Sunday, January 30, 2005

Learning old skills in a new way

I do not remember when I learned to wash my clothes. I don't think I ever got a specific lesson on the process of laundry, although there were tips provided along the way after I shrunk a sweater to doll size or mixed a bright colored top with a bunch of lights. But, I think I, like most people, just learn and develop these skills as we go along. So, I found it fascinating today as I explored the remidial task of laundry all over again. First of all, I have a washer, but no dryer. My landlord must not have wanted to fork over the bucks for one of those lovely washer/dryers all in one (what most seem to have here). The washer is located in the kitchen next to the sink which is why at first glance of the flat I thought it might be a dishwasher (my estate agent and B&B proprietor, Jackie, had a good laugh at that one). With no dryer, I am forced to air dry eveything and with the gray sky ever impending threat of rain, I dare not use the clothes line in the garden. So this meant another bus ride to Stourbridge Town Centre and to Wilkinson's (my little Wal-Mart) for an air dryer. Did you know how many "indoor airer" options there are? It's quite a high tech operation. I head back home on the bus, awkwardly large indoor airer in tow, prepared for some serious washing. Now here comes the complications...I load the bin, okay I can handle that, although it is not quite large enough to overstuff as I like to do. Now, just add the soap...Right, there is a little drawer on the washer that looks likely to be the soaps point of entry but there are three compartments. Go for the middle, sounds good! Now for settings: I have from A-P to choose from. We'll go with K, it's delicate- a level I understand and hey, it's my middle initial so what the hell. After another 45 seconds of trying to figure out how to start it we are on our way! The wash begins and I stare in fascination for as long as my ADD mind will allow. The load comes to an end with a sound that resembles what I would imagine to be a space ship landing in my flat. Once it's done, things are layed out nicely on my new indoor airer and the next load is on it's way...

Wow! Who would have thought I could write so much about a load of laundry (and that you might read it)! I am simply fascinated by these little differences that come into my life each day as I settle here. It's forcing me to be more resourceful and creative as I learn to live without a clothes dryer, without automatic hot water from the faucet, among other things.

1 comment:

canadian bsw said...

Argh! Washing machines in the kitchen, of all places. Not too mention tiny little fridges and stoves.

My Mother in Law (English) has NEVER had a dryer. She goes around hanging everything on the radiators. I don't know! Crazy!