On laundry

Laundry, in the United States of America, is as follows:

  1. Take a pile of clothes in a certain color scheme (such as white or white-ish, dark, and somewhere-in-between-hope-it-doesn’t-bleed).  This pile can be, say, the height of a small child.
  2. Insert the clothes into the washer, which, let’s say, is the height of a small adult.
  3. Dump copious amounts of washing powder, liquid, and weird little containers filled with fabric softener.
  4. Wash.
  5. Pull said pile of clothes (now damp) out of the gigantic washer.  This will be like playing tug-of-war with a moderately-sized sea monster.  Stuff the train of clothes into the dryer, which is equally the size of a small adult.
  6. Put in dryer sheet.
  7. Dry.

The time to complete all the laundry within the house: couple hours.

Laundry, in the United Kingdom, is as follows:

  1. First, contemplate the size of the house you have been allotted.  If the house has been “lovingly extended” then you may have room for a washer and a dryer.  If space has limitations you may have just a washer.  If you are super fancy you get a washer/dryer.
  2. Separate your clothes into 33 small piles no larger than a house cat.  This is because, considering the space within the washer or washer/dryer you cannot fit anything bigger.  You may be tempted to think that you can get something in there which is bigger, but if it fits it will only unbalance the machine or, in the case of the washer/dryer, come out only partially dry.
  3. If you do not have any form of drying mechanism you need to consider how you are going to dry your clothes.  You have two choices: outside on a line or inside on radiators and/or hanging from various areas around the house (ex. cabinet, shower curtain).  Chances are you will utilize all of the various means as: A) It will eventually rain or become to cold outside. B) You will run out of room on the line. C) You don’t wander out into your garden, with the low fence, in your underwear to hang your underwear.
  4. After you have worked out the logistics it is time to do a load of wash.  Place the small house cat pile into the washer, along with a packet of detergent, which can be colour/non-colour/bio/non-bio/eco (I don’t really know the difference) and set your machine to cover the white, white-ish, etc. cycle.
  5. If you are in my home you need to remove all items from around the washer/dryer.  If you leave them there then during the spin cycle they may take off and fly around the kitchen as the machine vibrates so much.  So you are aware, the vibration is so strong you can feel it if you are in the bath.  Upstairs.
  6. Wait 3 hours, as the machines are designed to conserve water and slowly, lightly coat the clothes until they are just slightly damp and scrubbed.
  7. When the load is done set about decorating your home with damp clothes, and perhaps the outside as well.  If you have a washer/dryer now is the time that you find out whether the load you put into the machine was small enough to dry.  If not, set about decorating your home.

Realize, that since the laundry has been placed into 33 small piles it will take, on average, 15 days to successfully do laundry.

The only thing that makes the English way of laundry more interesting and fun that United States laundry is that it takes so long to do it you forget what you own.  So when a shirt comes out that you barely remember seeing before it’s like a big surprise.  You also become very adept in deciding what dirty really means.

Despite all sometimes I sit and dream about the beautiful, gigantic front-loaders I used to have.  Yep, thems where the days.  Thems were the days.

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