Saturday, 25 July 2015

It's raining...

As a child, I remember the nursery rhyme that we would sometimes chant. Often, chanted as an aid on a Monday morning, to make the rain go away. In my home wash day was always on a Monday. No matter what, the weather might do. The washing was always 'done' on a Monday.

Rain rain, please go away;
Come back, another day.

I lived in a small terrace of four houses and there was a communal passage from the road at the front to get to the back yard. Each family had their 'day of the week' because the back yard was so small that people would have to share washing lines. If only to have enough drying space. There was a wash house, complete with a wood and cast iron mangle, a brown shallow ceramic sink, a glass rubbing board, two galvanised tubs, a copper 'Ponch' and a brick built copper boiler. The boiler required a fire to be lit underneath. So it was infrequently used because it would sometimes throw up a bit of soot that might land on the washing and pride dictated that could not be allowed to happen. 

Our house had a new 'gas copper' it was enamelled in a speckled off white and black. The gas copper boiler was much quicker to bring water to the boil. It had a long rubber hose that would be brought inside through the kitchen window and plugged into a gas tap on the wall. Just under the kitchen wall mounted hot water boiler called 'Ascot'. Then came the day when the washing machine arrived. Large, square and cream coloured with an electric mangle. It even had a silver drip tray so that the squeezed out water would go back into the tub. The washing machine, like the copper boiler, was kept in the wash house but always wheeled out into the yard for use. 

Its nice to think back, to a time when wash day was such a big event. Now we have a machine tucked away under the kitchen work surface. A tumble dryer in case of rain is always on stand by. But whenever the weather allows, we still put the washing 'out to dry' whenever possible. We even have a washing machine in the galley on the boat. The hardest chore is drying the washing. But we have a small rotary dryer that clips onto the tiller arm. Which has enough capacity to a couple of washer loads.

Now, on wet and windy days when we are out on the boat and not on the move. Provides a chance to read a few extra boating blogs, write a few articles, do a bit of reading and also provides a break from the hard life of skippering a boat on the Inland Waterways. 

Yes, its a hard life is retirement and someone has it to do!



1 comment:

  1. Lol lol lol,,,I haven't been smiling the whole day.Thanks be to you.Moving forward, wash day was such a different day.I also remember singing "Rain rain, please go away,Come back, another day" almost every Friday during autumn.Friday was our wash day.Washing machines came in handy.I wonder how life would be without them in the present times.

    Wilfred Andrews @ LB Plumbing and Heating


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