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Spanish Shilling

Some stories and experiences after a lifetime spent in Spain

Even Puppies Like Laundry-Day
Sunday, July 9, 2023 @ 5:39 PM

We have a problem with laundry here. That laughable solar and wind-power joke about drying the clothes for free rings true for country-living folk.
The water is so hard in our house (we have a well) that even with softener, the clothes come out stiff. Then there is the sun, which fades the colours and eats the elastic.
As for the wind - a Chinese-made clothes peg suddenly calls it a day and a pair of knickers are carried by a sudden gust into the neighbour's garden.
So where does one dry one’s laundry? We started with an iron children's climbing-frame standing in the garden only to find that snails love damp, wet laundry and leave a silvery trail across ones' smalls. Another more pressing issue are the big black olive-eating birds that fly by and leave huge purple stains that don’t come out.

Other less damaging birds sit and nest in the higher branches, leaving their droppings all over the washing. Mind you, a scrape with one's fingernail usually repairs any unsightly adornment.

However, in life, nothing is perfect and our pet chicken, Valentina, she of the delicious morning eggs, must join this tale about now.
After an enjoyable forage about the garden, and a chase with the puppy through the flower beds, she will rest her feet and gossip with the sparrows while perched on our converted clothes rack. And, if the mood strikes her, she’ll poop.
It's a funny thing I suppose. You take some teeshirts and socks and trousers and pillow cases; wash them and hang them on the line, and then you discover that they are far dirtier now than they were when you started.
So we moved the drying clothes to two wonky top-heavy racks placed in the middle of the patio with a breezeblock to stop them from rocking.
But then there're the ants. Who get into your pants.
One day, the puppy found a new attraction to play tug-of-war with: the clothes drying quietly on the rack. He doesn’t destroy them; he just likes to unload them and drag them through the dirt and the foxtails to bring them to me. Having finally taught the puppy that those are Daddy’s clothes and not a toy, I moved the clothes rack under the cover of my patio; fine for the winter but in spring the swallows come back from Africa and build their mud nests in the beams under the terrace roof, and to make matters worse, when the babies hatch, they automatically know to hang their back-sides over the edge of the nest to do their business: leaving huge piles on the terrace or smaller dabs on my laundry. So, ever ready to come to an arrangement with Mother Nature, I moved the clothes rack to a forgotten corner where the birds don’t nest.

Without the sun and a soft breeze, the clothes will take a little longer to dry in this location - but at least they'll be perfect, with a delightful hint of perfume à la Mercadona when they're ready to collect.

Maybe it's time to get a dryer.

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