Monday, February 11, 2008

Testing the Waters

What a blessing it is to have a washing machine again!

I remember washing days at home, once a month, in the "Waschkueche" which was in the cellar of the house. Coming home from school I could see from far away the clouds of steam above the pavement and would poke my head through the cellar window just above it where my mother with big black rubber boots on her feet and a large black rubber apron around her was working among heaps of washing at various stages of boiling, rinsing and mangling. The washing was pegged up to dry in the attic at the top of our block of flats; the neighbours took turns in using the washing 'kitchen' and the drying loft, never though working together. The house backed on to a factory yard where lorries and vans were coming and going with loads of bathtubs, sinks and toilets. There was only a tiny patch of worn grass where washing could be dried when the weather was right and which also was where the neighbours would beat their carpets - not, obviously, at the same time. There were many disputes among neighbours about washing rotas, use of lines and pegs and other laundry business.


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