Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Laundry Life

At last, summer has really begun. Having had weeks of unseasonal rain (the endurance of which is made worse by constantly hearing about the unseasonal heatwave back in the UK), we are now on full scale sunshine, temperatures in the mid 30s and a confidence that tomorrow will be the same.

In this household the arrival of serious sunshine also marks the arrival of serious washing. We don't have a dryer (never have actually, even in England) so I need to make the most of the ability to get stuff dry fast. The past few days the washing machine has been humming. Quite often it has been humming with nothing in it, as Luke has discovered how to turn it on. This is not a good thing; although I'm obviously encouraging his ability to separate whites from delicates and load them up, I am now living in fear of the unexpected boil wash.

Anyway, I digress. The washing. Or, more accurately, the washing basket. Readers, let it be known, I've seen the bottom of the washing basket! For quite a long time I thought there was no such thing. I mean, I haven't seen it for years. I had started to believe that the laundry basket is a bottomless pit. Worse, it is some weird Dungeons and Dragons portal thing, where new bits of material are constantly being fed in the basket to ensure its mysterious depths lie untouched. But today, as I type, it is bare and incidentally, a rather grubby white. Can I just mention here in a rare moment of housewifely proudness (I don't have much to proud of on this front so allow me just a touch of self congratulation) not only have I washed all the bedding and sofa covers, I've even washed the curtains. And that weird thing that no one knows what it is that has lived in the washing basket for years. I've washed the lot.

The only problem? If I believed in ironing, the ironing pile would be it. Fortunately I don't so I'm just trying to put all the clothes away. Turns out that we don't have enough cupboard space. Seems we need the laundry basket to maintain the household equilibrium. Better get back to my more usual slovenly ways quick sharp. Clearly I need to read more of There's More to Life than Laundry, who has decided to forsake the bottom of the laundry basket to sail from the UK to Brazil in the Round the World Clipper Race. She has young kids too. I have no excuse!

On a different note, I have to give a talk to the best and brightest of Tuzla's university and final year high school students. I can talk about anything I want. Any ideas? What would you talk to seriously bright young people, who will help shape Bosnia's future about? A big part of me wants to stand on desks and shout carpe diem! but I don't think my oratory talents can match Robin Williams, and the talk is in the Medresa school so requires a modicum of decorum. Suggestions gratefully received in the comment box.

22 comments:

Half Mum Half Biscuit said...

Loved the whole washing thing. And we too had an unrecognisable item that lived at the bottom of the basket. Now that we don't have a basket - things are popped straight in the washer which is turned on when it gets full, oh the slovenly habits of a single-parent! - the 'thing' seems to have gone AWOL, or free-range or something.

Re your lecture - this may be a too earnest (?) response and not at all what you are after, but what about talking about how 'blogging' 'social networking' and 'mass collaboration' are changing the world - see 'We-Think' by Charles Leadbeater (also 'Here comes everybody' and 'Wikinomics' and others...). A new democracy where every-one can have a voice and influence...just a thought!

If that does sound to earnest, I think a lecture on the ebb and flow of the contents of the laundry basket plus its wider social and political implications could be at least as fascinating!

Mwa said...

You've inspired me - I'm off into the garden to hang up the washing in the sunshine.

Milla said...

please don't think we're enjoying ourselves or having anything approaching a summer. Lies all lies! Unreliable, certainly. Wind howling round house at the moment - good drying weather if nothing frantically summery!

Dan said...

We too don't have enough room in the cupboards if all the laundry is clean.

Mind you, that's only happened once. but it was a sever lesson to us to be more vigilant in future.

Half Mum Half Biscuit said...

You've probably had this already, but I've tagged you at mine.

SandyCalico said...

Wow, so there is a bottom to the laundry basket? I haven't got enough hangers if all my washing was up to date, or wardrobe space!
Re the lecture, what about making the most of living in another country?

Who's the Mummy? said...

Ironing is for people with small lives. Or that's what I tell myself, at any rate.

As for speaking to students - one of the best speeches I've seen on this was JK Rowling's commencement speech at Harvard (well worth sitting through both parts) - might be good for inspiration!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkREt4ZB-ck

Kathryn said...

We have 3 washing baskets (with 2 boys and a husband I find it so much easier to do a 'Thomas' wash, a 'Leo' wash and an 'our' wash - on the one hnad this helps with all those socks and boxers I constantly mix up but at the same time it means that I have 3 baskets to empty which I NEVER DO!!! Who would have thought being able to see the bottom of a basket would fill us all with such joy!!! Good for you!

nappy valley girl said...

At home, I fought a constant battle with the bottom of the laundry basket, and, as we didn't have a dryer either, the house was cluttered with drying clothes.

Here in the US, we have a huge basement in which live an equally huge washer and dryer. You can go for several days without doing any laundry, then blitz it all in one morning. I have to say, much as I disapprove of tumble dryers from an eco point of view, it has transformed my laundry life.

Only trouble is, because it's in the basement, I keep forgetting it's down there. So wet clothes will sit in the washing machine for several days before I remember them, or I'll suddenly remember five minutes before bed that the sheets are wet in the machine. Just goes to show that even the best household goods will not transform me into a domestic goddess.

david mcmahon said...

Okay, so I'm a bloke, but believe me, the bottom of the laundry basket DOES exist!

Iota said...

You could talk about the merits of having a bare and rather grubby white bottom.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Let it now be said that the laundry basket is once again full. It was but a brief moment, I enjoyed it while it lasted!

HMHB - the free range thing at the bottom of the basket. There's a dungeons and dragons episode for you! & tnanks for award!

Mwa - and may it soon be dry

Milla - it all sounds so different on the radio, all I hear about is how to cope in the heat!

Dan - I've just learnt the same lesson.

SC - there is. It is well covered now though. I won't see it again for years.

WhoMummy - will go and have a look. The other great one is Randy Pausch, which is well worth a watch if you have the time. With you on the ironing every step of the way.

Kathryn - We have rather a lot of Thomas clothes too. Also Cars which as v. cheap t shirts bought in the local market run like you have never seen so need a wash of their own!

NVG - I know if I ever had a dryer I would never be able to go back to the laundrette look that is our houses natural decor. And even if I had a full time cleaner, cook and maid I'd be able to acheive domestic goddess status

DM - it does, I saw it. covered now. Won't see it again for years.

Iota - plenty of those in our household, especially now they can play with water in the garden.

The wife of bold said...

You really reached the bottom of the laundry basket? Wow now that is something worth talking about to those students don't you think ha. Well done you had me laughing out loud and nodding in agreement to every observation you made about the laundry especially the item that doesn't have a home...so true :)!

Victoria said...

My husband is great at putting washes on, which I'm not complaining about. But he is completely unable to put both parts of a pair of socks or a pyjama top and bottom in the SAME wash. Which means that our wash basket and ironing basket (OK dry clothes not yet put away basket) both contain numerous odd items of clothing which I can then never rejoin, because children wear odd socks and non-matching jammies. I know I sound really petty, but it drives me MAD. Thanks for allowing me to rant.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Congrats on the Post of the Day Award from David's authorblog!

Brian Miller said...

congrats on the POTD mention. my wife would be happy if we ever let her see the bottom of the clothes hamper.

Deb said...

Oh I can so relate to this post. We also have an issue if all of the laundry is clean but that doesn't happen very often. The other issue I always deal with is the fact that my washer eats socks on a regular basis. Congrats on POTD ~ well-written and well-deserved!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

WoB - I thought about it, but the students aren't old enough to appreciate the epic acheivement that this feat is! Item that doesn't have a home still doesn't... might have to put it back in the basket.

Victoria - you have a husband that can use the washing machine? Mine thinks aliens have stolen it and left dirty socks all over the house if I'm not around!

CM, BM & Deb: Thanks! I was very pleased indeed.

clareybabble said...

The bottom of my wash basket is lined with handwash stuff and S' first shoes that need a wash before putting away..I really must get on and do it all!
I too don't iron any more, much more interesting things to do!

Pouty Lips said...

'That weird thing that no one knows what it is that has lived in the washing basket for years' is my non-hubby's old undies, and how did they get in your laundry basket by the way? Congrats on Post of the Day!

Sparx said...

There's a bottom to that thing?

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