– Hello Betty. What brings you here?
– Oh hello Jean. I came to look at one of those new twin tubs like the one you’ve just had, erm, what do you call it, er …
– Yes, Washamatic, that’s it of course. I’ve got a head like a riddle these days. How are you getting on with it?
– Oh, fine. It’s made such a difference. You know I used to spend all Monday morning washing; but it’s so much quicker now. I’ve actually got time to sit down and have a cup of coffee before I start the lunch.
– I wish I could say the same. But does it wash as well as the old one? You always said how well the old one washed.
– Yes, it really does. As a matter of fact I think for some things it’s even better. The heavier things. You know, like sheets. And I’ve even tried a blanket in it.
– You didn’t.
– Really! You are a glutton for punishment. I’ll never forget the last time I tried to wash a blanket. It was so heavy when it was wet that I couldn’t lift it out of the water, and I had to leave it until John came home. He was so annoyed. Having to mess about with cold soapy water instead of sitting straight down to his dinner. He gave me strict instructions never to wash a blanket again. So I always have them dry cleaned now.
– Well, I must admit I had a bit of a struggle with this one, but once I got it in the spinner it was all right. These things spin very fast, too. They get the clothes quite dry — actually, quite a lot of them are practically ready for ironing — and they make the woollens nice and fluffy. The blanket was lovely. Ever so fresh and soft.
– Yes, it is better if you can wash them. Dry cleaning’s never quite the same, is it?
– No. I did have one little difficulty though.
– Did you?
– Yes. It wasn’t really my fault. At least, I don’t think it was my fault. I don’t think the instructions are quite as clear as they should be and …
– Oh dear! Don’t talk to me about instructions. I can never follow them, and the harder I try the more stupid I seem to get. It’s that funny language they use. I think it’s meant to be hard to understand.
– Well yes. You know in the instructions that came with this washer it tells you just about everything, but it doesn’t remind you to keep the hose in the sink. You know — the hose that lets the water out. There’s a sort of gadget thing, er a clip — a retaining clip, I think they call it — and it’s supposed to go over the edge of the sink. Well, of course, I went and forgot all about this, and the first time I rinsed some clothes and had to spin them I’d left the hose dangling on the floor.
– Oh no!
– I had, too. Well, you can guess what happened. There was water everywhere. Luckily I’d only popped into the lounge, and I heard this splashing sound and I said to myself “What on earth’s that?” And I dashed back into the kitchen and caught it before the whole lot was on the floor; but you should have seen the mess! The floor was swimming!
– Oh, I say!
– I didn’t dare tell Jim when he came home. He’d have laughed his head off.
– But your little disaster hasn’t put you off.
– Oh no. I’m very pleased with it really.
– Mm. I’ll have to get to work on John and see if I can get him to buy me one. My poor old washer’s on its last legs. It leaks like a sieve. And it makes such a noise! You know, from the noise it makes I think it’s going to pack up at any moment. Does yours heat the water?
– Oh yes. At least it says so. But I fill it with hot water so I don’t have to wait. They never have a very powerful heater in them, do they? I think this one’s only two kilowatts.
– Yes, I know. It would take me about a week to wash if I put cold water in mine and waited for it to get hot. What about the load?
– Well it’s designed to take seven pounds.
– Is it? That’s quite good, isn’t it? Because some only take six, don’t they?
– Yes, my last one only took six.
– And does it switch itself off?
– Yes, it’s got a timer — a sort of erm lever thing — and you can set this for different washing times, and just leave it.
– It sounds very nice, and I really must see about getting one. But if I don’t go now the showroom will have closed and I did want to have a look at one.
– Well, why don’t you come and have a look at mine? You might as well. It’s only as far to our place as it is to the showroom, and you can have a cup of tea as well.
– Can I really? It’s very kind of you. But are you sure you’ve got time? You’ll be having to get the children’s tea ready won’t you?
– Oh, it won’t do them any harm to wait five minutes. Do them good. Anyway, Sally’s going straight from school to her music lesson, and David won’t mind waiting.