Monday, 21 November 2011

Dry clean only

I heard a worrying thump
as the drum revolved
and couldn't understand why 
there was a long black wire
lashing the window.

I drained the machine 
and hauled out the sodden material.
The moment of recognition was horrible.

I had subjected my beloved Roberts radio
to a hot wash,
when I tossed it into the washing machine
with the duvet cover.

That radio has been my small hours companion
for so long.
I have always had a radio to tuck under the pillow.
Radio Luxembourg, Radio Caroline, Radios 4, 3, 2 and 1,
always there to lull me back to sleep
or at least to preserve me from
 the boredom of yet another too early waking.

I even took one on a school cruise to the West Indies.
One night the white noise permeated my dreams
and I tried desperately to turn off taps 
while clutching at the metal bars of my berth.

I have tried to coax it back to life -
dried its exposed innards with a hairdryer,
but all it can manage is a faint

Have you ever washed the unwashable?


  1. Madam, I am the great unwashed and the unwashable.
    And please, don't even think of it!

  2. My friend washed a hedgehog once - on a hot wash, and by accident of course. It didn't come back to life either, and she felt very very bad about it for a long time. I'm sorry about your radio, you must have had that sinking sickening feeling when you realised what you'd done?

  3. When I read that, my mouth gaped of its own accord and there was a great indrawn breath too! What a shame, try leaving it in the airing cupboard for a day or two, it might just come back to life. I'll keep my fingers crossed for a while.

    J made me giggle...

  4. My sister washed, by accident, a very expensive neckklace her husband had given her...(They had to take the machine apart to find all the bits!)

    I will never have that problem as I don't have those kind of jewels!

  5. Husband put his mobile into his shirt breast pocket. I TOLD him not to bend over the rockpool! Ruined - even the card refused to work in a new phone. I'm afraid I laughed for days!!! He worked for O2 at the time!
    Commiserations on the drowning of your radio, though. I turn my bedside Roberts on at about 5am every day. I use earphones, and am only half listening/half sleeping, but I've done it so long it seems part of me.
    Have you bought/ordered a new radio yet?

  6. That's a sad, sad story. I have washed many a mobile phone to death, but a mobile phone is neither as personal as a radio nor as heartrending as a hedgehog. JofIndia should have a radio show.

  7. I once washed my son's mobile phone, which was in his pyjama trouser pocket. Why was it in said pocket? Because he'd been phoning his young lady last thing at night to murmur sweet nothings.

    It did actually recover once it dried out.

  8. I'm particularly bad at cashmere, so there's a stack of small socks and jumpers for my little girl to wear in a few years! Only problem she doesn't like black, and it's the only colour I wear.
    So sorry to hear about your radio, and the poor hedgehog!

  9. Oh noooooooooo.........

    Put it away for a year, as I did with the cordless phone that I dropped in the washing up bowl; it works fine now. Maybe your radio will too.

  10. I'm sorry about your radio but it certainly made for some interesting comments!

  11. Oh NO!

    What a brilliant comment from JofIndia though.........

  12. That's so sad! But Roberts may very well fix it - they fixed mine a while back, not that I'd washed it. But I could have done - I throw stuff into the washing machine without thought all the time, because who knew you needed to think at such a moment?

  13. Oh no!
    A friend of mine dropped her Blackberry phone in water, and then put it in a low oven to dry. It worked, believe it or not!
    Perhaps the company will take pity and give you a new one? My mom likes to listen to early, early morning radio too.

    I once washed crayons by mistake. What a mess!

    (btw, we have something very much like Strictly Come Dancing over here. It is called Dancing With the Stars...a huge hit in America)

  14. i can`t remember anything so dramatic like that , but i am sure i have washed things i shouldn`t... i have the same habbit of listening to the tiny radios in bed.
    i like your blog
    i `ll be visiting : )