Washing machine drama

After many years of loyal service my beloved washing machine decided to end its life. Due to the recommendation from the engineer who pronounced it dead, I ordered a brand new one from Carters in Brighton. I paid £25 extra to have it installed and to take the old one away.

Happy with the service they provided I used my new washing machine for 6 weeks without a problem. One morning however it became possessed. It started to shake like mad during the spinning cycle and walked itself out from under the kitchen unit in to the middle of the kitchen. It shook so vividly that it smashed the cupboard door next to it off its hinges. The dog and my daughter ran out of the kitchen in fear and my husband tried to hold the machine in place, but the force was too strong, and it marched out and even unplugged itself.

So, I rang Carters and told them I had only had this washing machine for 6 weeks and now it looks like I found it on the skip somewhere. Due to my surprise I was informed that I had probably had not loaded it properly. I have only been washing for over 30 years and never experienced anything like it. Uneven load was Carters professional jargon. I informed them that I had not loaded it unevenly and that there was something wrong with it. They decided to send an engineer round to have a look at the problem. He was quite surprised to see the damage it had done to the kitchen cupboard and to the machine itself. He kept referring to the “uneven load” that he suspected and even gave me a crash course in how to load a machine properly. You can not have anything heavy like a bathmat in there and it must be loaded full to the top without a gap. Not that I had a bath mat or anything heavy in there in the first place, but I politely listened to his speech. He then noticed that the front feet needed adjusting and I thought to myself ‘ah see that’s why the machine flipped it wasn’t balanced properly’. He even suggested I shove a book in between the washing machine and the kitchen unit to prevent it from shaking. (Very professional and aesthetically pleasing advice) I nodded politely. He then ran a test cycle and of course the machine didn’t shake at all, so he left.

I rang carters and told them the machine needs replacing as my dog, my daughter and I are scarred of it and its completely smashed up. To my surprise I was informed that the engineer couldn’t find anything wrong with it and suspected and uneven load. There was that term again “uneven load” I didn’t know at the time that that word would come to haunt me from carters for many more days.

I insisted that I had not loaded it unevenly and that it should be replaced. If it was balanced properly, why did the engineer have to adjust the front feet? But Carters had an excuse for that too, it was probably unbalanced due to the shaking. Another great excuse.

Carters called me back that afternoon and said out of “goodwill” they would replace the machine. I thought well its not really goodwill it’s a brand-new machine smashed up, but I graciously thanked them. The following morning, I get the new machine delivered and installed. I said to the guys are you sure this is balanced properly? Yes, they said its balanced as good as it can be. Great I thanked them and off they went. I then went to load the machine making sure it was even. Socks, T-shirts underpants and couple of bath towels. I made sure it was completely full just as I had learnt from my training course with the engineer. As I was pottering about in the kitchen listening to the lovely noise of my brand-new washing machine doing its job it went from washing cycle to spinning cycle. Sure, enough on the first wash it starts to shake like mad and smashing itself in to my newly fixed kitchen cupboard. It was very loud and a bit scary to be honest. I immediately rang Carters and told them that this was unexpectable and there it was again the accusation of an uneven load. I said I can assure you it is not uneven and if it can’t cope washing my load and is that sensitive then it should be bolted to the floor. Carters said they would take the machine back and replace it with a different machine a Zanussi one if I paid £80 pounds towards it. I gave them my card details and they took my payment and promised me a new machine the following morning.

When I told my husband about this he said I am not paying £80 for a new machine when you have already taken 2 mornings off from work and we have a smashed-up cupboard in the kitchen again. So, he rang up Carters to see if they would lower the price of the £80 pounds for all the hassle and inconvenience we had. You can argue whether they should have lowered the price or not, but it certainly was worth asking. Carters then said they would send an engineer round to look at the load I put in and see if there was something wrong with the machine. My husband agreed to that and we waited for the engineer to call. When the engineer rang me to confirm the visit they said if they come out and can’t find anything wrong with it they would have to charge us for this visit. I thought no way are they having me over like that, what if the machine doesn’t shake again when the engineer is there? So, I told them I was not going to pay for this visit and declined the visit. I told my husband they wanted to charge us for the visit, so he agreed to go ahead with the £80 pounds for the new Zanussi one. When he rang Carters and said he would compromise and pay the £80 the owner said they had changed their mind refunded my payment and this offer was no longer available. He informed us that we are now stuck with this machine, they can’t resell it and basically bad luck. He argued that he already taken a machine back from us which now works absolutely fine in their utility room and its loaded full of bath towels no problem. Yes, because I don’t have a full load of bath towels to wash at home I have various things. You can tell Mr Carter doesn’t do the washing for his family at home.

Not only did he insist we had to keep the smashed-up machine he also said, “maybe your floor Is uneven”. I have had 3 washing machines on that floor and none of them flipped out. My husband owns a flooring company and he checked the floor and yes, its level.

So, Carters just left us with a one-hour old washing machine which had done one load only. I tested this uneven load business by putting an actual uneven load in. A heavy bathmat and a few t-shirts and guess what? The machine didn’t shake. So there goes the uneven load theory. Also what Carters didn’t know is that these machines don’t spin if the load is uneven. If you wash a bath matt which is too heavy for the machine it doesn’t go to spinning mode it stops and the bath matt comes out dripping. They offered no solution to the problem whatsoever as the owner has never heard of this problem before.

When I googled the problem, I found loads of consumers having the same problem as me.

Please see link below for an example with 90’000 views.




My recommendation is don’t by the Beko Model WTG620M2W

and don’t buy from Carters.

How sad for an owner of a company to have their customers over like that.




Picture the scene. The full washing basket with clean folded clothes at the bottom of the stairs, ready to be taken up. I’m in the kitchen, tidying up from the battle that was dinner with the kids. Husband comes home from a hard day’s work and goes upstairs to get changed. Now someone please tell me why, why, why does the washing basket not go with him? It’s clearly there to be taken up, it’s difficult to step over it to get up the stairs and it’s bloody heavy! Don’t get me wrong, if I ask him to take it up he will, no problem. But while I am warming his dinner up and scraping the food off the table that magically fell off the plate, or out of the children’s mouths, I don’t always immediately jump in to action and think to say “Oh love could you take the washing basket up for me if you’re going up anyway?” So why not think ‘ah, washing basket, me strong man take up for woman.’

And does it end there? No! My all-time favourite: “Is the dishwasher clean or dirty?” ‘Open the blimmen door and have a look! Don’t call me from another room (I’m probably taking the washing basket upstairs) to ask me, if the contents of the dishwasher are clean or not. Is strong man scared of Dishwasher?’ “Honey, why can you not put your plate in the dishwasher? Why put it in the sink?” I ask. “I didn’t know if it was dirty or clean.” Really? I mean really????

Or another classic. “Can you tell the children to switch the lights off when they leave a room?” “Yes, I can, but I herewith give you permission to talk to them directly.”

We also have the passive aggressive statements. “Why is there no toilet paper in the bathroom?” Well let me think about this one love. I am no psychic but I guess the person who used the last bit didn’t put a new one in? What you are really trying to say is, I expect toilet paper in the toilet, tell the kids to replace it when they used the last bit.

Pronouns, get them right will you please. Don’t get me wrong, if I wanted a professor of the English language I would have married one, but basic knowledge should be a given. “We should really reseal the bath Love.” He doesn’t mean we he means me and I’m not doing it.

Sunday afternoon. “Why are we out of milk?” Mmmh. Probably because we used it all. “Now there isn’t enough for coffee.” “No there isn’t.” Big sigh. Me: “Shall I go and get some?” The martyr: “No, it’s alright. I just wont have a coffee then.” Oh for crying out loud I’ll nip to the corner shop.

“Why is the heating on?” I thought the 2 degrees outside were a good reason to put it on, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

At least I can get a good nights sleep and replenish for the next day. That is, if I win the race of falling asleep first. I did not. He is snoring, I nudge him gently, nothing, I nudge him harder, nothing. In his words I get up and do a wrestling jump, elbow first on to him. “What are you doing?” “You are snoring.” “I’m not snoring I’m not even asleep.” “Well if you’re not asleep, then stop making those noises.”

Me: “Good morning love, how did you sleep?” “I had a dreadful night, didn’t get any sleep at all”. That’s not what it sounded like.

You got to love them!






School Trips

pexels-photo-290386.jpegSchool trips should be something fun for everyone involved. The kids get an exiting time away from home, the teachers get a free trip whilst working and the parents get a little break, knowing their child is safe and having fun. This all changes when these trips become a financial burden to families.

My 15-year-old daughter came home and announced the school is organising a trip to New York for all the art, photography and drama students. The cost is £1400. This does not include spending money or food ( but it does include the cost of the teachers going). Let me just make it clear that she is not in a private school for privileged kids, so needless to say I nearly fell off my chair.

Why New York? If it’s for art,drama and photography students surely Paris would have been able to offer enough. Apart from the cost factor I can be in Paris in just over an hour, should God forbid something happened. New York however is a day trip away. Why not ask the bill payer for their opinion first before you dangle the sweets in front of the children’s nose? Paris compared to New York sounds fad now, but if it was offered without the knowledge of New York being an option, all students would have been exited.

Back to the cost of it all. Ok it is 12 months away, time to save up, but a lot of families don’t have the means of putting that much money away every month. It’s just a shame that the children are being put in a class system, while still in high school. So the ones better off go and the others wave them good-by, that’s just sad. I thought the whole idea of school uniforms was so that all children look the same, are treated the same and have the same clothes on. Not one dressed in Prada and the other in Primark. So why do school trips not apply to these rules?

Lucky for my daughter, we have a university fund put aside for her where I can borrow the money from and drip feed it back in over the next few years, otherwise I don’t think she could have gone. For that kind of money I can take the whole family abroad.

Well all there is left to say is that she is exited and I am worried sick.




Airlines and Airports

Picture of Aeroplane

It’s always an adventure flying away to an exciting new destination and having a little holiday abroad. That is until you get to the airport. It might just be me, but I find it one of the most stressful places to be.

Like every business, budget airlines are trying to get computers and machines to do the work rather than human beings. So, no more nice lady at the check in desk, smiling and labelling your baggage for you, it’s now do it yourself.

My family and I flew to Germany for the Christmas break to visit my sister.  We had a lot of luggage with presents and all. We stayed within our limit of 20 kg per suitcase, with a little extra to spare in case we received heavier presents than we brought. For the flight back home, the queue at the bag drop was something like Black Friday, everyone trying to get through, pushing and shoving. When we finally reached the machine, it was quite a simple process:

scan your boarding card
put your luggage on the belt
a label comes out of the machine
attach it to your bag and send it off
hopefully to be reunited with you at the other end.

Unfortunately, one of the bags was 1 kg overweight (presents were heavier on the way back) so the machine informed us to pay £10 extra. I’m sure the smiling lady that used to do this job, would have let that go, but not the machine. We contemplated opening the suitcase, taking a few items out and shoving them in our hand luggage, watched by all the other people still in the queue, tutting at us for being so unorganised.

Well I’m sorry but on my sister’s scales, the bags were 20 kg each. Anyhow, you can’t argue with a machine and the budget airline must make some money somehow. But we decided to pay the £10 and be done with it. Unfortunately, you can’t pay directly at the machine, that would be too simple, so I approached an employee of the airline and asked where we needed to go to pay.

“Oh, just over there” she replied and pointed at a man sitting behind a desk, with loads of people queuing in front of him. Queuing turns out to be a big thing at airports. Ok, so off we went and queued, only to be told that we couldn’t pay at this desk and should speak to the lady who just sent us to him. This sparks a huge row between the 2 employees. We just stood there and waited, thinking, had we just taken a book or two out of the luggage we could have spared this drama and had a coffee instead (same price). Amazing how expensive it must be to get food delivered to the airport, the prices as we all know are horrendous.

Once they finished insulting each other we got told to go to the other side of terminal and queue at the airlines ticket desk to pay. So off we go kids in tow and qeuue again. The lady at the desk there must have had a miserable Christmas, as she was clearly not in a smiley mood. Without exaggerating it took her about 15 minutes to put my card through the machine and pay for my excess luggage. I know she doesn’t earn £40 an hour but is this really cost effective?

Finally, the bags are gone and off we go to the security bit. Passports and boarding cards out again. Well the queues are even longer here, you have every airlines passenger queuing, not just your own.

The fact that you practically have to get undressed before you go through the scanner, doesn’t speed up this procedure.

“Coats off, belts off, electronic devices out of your bags” yelled the security guard, as he tried to get us cattle through.

coats off
belts off
iPads out of hand luggage
phone out of hand luggage
put all your liquids in a see-through bag

Luckily, we came prepared and already had our liquids in clear bags. Shoes off also and same for the kids.

Then stand in a machine with your hands above your head and get scanned. Me thinking, ‘I hope this isn’t one where they see you naked as I have been overindulging this Christmas.’ Out the other end and same procedure for the kids. I know it’s all for security, but my god it takes time. Then try to find the trays with all your belongings in. Find your shoes, belt, coat, iPad and handbag, while trying to make sure your kids are still with you and attempt to find their belongings also. Once you got all your belongings together ,take them to a separate table to repack, as you don’t want to hold up all the other half-dressed people.

That done we headed towards our gate. Obviously, it was the one furthest away and although they make it clear the gate will shut at 7:40 that does not mean there will be a plane there ready to board. So, we sat and waited and waited and waited. We couldn’t get a coffee as we were locked in. They wouldn’t want to wait for you. Finally, a plane approached our finger dock and we watched all the passengers get off and the plane being refuelled. As it was late coming in, there was no time for cleaners and we were looking forward to our seats with crumbs on them and tables with spilt drinks. Then it was finally time to board the aircraft and we got another retired sergeant yelling at us “boarding cards and passports ready”. We then got told even though our hand luggage meets all the weight and size requirements, they will still take it off us and place it in the hold with the checked in bags, as the plane is full.

So we opened our hand luggage again, took out what we really needed on the flight, or what we couldn’t afford to lose.

house keys

Whilst unpacking we listened to other passengers having tantrums, as some didn’t check any luggage in and were now forced to wait for their hand luggage at their destination, to come out with the checked in bags.

So let me get this straight: I paid £10 excess luggage. I could have avoided that by repacking 1Kg in to my hand luggage, which would then have gone in the hold with the checked in bags anyway for free. The stupidity of it is beyond my imagination.

I juggled our important belongings in my hands, tried to show our boarding passes and passports (open at the right page) for me and my 2 children. We made our way down the jetty on to the plane, only to find one of our checked in bags by the door with a tag on it. To be ID’d. Great, so off we went to find someone to assist us and we got told that the label wasn’t attached properly and it needed to be relabelled. Not attached properly? How many ways are there to stick 2 sticky sides to each other?

That done we finally boarded the plane and found our crumby seats. While sitting there we got the full entertainment of seeing passengers trying to get away with bringing their hand luggage on board. As the flight crew did not get involved with this procedure, the ground staff had the fun job of coming in to the plane and taking hand luggage back out of the plane.   The odd nastiness was exchanged and of course the airline won. Finally, it was done, we were on board, the doors closed, we had push back and were rolling to the runway. By now I was exhausted and couldn’t wait to get home. This was the moment my husband decided to give me a lecture. “You know the whole journey including the endless time spent at the airport, took as long as it would have taken us to drive by car. Including the ferry” Really? Now?

I let him ramble on about how much money we would have saved, had I not insisted we fly. I didn’t care. I was looking forward to my glass of red wine during the flight and seeing the lovely lights of Hamburg as we take off. What a lovely holiday we had!



Where have the times gone when I used to be so excited and could not wait for Christmas Day. The run up to it took forever and my calendar looked like something from a prison cell wall. Every day meticulously ticked off and it would drag on forever. How many sleeps until Christmas? As a child it is a magical time, lots of fun things are going on in school and at home. The baking, the school fayre, the school disco, the carol concert, decorating the house and so on.

Today as an adult and working mother it is not quite the same. I am now dreading the arrival of Christmas, as the run up to it is filled with stress. Have I remembered everything?

Ordered the children’s Xmas dinner at school yes
Hamper present for school fare done
Paid for school disco I think so
Decorated the house yes
Wrote all the Christmas cards no
Got all the presents some online ones have still not arrived and panic is starting to set in
Food shopping done no dreading it
Work up to date for Xmas break sort of
Planned outfits for kids and me no, nothing fits as have been overeating due to stress of Xmas time
Wrapped all the presents no, hate wrapping and half of presents not even here yet
Christmas baking with kids yes kitchen is a mess and cookies look nothing like picture on recipe. Children got bored towards the end and I’m left with 50 Cookies still to cut out
Present for husband sorted he doesn’t like anything anyway
Been to Christmas carol concert in school yes
Presents for teachers no tomorrow last day of school
Have I got enough booze in NO
Have I got any money left No
House cleaned Not for the last 2 weeks

But oh how lovely to see the kids with not a care in the world counting the sleeps until Father Christmas arrives and their little faces when opening presents. Makes it almost all worthwhile.