Thursday, 26 June 2008

Wash day

My mother owned a barrel-shaped wringer-washer machine which took up a whole room and was only used on Friday night. She'd fill it up with water only once, and then start washing the bed sheets (they were always white), and move on to the mainly-white not-so-dirty laundry, then on to the coloureds, and finally the dark blue and black clothes. All the laundry was passed through the wringers to squeeze the water out of all the washing. Everything was washed in the same water, and rinsed separately in a tub next to the washing machine. Then it was hung on a rotary umbrella clothesline and left to dry as the climate permitted. She never owned a dryer, despite living in a city where the weather was unpredictably WWW: wet and windy Wellington. The rules for hanging clothes on an umbrella clothesline are pretty much similar to Abe's, except that unmentionables were hung in the centre rungs of the rotary clothesline, hidden by the sheets on the outer lines.

This isn't my laundry line, but it's pretty representative of what happens in my own house. Everything gets chucked together in a 50 degrees Celsius wash on 50-minute cycle, and it doesn't matter if it's Friday or any other day in the week.


  1. είναι ένας συνδιασμός της ελληνικής νοοροπίας της ζωής σε μονοκατοικίες με την αυλή και της νεότερης επιθυμίας των ελλήνων για αγορά διαμερίσματος

  2. I had a post about people hanging there washing out still. It is common in mainland Europe, due to the weather, but incresingly less so in the UK. I like this pic, purely it reminds me of sunnier days, and hols, not dreary grey rain days. How strange that washing can be such a pleasing image!

  3. I like this picture ... it reminds me the smell of fresh clothes ...

  4. Can you imagine a few years before how it was?

  5. I just posted something like this on my better writing blog. Remarkable how minds work.

    I like your photo too. It is nice to see clothes out even like this.

    I am now taking a diminishing dose of steroids for my Rheumatoid Arthritis pain and it works. I believe the chemotherapy drug is spelled "Methotrexate" that is used to treat a lot of things from cancer to arthritis will be used next. I just relish in being pain free.

    So I am not participating in Sky Watch Friday just because I might not be able to make it around to all.

    I enjoyed seeing your blog post for Sky Watch Friday and I thought your photography was excellent.

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    I just got my first shipment of used books from Strand's bookstore in New York City, day before yesterday and they are in excellent condition.

    They have 18 miles of used books. Think about that—18 miles. I had to start out by just choosing a category, like photography, and go from there.

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    Look up Strand bookstore or copy and paste the URL here:

  6. This is wonderful. I grew up with clotheslines. Now I think fewer people take the time to dry clothes this way. I love the fresh smell of air dried clothes.

  7. That's pretty amazing how hard your mother worked in the old style washing. When I came to Israel in 1968 nobody had a dryer (I don't now either). Today you hardly see laundry hanging outside in the city.
    What was it called, I never remember, a Hill's hoist maybe?

  8. Your photo reminds me a lot of laundry days when I was younger, except I could stand on the ground to hang our clothes on the line.

  9. i love to hang laundry by the way our names print out w/ one letter different

  10. this is so much like the scenes we witness in mumbai!