If only real life was more like the Brownies

Yesterday, I went to Comet to buy a new washing machine. Saw a decent model on special offer, and decide to buy it – but delivery was £20. Pah. I am a financially responsible adult and I laugh in the face of delivery charges.

“Well, we’ve got it in stock so we can put it in your car,” said the salesman.

“Make it so, yellow-shirted man,” I replied (not really).

Getting into the car, I congratulated myself on my savvy shopping techniques for, ooh, about 20 seconds. Then I realised I was going to have to get the wretched machine out of my Honda Civic, then somehow get it out of the garage, up the steps to the back door and then somehow connect it to whatever it is washing machines need. Brilliant.

Fast forward two hours and I had actually got the unbelievably heavy machine into the house and connected – and it was washing laundry! Sadly, though, there was nobody else in the house to praise my mammoth achievement, unless you count Flea, who said, “It’s quite noisy, isn’t it?”

I thought to myself that adult life should be more like Cub Scouts. You should get a badge for those moments when you do something completely, utterly grown up that you didn’t think you’d be able to do. Like plumbing in a washing machine.

So, being a creative, dynamic professional with too much free time, I made this – my very own “Plumbing” badge: 


Feel free to borrow this next time you achieve some impressive washing-machine action of your own. And why should we stop there?

I should have a badge for the time I drove my 4×4 into a kerb and burst a tyre, and managed to replace it, even while it was snowing. Or the first time I managed to fit a pendant light fitting without shorting out the entire house. And how about a badge to recognise my ability to juggle vodka bottles?

Vodka Screwdirver Tyre

So – impress me. What badges would you stitch onto your uniform?


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 2nd April 2010 / 1:18 am

    Congratulations! And that is a ruddy excellent idea! I’d like a light bulb changing one (I suck at it and I’m scared of electricity and heat!) and a spider removing one!

  2. 2nd April 2010 / 3:49 am

    I really like this idea.
    I can change a tyre while entertaining an 18-month old strapped into his stroller on the pavement. (Quite a complicated picture for the badge, that one.)

  3. 2nd April 2010 / 6:26 am

    I can put up a really mean set of shelves.
    I also have an uncommon talent for flat-pack construction.

  4. 2nd April 2010 / 7:28 am

    I can’t believe you did that and didn’t damage the car! Well done!

  5. 2nd April 2010 / 7:42 am

    Re: Flea telling you its noisy.
    My brother in law had that problem when he decided to fit his own machine, then after about six weeks it conked out never to work again. He called Argos, about his warranty and they sent someone out. It turned out there are bolts in the back of the thing to stop the drum moving about or some such in transit, and as he hadn’t removed them, the motor had conked out. And thus he had voided his warranty as he had not got it properly fitted and had in their view killed the thing himself.
    Might want to check that out!

  6. 2nd April 2010 / 7:42 am

    Wow well done. I’d like to second the spider removal badge. Washing them down the plughole counts, right?
    However, when I smelled gas the other day and my husband suggested I call the gas board, I opted for a more childish method of dealing with it. I ignored it, went out, and it had gone by the time I got back. Result.

  7. Liz (LivingwithKids)
    2nd April 2010 / 7:53 am

    I am very impressed you managed to do this. I was always feel the same sense of achievement when I manage to put together furniture from Ikea (I’ve done a ginormous TV table, various nursery furniture). What annoys me with washing machine delivery charges is when you pay the £20 and then they refuse to try to connect it.

  8. Muuummmeeeee!
    2nd April 2010 / 8:26 am

    I’m seriously impressed! I’d like a badge for my ability to regularly trap and release our loft-residing squirrel and one for being the only person in this house who understands how to work our boiler, digital camera, dishwasher, washing machine and kettle.

  9. 2nd April 2010 / 8:54 am

    Well done. I think I’ll need a badge like that for going to Ikea, buying a sofa bed (3 big boxes), putting them in my Punto and building the thing all on my OWN! So what type of badge would that be? DIY? Loved the post.

  10. 2nd April 2010 / 10:00 am

    I put a circuit breaker on the socket, just in case!

  11. 2nd April 2010 / 10:00 am

    That is impressive but so far beyond my design skills it’s not funny.

  12. 2nd April 2010 / 10:01 am

    Ah yes, shelves. I am pretty good so long as I have a cordless drill. If not, then I suck at shelves.

  13. 2nd April 2010 / 10:01 am

    *whistles nonchalantly while remembering she didn’t remove the screws*

  14. 2nd April 2010 / 10:02 am

    TOTALLY count. I love the “going out” technique, too. Impressive coping skills, I’d say.

  15. 2nd April 2010 / 10:02 am

    I literally can never face flatpack furniture again. I always put it together backwards, or inside out, or upside down. No spatial awareness, I guess.

  16. 2nd April 2010 / 10:03 am

    Well, that’s just showing off. I can’t understand my camera unless it’s on the idiot setting.

  17. 2nd April 2010 / 10:03 am

    You got all that in a Punto? There should be a prize for that, not just a badge!

  18. 2nd April 2010 / 10:04 am

    i can’t even say i’ve earned the badge of how to work the bloody remote control. *sigh* but i can have the one for putting together the flatpack stuff from IKEA. and B&Q, actually.
    i definitely deserve one for catching spiders and getting rid of them through the window. specially when the men are too scared.

  19. 2nd April 2010 / 10:22 am

    I do think that’s amazing. I think I take for granted how much I rely on the man. I do think I should get a badge for the time I put a snow chain on the tyres of my dad’s car, and it went most of the way through the axle of the wheels.

  20. 2nd April 2010 / 10:41 am

    Packing the whole family up for a two week holiday is most certainly badge worthy in my opinion.

  21. 2nd April 2010 / 12:14 pm

    I think the spider badge is a great idea. as for remote controls, so long as you can turn it on and change channels, that’s all you really need, right?

  22. 2nd April 2010 / 12:15 pm

    That is bravery above and beyond the call of duty, in my book. Gold badge!

  23. 2nd April 2010 / 5:08 pm

    Blimey, I’m impressed! I am a mean toilet unblosker I have to say!

  24. 2nd April 2010 / 5:09 pm

    And obviously a crap speller – “toilet UNBLOCKER”.

  25. angelsandurchinsblog
    2nd April 2010 / 7:22 pm

    I still don’t understand how you got the washing machine all by your very self – respect (and surely a Blue Peter gold badge?). Today, I would like a weightlifting badge (buggy all the way up and down stairs, complete with 18-month-old, in numerous Underground Stations, and at the Imperial War Museum where the lift was out of action). A painter & decorator badge for finally getting round to touching up a peeling shelf. And a sewing one. I hate mending, but realised that I couldn’t go out any longer in a dress with a hole under the arm. Sounds like you’ll have to come up with a new awards for the Ikea flatpackers and removal bloggers of the world!

  26. 2nd April 2010 / 9:18 pm

    Wow you deserve that badge. I’m seriously impressed – I wouldn’t know where to begin! Well done x

  27. 2nd April 2010 / 9:41 pm

    Okay, you get the toilet badge but I’m going to have to ask for that spelling badge back, sorry.

  28. 2nd April 2010 / 9:44 pm

    In case you ever need to know: put flattened cardboard boxes in the boot to protect the car; rock the washing machine from side to side until you can tip it out of the car onto the floor. Try not to have it land on your foot. Then roll top over bottom to the house. Use sheer hatred to summon the strength to get it into the house. Remove the screws from the back of the machine that hold the drum still. Connect one blue hose to the cold water supply, the other to the machine. Plug in. You’re done. Simple!
    Sewing, though, is a mystery to me – I am impressed!

  29. 2nd April 2010 / 9:44 pm

    Ah, it’s not as hard as you think when you actually get to it.

  30. 2nd April 2010 / 10:34 pm

    Hangover survival? Sleep-deprivation? Creation of a nutritional meal that is not fishfingers? My arms would be weighed down with the number of badges I surely deserve!

  31. 3rd April 2010 / 9:35 pm

    i’ll be honest – it’s a universal remote, i don’t understand it, and sometimes i switch on the tv screen and the speakers, but it switches OFF the computer that has the actual signal thingy. i am therefore rubbish and do not belong in the 21st century.

  32. 4th April 2010 / 10:44 am

    I think I would like a badge for emptying the used washing up water out of the sink and wiping down the surfaces. It is obviously a very technical job, as my husband is unable to do it.

  33. 4th April 2010 / 9:37 pm

    I would have a car related badge for changing tyres, bulbs, wipers, and remembering where to put oil, coolant and windscreen wash – This badge should not refect the fact that some if these lessons were learnt after expensive garage bills for getting some of these confused! windscreen wast in your oil is appraently not great (or cheap!)

  34. Nikki
    4th April 2010 / 10:27 pm

    I’d like a badge for “running a home and two kids AND holding down a full time job from home – hmmm what the hell would that look like?