break something inside the machine. Finally I get it sorted.
Top Tip: Don't stop partway through unscrewing a bolt to take photos, especially when (due to lack of space) you're standing at the front and unscrewing the bolt at the back right handed (I normally use a screwdriver left-handed), since you'll forget which direction you have to turn it.
Voila! I put the washing machine onto a 90-degrees cycle with no load, as per the instructions. The flat below me doesn't get flooded and there's no blue flash, so I think I've plumbed it correctly.
With one eye on the machine (checking for leaks), write a blog post. I've not made it into work today, but I will be able to wear clean socks tomorrow.
Hungry. I shouldn't have had such an early "lunch". I couldn't face the supermarket today. Dinner: two jumbo hot dogs with mustard and microwaveable egg fried rice.
Perhaps I should just have paid the £37, since I spent more than that in tools. However, I will never need to worry about not having the correct spanner ever again:
At least, not until the next time I need to unbolt something, which will hopefully not be for a while...