Monday 26 March 2018

Monday is Washing Day


When our apartment block was built in the 1930s, provision was made for maids' accommodation in the basement. This arrangement was rather short-lived as WWII came knocking soon after and single girls took themselves off to factories and the like to help with the war effort.

After the war, society had rather changed and life in most places became more egalitarian and the mere idea of having maids just fizzled out. At some point our spacious basement was converted over to The Laundry Room.

Around half of the residents in the Vertical Village in which the Pipistrellos roost have their washing machine in the communal laundry (the result is a sort of working museum of machines through the age), while the clotheslines both inside and out ensure that many of the remaining residents can be lured down to the basement to dry their washing and contribute to the atmosphere of a Chinese Laundry.

So it is, then, The Laundry is one of the excellent spots in our Village to catch up with neighbours and exchange a bit of gossip, rather like housewives - and husbands - of the past who would hang over the back fence on wash day to have a good yak.

While in this respect our inner city oasis has captured the spirit of suburbia, there are no Hills Hoists here, alas. The few children in the building will have to seek out these iconic clotheslines elsewhere to experience the pleasure of swinging on them.

I stood by the window of a train once, gazing out at the silent film footage of suburbia as we rolled by, and had the great delight of witnessing a small dog, in an otherwise empty backyard, clamped by its teeth to the bottom of a towel pegged to a Hills Hoist, sailing out and around, enjoying its own carnival ride.



  1. This brings back memories of whizzing around on our hills hoist. Love it!

    1. Thanks V. You could get up a good speed and really fly. Such great fun!


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