Local Heart, Global Soul

August 19, 2013

Airing Your Dirty… No I Mean: Clean Laundry in Public…

Filed under: Audley End House,ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another leaf from my last summer’s journal,  we are looking around parts of one of the UK’s National Trust stately homes: Audley End House.

We’ve skipped the main house because we arrived late and don’t have time to cover everything and  because the kids are more interested in racing around the grounds than studying  fine art and antiques,

One of the ground floor outbuildings is the laundry: As was often the case in stately homes it was set a little distance away from the main house because it used a lot of hot water heated by coal ranges and kettles and as such was a fire hazard to be kept out of the main house.

At first I was going to say that it would be handy to have a laundry this size, but  on second thoughts I never want to have so much laundry that I would need a laundry this size.

That said, some of the ideas would be excellent installed in a homestead in any rural area where weather may disrupt electricity supply.  I could image this room on a New Zealand high country sheep station in the cold of winter: snow outside, a big coal range heating a thick stone walled room where laundry dried inside on high racks, the wooden rack by the fire drying off the thick items, no need for a tumble  dryer here.

In my version though there would be a proper electric washing machine, rather than the copper kettles and sinks from yesteryear.  A marriage of old and new technologies.

I remember that some tramping (hiking) huts and farms in New Zealand used to have a drying rooms, off the side of sleeping quarters,  tiny versions of this, with a small cast iron wood burner in a corner heating both the sleeping and drying area and racks where wet clothes and tramping boots could be hung up. You’d sleep with the smell of wet wool drying out all around you, but it was very cosy and most welcome after hours of mountain walking, and you’d have dry clothes by morning.

I love the space, I would have loved a lot less having to work in it one hundred years ago without the aid of modern technology.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Velvetine) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 2, 2012

Sadly Not Quite Enough Snow to Ski On…

Filed under: LIFE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following  yesterday’s laundry theme…  I forgot to mention that when I wash our clothes I  (a) look in kid pockets if I remember (b) never look in Himself’s pockets before slinging yet another load into the washing machine.

In general this goes OK. The kids rarely have anything in their pockets anyway and Himself is a grown-up who should check his own pockets when he takes off his clothes as most adults do, right? (or am I wrong and they don’t?)

On this occasion it all went a little awry, the load went into the machine, the machine did what was expected of it and et Voila!  Clean laundry. Well sort of…

On this occasion I picked up one of Himself’s shirts and out of the corner of the pocket was a crumpled piece of plastic… I pulled it out. It was the empty wrapper usually found wrapped around a little bundle of ten neatly folded paper tissues.

Then I noticed a few bits of paper tissue sticking to the shirt… oh no, one of them has gone though the wash. I grab the ends of the shirt and give it a good sharp shake to get the offending wet bits of paper off the shirt.

To my horror the air is suddenly filled with a snow-storm of tissue paper, I hadn’t seen that it was stuck everywhere both inside and outside the shirt and now it was snowing little bits of paper onto the hall floor.  Apparently not one single tissue went through the wash today, but in all likelihood nine or ten.

Now that there was more mess on the floor than I could handle there was nothing for it but to shake out the other items in the machine to which all the other bits were stuck.  It looked like a snowstorm had happened inside or that a sudden deluge of dandruff had fallen from the coat-rack on the opposite side of the hall.

As I mentioned yesterday, my lung condition mean that the vacuum cleaner is  entirely Himself’s domain. When he came home from picking up the kids about an hour later, there were squeals of surprise and a lot of giggles at the mess on the floor from the kids and a three-party clean-up as the kids dragged the vacuum cleaner out of the cupboard and with Himself, cleaned up the “snowstorm” in the hall.

p.s. Yes this is our entire laundry area… the dryer is on top of the washer and it’s all in a cupboard by the top of the top floor stairs. (Dutch apartment living … you get to make the best of the space you have LOL)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 16, 2012

Understanding What Traveller’s REALLY Want…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

FINALLY, a hotel that “gets” what there travelling guests really want.

During the refurbishment of the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Hotel they have added a guest laundry room.

Hurrah!!! For a family on the move, we try hard to pack light but anyone who’s travelled with kids will know just how hard this actually is to do in practice, especially when travelling between a northern hemisphere winter and a southern hemisphere summer.

Any parent of a six year old boy also understands very well that at some moments there are never enough clean clothes, no matter how many you have already packed.

I also hate to death those stupid laundry lists that you find in the folders in the hotel room bureau’s that give you the privilege of laundering a single pair of knickers for $4.00  and charge per item that you mark off one the list.

Surely this must be the most expensive and stupid method on the planet to do a single load of laundry.

On the first floor of the Rasa, there is now a laundry room, where you, the guest can do a whole load of laundry for a small fee. There’s washing powder available included in the price and a tumble dryer to use  for a little extra as well.

Our family used the laundry room twice  during our stay and loved   this feature as a hotel service for guests. For the clothes we have that are not for the tumble dryer, we just used the retractable washing  line over the bath in our hotel room.

Family friendly and Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!

Bravo Rasa, this is a feature that I wish many other hotels would copy.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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