Monday Washing Lines
Unlike many participants in Andrew’s Monday Washing Lines theme, I don’t have a stash of pictures of artfully draped laundry on balconies in exotic locations. However, I spotted this line in an unusually visible back garden on one of my recent Glasgow West End wanders. This also prompted some childhood memories of wash day.
On the left, above, I am standing in the kitchen of my first home, aged about 2½ years. The washer behind me was, as I remember, red and white, and lifting off the lid revealed a mangle folded beneath. I was unable to say the word machine and referred to it as the sheen. My mother said to me one day: Anabel, don’t say sheen, say MAchine. I looked at her very seriously and replied: But Mummy, it’s not MA sheen. It’s YOUR sheen! Mum sent this anecdote to a women’s magazine which published it on its readers’ letters page – we still have the magazine to prove it!
Perched on my shoulder is a budgie named, in retrospect unfortunately, Boris. A few years later, he provided my first encounter with death. I’m not sure how the concept was explained to me, but I still remember being completely puzzled as to why he was put in a flower bed.
Fast forward a few more years, and two houses, and I am now about 7 or 8. I find it odd that I am posing in my bathing suit and my sister is wearing a cardigan, given that I was usually the child shivering in her coat on the beach as everyone else cavorted around half naked. However, posed or not, here is visible proof that I have pegged out a washing at least once in my life. I’m not sure if we still had the same washing machine, or had moved on to a twin tub by then. I remember that, then a huge, heavy top-loader, and a spin-drier that danced across the floor if you didn’t load it right. Thank goodness for modern conveniences: I’m leaving you right now to unload my automatic washer!