Friday, 4 February 2011


I get an inordinate amount of pleasure from doing the laundry, which is odd, because I am not the slightest bit interested in other forms of domestic toil, though I will keep the loos reasonably clean.{Over the Line, oil on canvas, 2002, by Jeffrey T. Larson}
But give me a pile of washing to sort, wash and — oh joy! — hang out, and I am weirdly happy.
Not so happy about bringing it in and sorting it and putting it away, but I'll do it.
I enjoy the flap of cool wet linen on a breezy, sunny day, the bright pegs (always cheap and cheerful placky ones) against the blue sky, and the basic process of exposing washed fabrics to the whitening and drying effects of the sun.I even stuck to my guns in Southern California, a dry, desert environment where it rains little and the sun shines a lot, and where hanging out your washing to dry indicates your social and financial inferiority and is therefore prohibited in many neighbourhoods lest you bring down property prices and upset the kiddies. And this, of course, is far, far more important than the dire environmental effects of 20 million people all using dryers, even if they are gas-heated.
But I won't go on about that again ...{In the Light of Morning, oil on canvas, 2003, by Jeffrey T. Larson}
I laundered my handmade napkins today — including this one, which someone decided last year would be the perfect cloth for wiping down something gross, like a wet bike, or a set of lawn bowls. Grrrr.


Fairlie said...

There's always one napkin like that in the set.

Ulla said...

Beautiful photos and paintings of laundry drying! I love to hang my laundry out to dry and look forward to the first day after winter when I can do it again.

Anonymous said...

I always hang the underwear on the line least visible to the outside world. Do you do that too?

Lesley said...

Yes, the knickers go on the line closest to the garage wall and are hidden by the other washing! If I had a Hill's hoist, the undies would go on the short centre lines to be discreetly shielded from view by everything else.
Mind you, when my knickers are on the line, it's like wash day at the convent rather than anything to titillate an observer!

Anonymous said...

I was one of the only cloth nappy washers and dryers I knew when TFM was a babe. Nothing better than clean linen on a sunny line. Those pegs look so colourful on the line :)

Barbara said...

Oh I agree absolutely, it's been bliss here for the last three years with our big old ugly Hills Hoist(which I adore) after many, many years in a flat ... and all my pegs are blue plastic!
Like you I hide the unmentionables behind the sheets (Actil plain white and very thick) and towels (pale blue and pink)
I always fold everything in the garden under the line ...
It's been very rainy here of late so have had to use the dryer a bit but only when absolutely necessary!

victoria said...

Love love love washing line pics. Those blue, pink and white plastic pegs are the most effective pegs around.