I get such a kick out of finding a forgotten item of clothing that has been buried in a composting heap of unwashed articles for many months. I expect many of you have experienced the same thrill. Some laundry piles, especially those where there is more than one person living in the home, must be enormous. How exciting!
There are people, and you are going to find this unbelievable, there are people who actually do their washing every week! There is even a rumour in the village that Mrs Bagshott-Carruthers-Smythe from the big house, does laundry every day! Or her maid does I should say. I do stress that this is only a rumour. No one has been able to prove anything, because the crafty woman has got one of them tumble dryer things and so never has to put washing on the line. So please, I beg of you, do not start writing her nasty letters just yet.
Personally I cannot understand why people as wealthy as the Bagshott-Carruthers-Smythe's should do laundry at all. Surely with all the money they have, it would be far easier to have new clothes delivered every day? This is something I do. Although on a much smaller scale. Every few
Anyway back to the launderette. When I was waiting for my first load to finish, (max heat, heavy soiled, prewash) I got into conversation with a bloke who was using one of the tumble dryers. We didn't start conversing immediately, because he was a stranger, so first of all we had to spend a few minutes glancing suspiciously at each other out of the corner of our eyes. We do that in this village, glance suspiciously at strangers. But after a while I let my curiousity get the better of me and ventured a tentative hallo. Well not exactly hallo. More like "All right mate." Well that got him started. You should have seen his face. It got kind of twisted and really upset looking.
"She sent me down 'ere," he said. "The only bleedin' day off I've 'ad in bleedin' months, and she sent me down 'ere with the bleedin' washing. I've 'ad enough of it to tell the truth," he went on. "Fourteen grand. Fourteen bleedin' grand I just spent on the 'ouse, and now she wants a new bleedin' kitchen. Nine bleedin' grands worth of bleedin' kitchen. I'm up to 'ere with it." He raised a hand above his head to demonstrate how far up to 'ere he was. "Seventeen bleedin' years we been married. Seventeen bleedin' years. Are you married?" He asked me, "No need to answer that," he said, "I can tell by looking. You ain't, are you? You look too bleedin' 'appy. I was about to tell him that I had been married once but he hadn't finished yet. "I just been bleedin' rooked out of seven grand. Seven bleedin' grand. Bloke didn't pay me for a job I did. A granite fire surround. He is just refusing to pay up. Offered me three and an 'arf grand. I'll 'ave to take it. I got people after me for money. I likes to pay me debts on time. But three and an arf? The blokes 'aving a bleedin' laugh. I thought about sending the 'eavies in, to give 'im a slap, but I ain't really into that sort of thing. I got to get some money coming in soon. She's talking about an holiday. Somewhere warm she says. Gawd knows how much that's gonna cost. The last one cost over four bleedin' grand, and...."
"Hey look!" I interrupted him. "Your washing's dry."
As he emptied the machine he told me that the reason he was doing the drying in the launderette was because the tumble dryer at home had been causing damp problems in the ceiling above it. "Probably gonna cost several bleedin' grand to sort that out," he said, "I've 'ad it up to 'ere." As he was folding a large pair of ladies bloomers he wasn't able to show me this time, just how far he'd had it up to. But I got the impression it was pretty far up.