Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Laundry Matters.

I love a good drying day, I do.  Not much pleases me more than seeing laundry flapping about in a soft Summer breeze, but then, (and Bob will beg to differ here) I am easily pleased. Especially by free things. Most villages around here still boast a communal 'laverie' by the river.  In the days before the excitement of twin tubs and mangles this was where the womenfolk would gather to do their washing and gossiping, literally washing their dirty linen in public.

Many moons ago, I found myself washed up on the shore in Antigua and somehow in charge of laundry for a busy charter yacht. We weren't allowed to hang out to dry though as that was thought to look messy so we had to use tumble dryers which always seemed so wasteful when that big ol' Caribbean sun was shinin'. One day, due to a breakdown, (mechanical, not nervous) I was obliged to engage the services of a local washerwoman called Maud.  She came sashaying down the quay with her assistant,  hoisted the enormous bundles of linen onto their heads and then mosied off. A few days later, the washing was returned, as clean and pristine as I have ever seen and brilliant white.  I asked Maud, a women of few words, how she had achieved such amazing results and she grudgingly disclosed that they did all the washing in the river. Maybe she was pulling my leg and was, in fact, the owner of Antigua's most prestigious hi tech laundry but somehow, I doubt it.  Rivers and elbow grease, that's the key.  I'll probably just stick with my front loader for now though.
A typical old laverie.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Saw Point.

Bob is teaching himself to play the saw. Each evening, he gets out his bow and strikes up. I'm fine with it....honestly..... his strangled practicings have an eerie but strangely comforting vibe, even if he has yet to play two notes in a recognisable order. He's getting better at it but says he needs a longer saw.  I think he probably just needs some musical aptitude. 

Sometimes though, his random scales sound preferable to our local radio station with its repetitive playlist of Soopahtromp, Feel Colleens and Ugh2, interspersed with some home grown nasally power ballads.  And then there are the accordions.  Every Saturday morning is given over to accordion music. The first couple of hours can be fine in a jolly, Pugwashy, so French kind of way, but all too soon a tipping point is reached whereby I feel I could quite happily stab the player just to MAKE IT STOP.  One evening, we were enjoying an apperitif and some unusual snacks with our neighbours, when an accordion was produced. The owner proudly squeezed out a few impressive riffs and we smiled and thought 'this is so charming'. But then, another guest took up the beast and we had to sit through his two centimes worth, only this time, played with a bit more panache and skill than the owner. Clearly this pissed off the first player and he hastily packed away his instrument.  Phew! I thought I was in for the night of duelling squeeze boxes. If music be the food of love....that'll be quite enough for now, thank you very much.

Fancy a jam down at Woodsman's cabin?  There's an old guitar -  it's been languishing, stringless for several years after they were requisitioned for some long-forgotten project, but has recently been refurbished, as well as a mouth organ and even some spoonshttp://covertcabin.com/woodsmans.html 

And here's a man who can already play the saw.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmft674XPC0&list=PL34AC3A211540418B