A Time of Breakdowns

We've had a spate of breakdowns over the past few weeks, not personal ones thank goodness, but equipment and machines. Now Steve is an excellent engineer and is relied upon to fix just about everything mechanical that we have but sometimes things come to their natural end.

The automatic washing machine is kaput. It was an expensive purchase about 7 years ago, that we expected to keep going for at least another 7 years!

Our previous Hotpoint lasted 20 years with various small repairs over time. So we were very disappointed with the expensive Bosch giving up the ghost so soon. The trouble? The spider was corroded and snapped. A replacement is only available to purchase along with a new drum making it prohibitively expensive. If it had been a Hotpoint we could of replaced the spider for £30 + postage. So there is something to think on, the more expensive model is not necessarily the best.

So how am I washing our clothes? I have a small twin tub at the casita which I use for washing fleece. It's now my main washing machine.  The casita runs totally on solar power so I feel very righteous doing the weekly wash down there.

The twin tub does a very good job of cleaning the clothes and it's also more controllable as if I just want to give a hand wash item a few gentle turns I can do that very easily. The spin dryer is excellent and the clothes don't seem to take as much of a beating as they do from the automatic.

The main downside is that it takes time. And I have to be there to supervise, fill and empty the tub, move the clothes from washtub to spin dryer.  Roll the long hose out the door to the garden and wind it up again when I'm finished.  In honesty I have time, and the weather here means there are very few days that washing won't dry outside, so I don't really have an excuse... But the call of an automatic is very loud and tempting. I am resisting... And for now I trundle my washing down to the casita once a week or so on a little cart.. I take some embroidery with me and work a little in-between filling, emptying and spinning.

It's not a hardship but I will keep you posted on that. What else broke? Our robot vacuum cleaner just stopped. We've only had that about 18 months. Steve deduced that the brush wasn't turning so he ordered a new brush. While waiting for it to arrive I really became aware of how much I rely on it to keep the dust down. I suffer from chronic sinusitis and dust really irritates my nose and causes alot of pain. Hoovering up manually even doing a thorough job on a daily basis seems to throw up dust into the air that makes my sinus condition worse. The robot keeps the dust at floor level and just sweeps it up.

The new brush came and disappointingly proved not to be the problem. So Steve emailed the company twice.. with no reply. At this point in frustration he took it apart to look at the motor and then decided to solder a couple of dodgy connections - success!! And after a few days of his daily robotic routine my nose is back to normal.

The third thing.. yes, always in three's. Our car was approaching it's tenth birthday - always a point when it's due for change and there had been a couple of small issues with it which made us think that perhaps we ought to look at replacing it. So we went for a new lease car - a new experience for us. It gives us the peace of mind that we can rely on having trouble free motoring for.. pretty much forever if we keep replacing it when the lease is up.

Now this means we are paying a monthly sum that we didn't have to pay before but we budget and it's worth it because without a car we'd be pretty much stuck here.  So after a worrying few weeks of inconvenient mechanical failure all is back on track. The sun is shining, the world still turns and most importantly we have our health. Life is Good.


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