Zen and the art of Laundry

Gale force winds warning on the weather forecast today. Yipee! Nope, not because the winds usually bring much needed rain, but because the washing will dry in half an hour.

You know my feelings on house cleaning, an endless and unrewarding drudge, but I am a closet laundry fiend. I love everything about washing clothes.  The therapeutic sorting into dark and light, the puff of fresh washing powder as you pour it into the little tray, the careful deliberating over what setting to use, that first rush of water, the spin, the clean smell as you open the heavy, round glass door. . .

And that’s just the washing part, the real act of meditation comes with the hanging. The washing line is right at the back of the garden, uncharted territory for the rest of the family.  I can see the vegetable patch, the red roof of the house, and a blot of sea in the distance.

The hanging ritual is cast in stone, a vigorous de-creasing shake, three pegs for every two items, hangers for the shirts, one peg per pair of socks, linen in the middle so that sheets don’t blow against the dirty wooden fence. No one else will ever get it quite right, the thought of someone even trying makes me slightly anxious.

Before pouring that first glass of evening wine, it’s time to bring in a basket of fresh, crisp washing. Clean sheets ready for the bed after a bath using fragrant towels – doesn’t get much better than that.

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2 Responses to “Zen and the art of Laundry”


  1. 1 shoreacres April 11, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Now, with your linens in the middle, where do the “smalls” go? The lingerie? Or are the neighbors so far away it doesn’t matter?

    Do you know how envious I am? There’s nothing better in the world than the fragrance of sun-and-wind-dried clothes. I laugh every time I see some idiot manufacturer has come out with a product perfumed with something called “Fresh Breeze” or “Sunshine”. There’s no way you can bottle it. In fact, it isn’t so much a fragrance as an absence of any smell – like snow.

    Count your blessings – I can’t hang out laundry because I’m in an apartment, of course. But in the subdivisions, they’re death on it now. Rules. Regulations. It isn’t “sightly”. People can just be crazy.

    This is such a good post I’m almost ready to go change bed linens right now, just for the enjoyment. But I still wouldn’t have that fresh scent. 😉

    • 2 Jeannine April 11, 2010 at 1:24 pm

      LOL! No neighbours, expect over Xmas, so smalls are no issue.

      Yip, you can’t duplicate that air dried smell, or as you say, absence of smell. Crime might be the price we pay for a certain laxness about rules and regulations – but there are some compensations!


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