Monday, October 6, 2014

Where's the Washing Line?

There is nothing quite like the feel of getting into bed at night and having crisp clean sheets, which have been dried on the washing line.

Yesterday I did five loads of washing (yes, five!!) and not only easy dry stuff, there was one load of towels and a load of jeans.  Of course, they are all dry and put away now because I live in California and I have a washing machine and a dryer.  It took a couple of hours, but they all got done.

Which brings me back to that first bit – doing washing in England and hanging your clothes on a washing line.  It was a bit of a chore, to say the least.  A little washing machine in the kitchen  (if you were lucky), no dryer and usually no sun!  It could take days for a washing line full of jeans to dry.  

pic: Courtesy Wikipedia (Michael Gabler)
And then there was always the chance of rain… at which time, the collective female residents of the street would gasp, usually utter a curse word, drop everything (literally) and run into the garden shouting “It’s raining, come and help me get the washing in.”  The thing is, the washing was probably still wet from when you hung it out so a little drop of rain wouldn’t make a difference anyway, but that’s not the point and it never happens that anyone says “Oh, it’s raining, lets just leave the washing hanging out.”  Nope, the reflex is to run around the garden like a banshee, tripping over your own feet and quite possibly dragging your nice whites through the mud.

If you were at work and it began to rain you heard the groans of “Oh bugger, my washing’s going to get wet!” coming from all around the office.  (And this is only in the summer)

Winter brought a whole new host of problems.  Wet weather for weeks, cold and ice.  There were many times I left my washing out overnight only to find everything stiff as a board the next morning.  You have to bring your jeans in and stand them in the corner!  The washing is then hung or draped across radiators, or in front of the fire and your house suddenly turns into a very unexotic damp and steamy sauna.  Oh the joys of English weather.
Yup - done that!
So I came to California and was really surprised nobody used washing lines.  I thought people were just lazy, actually.  All that wonderful sun and you dry your washing in a dryer? It didn’t make sense to me.

Of course, I wasn't going to be like other people, No not me, I would show them.  So I had a washing line put up in my garden (which was actually a piece of string because you can’t find washing lines anywhere).  I had brought my peg bag with me, so finding pegs wasn’t a problem. I was very proud of myself when I did my first load and carefully hung it out.  I knew it wouldn’t take long.  “Wow this is wonderful, I thought, this will dry in no time!”  

Fast forward an hour or so.  Out I go into the garden (or back yard) and feel my washing – lovely and dry.  So I begin unpegging and taking the clothes down when I noticed, or rather felt, the dust all over them.  Everything I touched left a dirty mark on the clothes.  California is so dry that the slightest bit of wind sends dust everywhere, including onto my lovely clean washing!  And as if that wasn’t bad enough, every bloody item had a yellow burn mark where it had been hung across the line.  The sun had burnt every piece and do you think I could get that out?  Oh no.  So not only did I have to wash everything again, I had to throw some of them out because that burn was never going away.  Lesson learned.

But there is an upside in all this.  Washing day is much, much quicker and I have come to love my dryer – mainly because you don’t have to iron anything - anything!  I have not used my iron for years and I’m glad its gathering dust in the cupboard.  I hated ironing with a vengeance. 

But I really, really do miss getting into those crisp, line hung, sheets.  It just doesn’t feel right to have clean sheets feel soft and fluffy.  Oh well, I think I can probably live with it.  (*smile*)
Miss those crisp sheets

1 comment:

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