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.

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