Wednesday, 3 February 2010

My Beautiful Laundrette

Day Sixty Two.

Yes, since the washing machine broke down sometime in October last year, I've been a regular at the laundrette. When I say regular, I mean I've been twice, before that I was able to use my mum's machine. So this was my second visit, and even though it's literally around the corner from the house, there's something retro and exotic about the experience. You take one look at those rows of sleek, stainless steel, regimented machines, and you know they mean business. Accepting loads of 7kg, 10kg, and 16kg, these are the hardcore washing machines you've only dreamed of... until now.

I carry two giant bags full of dirty things - from sheets to socks, jackets to jock-straps. No, not really, that wouldn't be right. I'm just getting caught up in the retro-tastic nostalgia induced by those soapy smells and swishing sounds. I squeeze everything into two machines - two 16kg machines would have been perfect, but only one is working, so I have to make do with one 16kg and one 10kg. Being inexperienced, I must study the instructions fully in order to be sure that all will go to plan. I feed in the pound coins: £4 and £3, and the churning begins. The display tells me that the cycle will be over in 27 minutes - that seems rather brief! - so I return home until the job is done, wishing I could just sit in the laundrette reading a book or writing a short story...

Yes, I almost start to wish that I lived further away, so that I would have the excuse to sit and soak up this atmosphere of cleanliness and pure function...

Later I retrieve the stupidly heavy bags of wet clothes, and hang them EVERYWHERE about the house. Phil lights the fire so that our bathroom radiators will also become warm, and he hangs socks and pants on the rails.

The house is now filled with the smell of clean clothes, and the promise of presentability, and the assurance of an essential job completed...

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