cat and smalls

Mister Tony has been required to share his space in front of the heater rather frequently of late. Not just with the washing, but it has been the place to be. It also seems that whenever I'm home long enough to do my own washing, it rains. But if it stops, I squelch around the line, hanging it up, only to have to bring it in again. There is only just enough hanging space inside for my weekly wash, plus the small amount of Grace's things that make up the second load. And it takes all weekend to dry and clutters up the space I use for the odd five minute burst of sewing that I manage to squeeze in here and there. I know I shouldn't really complain, as G is doing all the other washing, and is getting pretty good at the heater fiddle to boot. But what a drag, spending the weekend rotating your smalls in front of the heater, just so you have enough clean undies to wear next week at work. Not that it's particularly hard, or even all that time consuming, it's just that I have even less spare time than I did before*. And it's tedious. And constant.

We're talking about replacing the dryer of despair with one that actually works. And I'm progressing with my washing minimisation schemes. Socks get two days, as do t-shirts (unless they smell) and skirts and jumpers are going as long as decently possible. I've discovered my black velvet skirt can be worn and worn and worn again. With just an airing in between. Grace is wearing clothes for longer too, although she is very partial to cleen socks. As for G, well he's always been into washing minimisation, or as he says I just don't care about clean clothes. Call us the family scruffnut. Very enviromental.

* so less time to write about it, more time doing it, in proportion to writing about it, hey ho, if that makes any sense whatsoever, which I expect it doesn't, because who in their right mind would enjoy writing about doing their bloody washing?


fee fi fo fum, I smell wet washing done

There's washing on the line that's been there since Thursday. Thursday. Three days ago. On Friday I did two new loads of washing, rearranged the line and got it all out. I managed to bring about a quarter of it in a little drier than it went out. Even drying inside, and in front of the heater has been slow over the last two days. It's cold, and constant rain is making the air damp and clammy. I've been so pressed for drying space that nappies and other non essentials have been left on the line. I thought they might dry this morning but by the time we'd returned from our walk it had already been raining for half an hour. Never seem to catch them even half way to dry. Lucky I did my washing on Friday, or I'd have no clean clothes for work and Grace would be out of clean jeans.

So our kitchen feels a bit like this.
from Jack and the Beanstalk, retold by Kay Brown, illustrated by Gerry Embleton, Award Publications 1978.

Except that I'm not trying to hide a small person in the cupboard. That's Jack, being hidden from the giant by his wife, the giantess. She looks pretty nice, I think, especially since she had just made him a big plate of bacon and eggs. Her kitchen looks cosy with a giant sock and shirt hanging up. She's a model housekeeper, I'm sure. (I wonder how the giant household fares after Jack steals the goose that lays the golden eggs and the magic harp. Seems strange that this is portrayed as a good thing, especially after the giantess feeds him.)

I think I wear too many clothes, or at least I don't wear them as many times as I could before washing them. From what I remember, I came to this conclusion at the same time last year. And started a washing minimisation scheme, which I'm sure I wrote about, but buggered if I can find.

Tomorrow; the festival of folding, ironing and putting away. I can hardly wait.

drying inside

It's been a constant source of tension beteen us, this drying of laundry inside. From the last two winters, I have a method that's irritating and painful but it works. First, unless it's raining, you hang the washing on the line. Early. Because you will have put the first lot on before anything else. So depending on what else is going on, it might even be ready to hang out before you have breakfast. Which means that you can put the next lot on early too. If I was being really obsessive, I might have started a load before I went to bed, but normally not.

If it starts raining and the washing is drier than when you put it out, you bring it in. If it's still really wet, you only bring in those things you really need. The washing is bound to move along the dryness scale at some point. Once you bring it in, it needs to be sorted and hung. Over the rails in the back room doorways, on the side of the playpen that is a de facto drying rack. On the backs of chairs and in front of the heater. There's no point stuffing the drying space in front of the heater too full. This reduces its efficiency. More surface area increases efficiency.  You need to turn and rotate items in front of the heater fairly constantly. It's a pain but makes best use of the most effective drying spot in the house. When things are dry, you put them in the basket for folding and move some new items in front of the heater. The items hanging above the doors also need to be rotated, and dry things removed. This increases the air flow.
All of this needs to be done over the afternoon and evening so that in the morning, there is dry washing to be folded and put away. And space to air the next load of washing. It all seems rather obvious to me. Scientific even. It would make life easier if we replaced the dryer of despair with one that could dry damp clothes as opposed to almost dry clothes within a reasonable time frame. But apparently dryers are bad. So fiddle we must. If I try and explain it one more time, I'll burst I'm sure, because like I said it's pretty obvious. Tedious but obvious.