A washing machine is not a television and people are not refrigerator lights.


Have you ever just sat and watched the clothes in the washing machine go round? 

I used to do it a lot when I produced felted scarves back when I was involved more with textile and knitwear designing, waiting to see what a piece of knitting would turn out like after being intentionally put through a non delicates wash. I did it before that though, usually when stoned and I had a washing machine full of brightly coloured garments all whirling around. What you soon realise though is that while the colours swirling about are quite attractive and the white noise hum is soothing, it never really goes anywhere. It’s just the same elements going round and around, over and over again. 

Life can be like that if you aren’t careful, just the same things, the same actions, playing out over and over again. Maybe with the same people and situations and maybe with new ones or slight variations but patterns form, ruts are made to be stuck in and we suddenly look up and a year, a decade, half a lifetime has gone by with little to show for it. Then before we know it we are gone. So if you look back at last year’s calendar and realise that all that’s changed is the numbers on the front you might want to do something about that. I think most people have had points in life like it, sometimes it is not down to choice, the need for stability whilst bringing up kids, or needing to pay off debts but often it is just habit and apathy.

Without a goal, purpose or dream  our lives become stagnant, going through the motions. Our lives have no narrative, if there was a plot it has definitely been lost. Sometimes I think about what sort of television show my life (or those of others) would make. It would need a lot of editing to speed up the creative process, remove the endless thumbing through Facebook and drinking of coffee. I’m sure if it was pepped up with a decent soundtrack it would be watchable. The last thing I would want my life to be is the first ten minutes of Casualty, where you watch through your fingers and gritted teeth as some idiot royally fucks their life up in some way, shape or form. So many lives are just like that, car crashes in slow motion, watching as frame by frame some poor sod goes flying through the air to the inevitable conclusion.

Talking of large electrical goods the other thing that strikes me is that problems aren’t like fridge lights. They don’t just disappear when we close a door on them. Neither do people for that matter. My family were great ones for sticking their head in the sand, bills would go unopened, problems un-dealt with, everything ignored until the tiniest of issues became huge and then blew up in their face. Things keep happening whether we know about them or not and with people, all ignoring them does is just piss them off or make them resentful, no good ever comes of it, except as cautionary tales for those with the sense to learn from them and, even with my messy family as an aid memoir, I have dropped my fair share of clangers myself. The only consolation I have now is that those balls ups are less and less and that it’s usually a different one rather than the same one over and over again. 

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