We recently replaced our washing machine. The old guy was barely five years old, but he needed a new part that would take weeks to arrive and cost half the amount of a new machine, and was likely to need more replacement parts in the near future.

After making peace with this unexpected expenditure, we weren’t sorry to see the old fellow go.

Or rather, hear him go.

For he was an obstreperous gasbag of a launderer.

He liked to let you know when he was working, the tub gyrating raucously and tossing about the wash contents with much fanfare.

‘Oy’, he seemed to shout in a hoarse roar, ‘while youse are puttin’ your feet up watchin’ TV I’m workin’ my butt off in here’.

He’d reach such a crescendo of clangour with the spin cycle that all the doors in the apartment had to be kept open to alleviate the din.

‘This is really hard work’, he’d bellow. ‘I don’t fink youse get how fricken hard this is.’

Once he was done, he would beep loudly and insistently, like a car alarm, until you went and gave him the attention he craved.





I thought of him as a drunk old yobbo, always yelling and crashing about and demanding to be noticed.

The new guy though, he’s… different.

He’s a Bosch, so naturally I’ve called him Hieronymus and renamed the laundry The Garden of Freshly Washed Delights.

Although the name Hieronymus is Greek and the Bosch brand is German, I get the sense that Hieronymus is a lovely, polite, possibly rather introverted, British chap.

He washes quietly. He spins gently. His work is always top-shelf, really spiffing.

When he’s done, his beep is soft and polite.

‘Oh I say, I don’t mean to interrupt you at all but I’ve completed this cycle and I thought, erm you’d want to know. No hurry though, I’m happy to wait. Carry on!’

I’ve taken to leaving a cup of tea and a scone for him in the afternoons.

And sometimes, in with the fabric softener, I add a spot of sherry.

Image: Lavarropas byHernán Piñera under CC by 2.0