Hanging out: a meme?

Cross posted at muppinstuff.

Every day I seem to read something new about how to save water, power, energy and thereby save our world from imminent catastrophe. But there's something that most people here in Australia still do, and that's hang our washing on the line to dry. I love the sight of nappies flapping in the wind and clothes on hangers drying into shape. Really, I do. (Not so keen about folding but that's another story). It's one of those household jobs that gets me out into the garden early in the day and then again just before dusk. Time to savour the sights and smells of the day. A simple task that stretches my body and gives me a moment to think and reflect, or to chat with my little helper.

Nappies at the end of the day, in the autumn light.

I know I have an inane obsession with all things laundry, but I loved reading Toni's beautiful ode to the joys of the washing line. It reminded me that despite my occasional whinging, I really do enjoy that part of our domestic routine. And I like watching the inbetweenness of washing on the line. The work of washing has been done and the task of folding and putting away is yet to come. I find something restful about that, even if I'm quite busy. Toni's also set up a Flickr group for lovers of the clothesline, Beautiful Clotheslines. And beautiful it is. I encourage you all to go on over and contribute, if that is your bent. Following on, Amy posted about resolving to use a clothesline. There is so much I take for granted here.

According to Project Laundry List, there are whole housing developments in the US where people are prohibited from erecting clotheslines or hanging their washing outside. Which I'm guessing is for aesthetic reasons. So many people use their dryer for every load of washing, even in summer. Imagine that, every load of washing. No sheets smelling of sunshine, no temporarily scratchy towells, no wistful sights of the washing across the back fence. Now Project Laundry List also promotes National Hanging Out Day on April 19. I'm not sure whether it has much of a following but it's a good idea I think, and I thought maybe us bloggers could do a beautiful laundry meme. So, this is what I thought. Post a picture of some washing on the line, or on a rack and write a little something about the good side of natural drying. (By the way, I'm not for one moment saying that there aren't times in one's lofe when a dryer isn't useful or totally justifiable, of course there are.) Anyway, the washing out to dry could be yours, it could be your mum's, it could be in a backyard, or on holiday or hanging from an apartment building balcony, it could even be a picture from a children's book. Let's celebrate the homey beauty of washing out to dry. Anyone up for it? 

I'm not going to tag, because it's not a tagging sort of meme I don't think. But I'd love to know if anyone decides to take it up. Because clean laundry on the line is beautiful.


  1. I'm in. And will go tell Paula at mingledthreads as she has the most exquisite photos of clotheslines.
    (PS. I got a beautiful old wooden drying rack off freecycle last month, to replace my falling apart tatty old metal one).

  2. I love my clothesline. I can't believe some places actually ban them, very eco un-friendly.
    The Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism site has a brilliant TV ad which features the clothesline.
    It is called "Around here, not every work of art hangs on a wall."

  3. I have some beautiful photos of my clothesline with baby clothes on them but they're pre-dig so I can't access them but yes, I love haninging washing out and seeing it there. I gave away the dryer which my dad gave me, so we live perfectly well without a dryer at all.