The Early Laundry

Mother and Father were very hot on all the latest styles. We lived in quite a large house, and I should know because it was a LOT of cleaning to do on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with Tuesdays and Thursdays being the day when I disguised myself and tended to the garden, as well as the ironing, cleaning the sheets and mending tears in clothes, and sometimes it would be rug beating day, and what was I saying?

Oh yes – styles! Kitchen design, Melbourne readers, has taken off in recent years, but Mother and Father did like to flaunt their wealth to the guests, so they jumped on the trend early. One of Mother’s favourite things to do, besides talking to me at length about how free and untethered she would be if I didn’t exist, was to give guests the grand tour. From my cupboard I could hear them as they roamed up and down, and there certainly wouldn’t be a single room left un-shown.

She even got the laundry dressed up, and this was long before people started doing any sort of laundry renovation. In fact, this was long before people had laundries. You used to just take clothes out the the lakes and streams and then leave the to dry on rocks, but Mother didn’t like the idea of me leaving the house more than was necessary, in case I was seen, so she designated an entire room in the house just to washing. She had all the latest equipment, like the machine for washing, now known as a washing machine, and one of those things that squeezed your clothes through two rollers to make them dry. She was, as I have said, quite forward-thinking. Perhaps she saw a day when custom bathrooms were THE in-thing, and laundries would be standard in all homes.

Fortunately, machines do most of the washing for us nowadays. All that rug beating really did a number on my lungs.