Posted by: Peter Scott | May 31, 2005

wash-cycle

Despite what the weather forecasters said, my part of England stayed remarkably dry over the holiday weekend. Sunday my wife and I managed a pre-lunch 25 mile (40 km) bike ride. As usual, I forgot that I have the type of fair skin that burns easily (I even burnt once in an Alpine rainstorm!) so my pallid flesh became almost lobster-like. I guess this is moving towards 'too much detail' so I will stop here.

The other significant event was the demise of the washing machine. The controller chip forgets where in the cycle it is and we either have the machine skipping part of the programme or more likely forgetting to switch off at the end of the spin. In the UK the most popular design of machine is the front-loading automatic; this is complete contrast to North America where (in my experience) top-loaders prevail. Top-loaders seem to have a lot going for them: faster wash cycles and the ability to remove items from the water without having flood the room by opening the door. But, they also do not fit into to a 'standard' European design of under the counter-top.

Lured by the hype I have just bought an almost silent, large capacity, highly economic, fast front-loader machine with a guaranteed life of ten years. It also has more computing power than my first PC. Amongst the multitude of weird and wonderful wash programmes (all controlled by that chip) there are gems such as 'Dark Clothes', 'denim', 'sportswear' and perhaps most amazing 'Automatic' where the machine determines the fabrics by measuring how much water is absorbed in the fill and adjusts wash length, rinses and spin speed based on this. What's the betting that after the first few months we use the same programme for every wash?

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