Everyone loves a collector

So the peg collection is up and running. Both G and mum have been presenting me with new and fascinating samples of this humble item. I have started looking in $2 shops and the like but have decided after buying a really dodgy set of pegs, to try and only buy whole packets of pegs when we actually need them. The dodgy peg is the big red one below.
It looks very sensible and utilitarian but there's something inherently wrong with the design. The spring pops out after about the third time it's handled and everything comes apart. I was thinking about how much I dislike these pegs as I hung out the nappies this morning and about how such a waste of effort and resources really annoys me. Even though they are a small thing, they are so useless that they are bound to end up in landfill about 2 weeks after the packet is opened. The corn pegs, on the other hand, look dodgy, but aren't. 

Save nine cents

I have thoughts of duplicating this image. Standing under the Hills Hoist on a crate and having someone peg my hair to the line and take a photo of me holding my favorite laundry product. Say, Homebrand nappy soaker or even the non scented Cold Power liquid. I would be stoic as I faced the camera, as if to say I know what my lot in life is going to be (or is). And I'm not all that happy about some aspects of it, but hey let's make art.
Earlier this week, I received an e-mail from Alina, asking whether I would be interested in a picture of Olivia Newton-John as a girl in an advertisement for OMO. Oh yes. Thank you, Alina.

And what an image it is. Apparently Olivia is about eight, so that means that this would have been taken in 1956 or thereabouts. It seems such an odd photo to use. Not just her surliness, but the tight shot of the washing line and the hair pegged to it, bare winter trees in the background, washing drying, plastic pegs, a Hills Hoist. Gothic or maybe a little Hitchcock. Or Beat. Not the usual nostalgic suburban dream. Darker and more cramped. So who were these people that decided to take a picture like this? Frustrated (or not) artists working in advertising to pay the bills. Or was there one person in the team, who said to the others, listen, I have a really cool idea... you're going to love this... and somehow got people to go along with him (or could it have been a her?) Did the image sell washing powder? What did the women who saw it think?

Or maybe the concept is simpler. Perhaps she got dirty and her mother washed her and hung her on the line to dry. I don't know. Hmm.

Clean and dirty

So I get a little mocked every now and then for writing about laundry related matters. All I can say is that it is more fun than actually doing the washing, and hanging it out, bringing it back in and defintely more fun than folding it, recovering it from the grasp of the child and from the floor and then refolding it and finally putting it away. Not to mention doing it all again the very next day and the day after and the day after that. For ever and ever. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but we've had one of those days and it all seems a bit endless. Lots of washing. Not to mention the grossness of some things you have to wash. At least Grace no longer vomits all the time. Still there is more than enough dreck involved. Shit, sweat, blood, piss, dirt, food. It's a bit funny I think, writing about laundry to escape all that.

The other day at work, I was photocopying a customers payslip (don't ask, but it's something I do regularly) and I noticed she worked in a laundry and was paid a "nauseous allowance". And I thought about what she probably had to handle and what sort of volumes were probably involved. And shuddered. But we do it everyday too, albeit in much smaller volumes and rarely give it a thought. Well I don't.
It occurred to me to then, that I write very little about the actual mechanics of how the dirty becomes clean.  I don't even think about it much any more. It's been a long, long time since I've asked my mum how to remove a stain or even to wash something difficult like a rug for me. Automatically I know to soak blood in cold water, how to use a fabric spray and when to use bleach. The other day in Saver's I even convinced someone to buy some cool, but slightly scratched plates by explaining how to bleach china. It works a treat on plastic too. I use home brand nappy soak in the bath, and soak everything for over an hour. The bath comes up well too.  How did I go from useless to quite knowledgeable? When did I suddenly know all this stuff? 

Scuffy goes down the river

I remember Scuffy the Tugboat and his Adventures down the River (by Gertrude Crampton, illustrated by Tibor Gergely, Little Golden Book 1955) from when I was little. I didn't realise that Scuffy the Tugboat contained laundry images though. And what charming, old fashioned, rustic images they are. Scuffy is a little toy tugboat who was sad and cross at being imprisoned in a toyshop. The owner and his little boy try letting him play in a bathtub but it isn't enough for Scuffy, who escapes when taken to sail in the river.

At first the jouney down the river is pleasant, he passes a cow drinking from the meadow bank and women washing clothes on the bank and little woods filled with violets. I love this illustration, but only if I don't think too hard. Otherwise I start to imagine standing in cold water, washing clothes, pollution downstream, what may be coming from upstream, washing your clothes in the same water that a cow is standing and probably shitting in. Eeew. Not romantic at all when one thinks about it. Give me a washing machine and town water any day.

In the end Scuffy's journey takes him to the big city where he is tossed around the port and finally he fears sailing out into a big rough sea. He wishes he were back in the bathtub. The man and his boy find him and take him home to safety.

Up close and personal with the Hills Hoist

The other day  I was standing on a milk crate with my camera, pointing down at the washing basket table, taking photos of some funny objects G had bought out from the shed, as you do. The late afternoon light was going fast and I quickly took some photos of the Hills Hoist, complete with rust and spider web. Industrial decay in our own back yard.

I like how these turned out better than my little compositions of found objects. Maybe I'm just absurdly found of our clothes line, which may not even be a genuine Hills Hoist. I'm not sure I like the fetta bucket peg container. I've been eyeing off a new one in the $2 shop, but I guess it will need to go through the commitee as I think G really, really likes the manky fetta bucket. Me, I'd just leave the pegs on the line. 

Spring laziness

Some people go into a frenzy of nesting, cleaning and other domesticity in spring. Or so I have heard. Not me. I haven't even read the Saturday paper yet, much less had time to fold yesterdays washing. There were other more important things to do. Like sit in the garden and drink beer and eat peanuts and gossip with a friend from accross the ditch while trying to prevent the little one from falling from great heights. For example.
Here is the washing and my neglected sewing. I'll have to do it tomorrow, I guess. The folding, not the sewing (who knows when that will get done, if ever). Little one who bumshuffles around the garden  will be running out of clean trousers. Folding. Relentless. No fairy is going to do it while I sleep. Or drink beer. Or read novels. Sigh.