Experiments with Detergent

Friday afternoon is horrible for writers. Everyone else is looking forward to the weekend, including editors who gaze longingly out of the windows of their lofty apartments while absent-mindedly deleting my submissions unread. Yes, Friday  afternoon is here. My mobile connection just announced “the web page is unavailable” when we all know it is, it’s just not available to me. Oh Friday afternoon in the office. Everyone’s a bit squiffy after the pub. Someone’s found something hilarious on the Internet. Not. And one or two people are nowhere to be seen, although their jacket’s on the back of their chair.

So washing machines. I’ve been wondering about those horse tablets of detergent. A couple of them blocked the outlet so water went all over my floor. They used to provide a little net bag, or they were sealed in soluble plastic. But now they’re just in a box with no instructions, at least the Ecover ones are. They must assume that people are au fait with the mighty tablet now, but for many years I switched to liquid in a plastic beaker inside the tub. It flies across the floor with a built-in wonky bounce like a rugby ball so it’s never seen again. In other words I lost the tablety skills. Putting them inside a laundry bag in the tub seems to work, but the cost of research was white gunk on dark gym clothes that caused foaming in the gym.

My final visit of the week to the Recycling Centre was uneventful, although I got it wrong again, a red plastic drawer thingy with three wheels that comes apart when you lift it goes in the General Waste not in Plastic Waste. And don’t ask questions. I did that last time with the wood that had plaster stuck on it. “General Waste!” I said. “No that has to go in Wood.” “But that wood goes for Bio Fuel!” Ah well they must burn off the plaster to make nice safe environmentally friendly biofuel. The man who came to take out the thirty year old fireplace in the new place found that the back of the fire had the remains of many years of burning those moulded pieces of reconstituted coal dust. It’s called Fermacite but there’s no link on the web to it any more. Fermacite is glued, compressed and sold as nice safe environmentally friendly fuel. Being a moulded product it contains Urea Formaldehyde which when burned has to go somewhere. I felt queasy by the middle of the afternoon and I was in another room with the windows open. But this guy had his head up the chimney. No mask of course. He said he was used to it, but by 5pm he didn’t look at all well.

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