As I stood ironing tonight, my mind drifted back to how onerous it used to be to do the wash; we didn’t have a washing machine – let alone a drier, and so each week we would take it in turns to trek down to the washeteria/washeteria/laundriette/ laundromat etc. We would try to time it so there would be a machine free, but it was tricky and sometimes we’d have to wait. The washing would go in the machine, with the powder… I don’t remember having liquid then,. The money went in the slot and then we would either leave our clothes happily spinning around and go to the local shops, or hurry back home, or go and buy a newspaper and return and sit reading it waiting for the machine to finish.

When the wash finished, there was, in some washerettes, a spinner, so all the heavy stuff like towels and bedding would go in the spinner and then it would all go in the huge tumble driers. Then there was the same decision, to wait, to go, to wander about outside. The washing dry it would be folded into the washing bag and carted back home. Whoever had not taken the washing would do the ironing. Life is so much easier now; we have an economical washing machine, we have a garden with a line to hang the washing outside, and if we have had a lot of bad weather, then we can be extravagant and use the drier. Even if we don’t use the drier, we can put the clothes on a clothes horse inside and let it dry in the warmth of the house.

I don’t remember us complaining about it, that was just the way it was!


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