Thursday, 15 October 2015
Hanging the washing out
We all used to do it. Now, maybe not so many of us do.
My grandmother had a stunning double decker washing line, with a pulley system that required strength and skill to operate. My job was to follow her down the garden and help position the two clothes props.
I am sure I have mentioned that hanging the washing out is special here, in past posts, but I don't think have properly recorded my wash day musings before .....until today.
Years ago, when our family rented a house in Provence, I realised I loved hanging out the washing.
The reasons being:
we were on holiday, and there was never much washing, as it was always too hot to wear many clothes, so it was never a chore;
I never hung anything out " at home"...too wet, too cold, too busy working ridiculous hours during the day, so washing had to be done at night etc. etc;
the view from the washing line at the rented holiday house, was stunning.
So, when we bought our house in France, I was thrilled to find that the huge monstrosity of a 4 wired washing line, behind the house, offered stunning views over the village and to the distant Pyrenees. I have refused all offers to replace my old fashioned washing wires with one of those new fangled whirly things.
The novelty value of hanging washing out has long gone. However, I rarely hang it out without thinking of my grandmother's highly engineered set up, and I always marvel at the beautiful view.
In the summer, when it is really hot, it is possible to hang out sheets, and take them off the line as soon as you have finished hanging them. Sometimes it is too hot to hang things out and I might seek a volunteer to do it, or wait until it is cooler.
Hanging the washing out in the autumn is just lovely. I have just put a couple of machine loads on the lines, and decided the time was right to blog about it !
As I leave the house by the back door, I look up to the washing line, and the forest behind the house.
I walk up a set of steps and turn to my right and admire the view.
The virginia creeper is turning red against the ivy covered wall below me.
I step on a carpet of wild thyme, that sends wafts of beautiful herby scent upwards.
The story book pine forest is to my right as I peg out the clothes, the terrace where we sit and watch the grandchildren play boules is in front of me.
The pegs are carefully stored in a now, fading peg bag, made for me by Sharon who I used to work with at the hospital in Halifax. So I always give her a thought too, and then I wander back into the house......job done, and with such pleasure.