The Land Rover Owners Ex Wife

……becoming me again

Wash Day Blues

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Getting washing dry in our household is a task that involves almost military style planning because not only am I without a tumble dryer but I am washing line less too! And it’s Muds’ fault!

Back garden from windowI used to have one, a line that is, but having spent many days/hours toiling away to transform our garden from a bleak hard cored nothingness, into a family friendly, playing, eating and veg’ growing area, Mud decided that the washing line was an ugly addition and it simply had to go.

Fine! But then how, would he mind telling me, was I supposed to get the washing dry?

During winter I can use the old fashioned dryer which is suspended above the Rayburn and washing Back garden 2010dries relatively quickly on it, although sheets, towels and blankets are still a problem due to the amount of space they take up and, in the case of towels and blankets, the time they take to dry.

Summer months are a little trickier, as the Rayburn which heats the radiators as well as the water, is solid fuel and, as such, can’t be temperature regulated. So it is turned off and I cook outside, on a large gas barbeque and our hot water comes courtesy of the electric immersion heater. Unfortunately this also means that on rainy days, washing has to go on the dryer but takes much longer to dry and this really isn’t a good idea – especially in an old cottage.


So we got a rotary line, being, Mud reasoned, removable and easy to store when not in use (not that he would know because he has never actually used it) and more compact so that it could be placed in a secluded part of the garden, down the side of the cottage,  out of sight. Frankly, so long as I could get the washing dry, I didn’t much care what it was or where he put the thing.

Unfortunately, the arrival of Ciggy in January of this year meant a new workshop for Mud and guess where he built it?

Line less again!

Move on a  few months and the Rayburn has been turned off. So, being a resourceful sort of person, I decided to recycle an old length of washing line between the two hanging basket hooks in the back garden, for the purpose of drying the washing. Excellent! Job done! Sorted!

Well Mud wasn’t that impressed but, wisely, he ignored the new line, although a few mutterings were made. All was trundling along nicely until just a few weeks ago when I took an armful of wet washing outside, only to find that my washing line had disappeared!


Muds’ explanation to my thoroughly cheesed off demands as to where the blazes the line had gone (and yes that is the censored version), was that he thought it might have caused a problem for the coal men when they delivered the anthracite and so he’d taken it down:

“And anyway,” he said, “The weight of the washing was making the hanging basket hooks come loose!”

As was inevitable, things have recently come to a head and all over Muds’ favourite jumper which happened to be dirty and in need of a wash. Little Mudlet had been having a problem with bed wetting and I had to strip both child and bed, in the wee small hours, every night for  about 2 weeks and the soiled sheets and night clothes have been taking priority over the rest of the washing.

“You never wash any of my clothes,” was Muds outraged spluttering when he realised that his jumper was still in the laundry basket. Then somehow managing to ignore the fact that the basket was actually over flowing with EVERYONES clothes, he continued with “That jumper has been in the basket for at least a week!”

“Yes,” I replied, “because every single day for the last week or more I’ve been washing wet bed linen and sometimes 2 lots from one night!”

“Unfortunately,” I continued calmly,”I don’t have a washing line because someone took it down, so I have to use the dryer over the Rayburn and the bedding takes up ALL the room AND takes forever to dry, even with the stove on! Of course if you’d rather I washed your clothes and left the bedding to moulder ……..”

Oddly enough he hasn’t mentioned the laundry crisis since and although I still don’t have outside drying facilities, I am quietly confident that my rotary line will soon be making an appearance in my garden. In the meantime laundry mountain is under control and is now more of a mole hill.


Photo’s reproduced with kind permission from

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