I think the washing machine deserves its own blog post, in spite of having been discussed in the context of my mother's visit. When the old one packed up and I couldn't easily and quickly get a second-hand one I had to think about what I wanted from a washing machine. And I went with small and energy-efficient. I am only one person; if you wait until I have 9 kg (a quite normal capacity for a washing machine) of laundry it takes me months and that's not practical. And a big brand or not? The reviews go either way. The old one, which must have had some brand of sorts but I don't know what it was, so it can't have been something to flaunt, did a fine job. So was it worth getting a fancy one? The biggest risk of a washing machine is that it floods the place, but mine stands in the kitchen annex which contains the main drain. Whether it drains in there through its dedicated hose, or just gushing from arbitrary directions, doesn't really matter. So why go for a Miele or a Siemens if anything might last me a lifetime. A Bush it was! I tried it on a 30 degree wash and a 60 degree one and it did fine. And this one had a 15 minute programme I can't wait to try out next. If that gets stuff clean I can do my laundry fast and efficiently!