In praise of domestic appliances

My apologies for being offline. Myself and my family have been struck down by the sick bug from hell. Good old winter d and v. It started off with my daughter and then hopped onto each one of us in turn. Of course the tumble dryer decided to pack up at the same time so I was desperately drying bedclothes in the airing cupboard, by the fire and on an old fashioned Victorian dryer suspended in the utility room which was in fact pointless as it is just as cold as outside in that room.

While going through all this a couple of thoughts popped into my head: how did they cope with winter viruses before a good source of heating was invented to keep warm? (in our case a very powerful woodburner); how miserable must it have been to do all this washing before the invention of the washing machine and tumble dryer? To think it was only my Grandmother’s generation (so not very long ago) that had to cope with the mangle and hand-scrubbing is difficult to comprehend – how the hell did they find time to do anything else? Particularly if you have a husband who needs a complete change of clothing everyday because of being outside or doing manual labour (as I do).

Of course you could argue that these technological advancements has just freed us ladies up to pile even more onto our ‘to do’ list. But I still would opt for being busy doing other things than faffing around with a mangle on a daily basis.

While my daughter was being sick (with about 5 minute rest inbetween poor thing) I had her snuggled up under a blanket in front of the fire, then I powered up the tablet and found a The Snowman film on YouTube to help her take her mind off being ill. It worked a treat and she just watched entranced as the story unfolded of a little boy who makes friends with a snowman and goes on a magical journey with him. I had forgotten that the ending is actually quite sad but also poignant, as  he rushes outside to see his snowman the following morning and finds that he has melted away. It is quite symbolic of many things in life, which are enjoyable but too often brief. When my baby boy was ill a couple of days later I showed the film to him but was unsure he would enjoy it being only 2. In fact he loved it and was just as enchanted by it as his sister.

It also made me think of how awful it is to be ill and to have no energy to enjoy life. Children who are terminally ill need escapism as well as medication and treatment, which is why I think the charity Make a Wish is so wonderful. If you can spare a mo check out their website. If you fancy watching the Snowman check out this link on You Tube – it shows the full version complete with an intro from David Bowie – I had no idea he was part of it!

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. If you can donate or support the cause in some way visit their site.

Thanks for reading.


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