Of course the washing machine didn't really fail, I did. I went in to empty it, and saw that it was full of suds. Like in the cartoons. The machine wouldn't (or couldn't) drain, and I couldn't get the door open. I got a bowl and, being an old hand at this sort of thing, some newspaper and old towels, and opened up the bottom drain hose. I drained the little water in the machine, checked the filter, and found nothing.
I put the machine on rinse, to try and get some water in. Then I drained it. I couldn't hear the pump. The water was exiting the drum, but the pump wasn't working. On the plus side, I was able to pop open the door. I emptied the suds out by jug, until I realised that I was putting a jug already half full of suds back in the machine. I used my hands instead.
When I'd cleared out most of it, I tried the partial rinse and drain again. I got the manual, I'd already done what it said as the first thing to check (filter). It's next suggestion was a kink in the hose. This seemed highly unlikely - there is a shelf above the machine and there isn't any way that anything could get there to kink the hose. My guess was that the pipes were so full of suds that the machine couldn't do anything, and that the best thing would be to wait a few hours for the suds to pop.
Still, I though I should check.I'd hate to wait a few hours and then find there was a kinky hose after all.
I heaved out the machine. There was no kink, but there was a load of stuff behind there. I hoiked it out, by balancing on top of the machine and stretching my arm so much that I though I would pop it from its socket. Then I got a broom handle. Then I got the vaccuum cleaner, which works quite well for picking up large objects and holding them until I can retriev them from the brush. Small objects -not so much. I'm sure I didn't want them anyway.
I left the machine to sort itself out.
Several hours later, I tried again with my rinse program, stop, drain..and this time the pump kicked in to action. After a couple of goes, there was no longer any suds in the drum.
I put the machine on - empty - on a quick wash cycle, with nothing else. . There were an alarming number of suds, presumably recalled from drum, so I was pleased that I'd given it a run through with nothing in.
And then it was OK.