Tag Archives: Housework

Malta, Washing Lines

Malta Washing Lines 1

In the back streets of Valletta we wandered down shabby narrow streets, care worn but with brightly colour-washed buildings with ancient coats of paint which have blotched and been blurred by successive harsh summers resulting in a glorious wash resembling water colours in the rain, everything running, leaking and fusing.

The streets between the narrow streets are like deep gullies made brilliant by vibrant washing lines strung outside windows like bunting as though in anticipation of a parade or a carnival, smelling of washing powder, stretching across the streets dripping indiscriminately and swaying gently backwards and forwards above the secret doorways and back alleys.

Malta Washing Lines 2

I always wonder if they have ‘extra grip’ pegs in Southern Europe because if an unexpected gust of wind blows something off the line then it is surely gone forever.

This is rather like other unanswered questions that trouble me – why women are hopeless at supermarket check-outs, how did the Trojans fall for that Wooden Horse Trick, if moths only come out after dark why do they always fly to the light and just how can I be sure that the little light in the fridge has gone off when I shut the door?

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Today

Tuesday is Ironing Day:

With a few variations (some people had a gardening day instead of a separate ironing day, or the days were not quite in this order), this is the way everyone kept house for more than a hundred years. It was such a common scheme that day-of-the-week dishtowels emblazoned with that day’s chore were everywhere.

There was logic behind this. Laundry was far and away the heaviest task a housewife faced, requiring a great deal of strength and fortitude to hand-wring clothes and carry big baskets of wet laundry to the clothesline from the basement washtubs. Monday was the day to do it, when you were still fresh and rested from Sunday. Tuesday’s ironing followed Monday’s wash. Mending and sewing on Wednesday made sense when you’d just been through the clothes and noticed what needed a button or a patch. And so on.