Machine mishap forces stint of at-home camping

WE'VE been camping for a couple of weeks. It wasn't near a beach, nor was it in the bush anywhere nice. It was at home.

And it was no holiday. We went to work each day and went home, back to camping for another night. It was all because of a $24 valve.

The story goes like this:

We went shopping to buy a few things - the library, and so on. We were away for a couple of hours.

Before we went we started the washing machine with a few things to be washed.

When we arrived home the laundry had about a centimetre of water through it and the machine was happily agitating as it does, and water was spilling over the bowl - flat-out.

The tap was turned off in a hurry and then we went to survey the consequences.

The water had made its way along the passage and into three bedrooms - all carpeted. The clean-up of the tiled area took about three hours, with towels and mops and you name it.

By that time it was dark and we were exhausted.

There was little we could do other than clean the tiled area, so we got some dinner, and went off to bed in the sloshy bedroom.

The following morning we lifted all the furniture out of the three rooms and called the carpet cleaner.

He took 120 litres of water out of the three rooms, and the carpets were still sodden.

Fortunately for us, a fourth bedroom was not touched by water and that's where we camped for the next few weeks while we organised quotes, contacted the insurance company and had new carpet installed.

During the week the washing machine repair man came and tested the machine, determined what had caused the problem and fixed it - all within half an hour. It was a tiny bit of the machine, but it sure made a big mess.

We're so, so glad to be back in some semblance of order - and in our own bed, which is far more comfortable than the one in the other bedroom.