The mesh laundry bag is making a come back. It’s a much under valued item that will preserve my clothes from the ferocity of the spin cycle on my elderly washing machine. I hope never to hear again, ” Did you know there’s a hole in that?”

I will never hear myself say again, “Obviously not or I wouldn’t be wearing it.

My first line of defence is a series of raised dots stuck on the front of the washing machine, so I know which cycle is where. I have never worked out the number of revolutions in the various spin options though. The choices are shown on a tiny screen I can’t see so I chose to ignore. I think I might have got my 600s and my 900s muddled up. I suspect the holes in my T-shirts and trailing threads on my pants are a consequence of excess revolutions.

If I’d taken the kind of robust approach in asking for help with the sticky dots and the impenetrably small screen on the washing machine, as I did in #Robert Dyas, in asking for service, I might not have trashed my wardrobe.

Having long since lost my patience in trying to search out items in hardware stores, I hit upon a likely looking helper. She was standing at the till in black, wearing a lanyard and holding a clipboard in her hand. She was talking in hushed tones, to a youth also dressed in black and wearing a lanyard.

“Excuse me,” I said. “I wonder if you could tell me where I would find the kind of laundry bags that go in washing machines.”

“Haven’t got a bloody clue,” was not the answer I was expecting.

“Oh,” I murmured, trying to buy myself a bit of time while I considered my next move.

“I don’t bloody work here.”

“I’m terribly sorry. I got that wrong. The perils of having rubbish sight. My mistake. Sorry.”

Hands on hips she said,” ah ha.” She was probably a really a sweet person having an off day.

If you’re under fire, best not to return that fire.

“Well, you do look like you know what you’re doing.”

Quick as a flash she bit back. “Which is more than you obviously do. ” Then she turned her back.

“Are you able to tell me where they are?” I asked the youth.

“Over there,” he said.

“Bit of a problem. I can’t see that far. Could you show me please?”

He didn’t reply but carried on talking to “having an off day”.

As I started to meander about with my nose pressed to the shelves, getting ready for that well known shopping manoeuvre “the blinky bob”, best loved of anyone who can’t see much, I heard him shout out. “Next to the bath mats.”

Bath mats meant nothing to me. In my quest I took one of everything of the shelf to read the labels and then left them in a pile for someone else to put back. The laundry bag was the last thing I took down. Ooops!

It could have been worse. Imagine if you were in the family planning section at #Boots trying to work out what was what. Imagine a very loud passing stranger trying to “help”. Imagine them shouting out the type of prophylactics on the shelf. Imagine a wide choice to fit every taste. Just in case you still couldn’t make a decision, imagine being urged on with an explanation of the “best before date” and a heartfelt enquiry as to whether or not you expected to use them by then. I can only imagine. Nothing like that has ever happened to me.