The Honourable Kirstie (with an ie) Mary Allsopp, who was born into near-aristocracy and has been racing to the bottom ever since by trying to sound posh and knowing on property programmes and tat-to-decor ‘craft’ shows, has embroiled herself in a Twitter row about washing machines.
Unaccustomed to the general British pleb’s affinity with washing machines — and their usual position in a kitchen (which is, apparently, both weird and disgusting) — she decided to ‘humorously’ have a big dig at them.
Sparked by an American journalist’s surprise at Brits often having washing machines in the kitchen — when in other countries it’s usual to find them in a bathroom, utility room or other living space — she decided to tell everyone that “it is disgusting” – adding it her “life’s work… in part dedicated to getting washing machines out of the kitchen.”
Unsurprisingly, this led to a backlash on Twitter.
In the end, she flipped out — possibly exasperated by everyone’s total lack of (her style of) sense of humour — venting “Look you bunch of total f***wits, IF POSSIBLE having a washing machine out of the kitchen frees up space, if not possible no big deal.”
Well there you go.
The fact is, many British households do not have an extra utility room, nor is their bathroom large enough to accommodate a washing machine.
In addition, although it is perfectly possible to have a permanent electrical fitting, plus additional plumbing, for use in the bathroom, it can be quite a faff when the alternative is simply to plug it in at a suitable location in the kitchen.
Like it or not, the British psyche and majority of kitchen designs are just set up for having the washing machine in the kitchen.
I have been fortunate to live in a couple of houses with utility rooms, and yes the washing machine went there. But everywhere else, it was in the kitchen. I’ve managed just fine so far, not having died of any fatal diseases from preparing food in the same place as laundry is cleaned.
After all, I am sure there’s more potential for germs and bacteria to spread in the normal acts of food preparation and disposal, than for the couple of minutes every day when dirty laundry is moved from outside the kitchen into the machine.
Some argue that it makes sense to have the washing machine upstairs because that’s where all the dirty laundry is stored – in bedrooms and bathrooms. However, for those of us who enjoy air drying outside, the washing has to be taken downstairs and into the garden anyway — that is unless Kirsty — sorry I mean Kirsti.e. — also advocates some kind of first floor outdoor drying system.
Clothes in a bag outside the window, Ross Geller style perhaps?
With all that said, if you are an avid follower of Kirstie, freeing up space in the kitchen could be a good idea so you have more space to stock up on all the recycled tat you’ll need to make this year’s Christmas decoration.