Moody Monday… Monday so is it Wash Day

Crail, Fife

Before Tumble Driers….

There was a time, and not that long ago, when Monday by tradition was Washing Day.  Never was quite sure why a Monday had been defined for the ‘weekly’ washing of the family clothes…but it was.  Gardens and streets, courtyards and vacant places had a clothes line with cloths hopefully drying in the fresh air.

Perhaps it is a tradition that some households still maintain. But with washing machines and tumble driers, not to mention launderettes and washing services,  a washing line is not necessarily an essential.  Nor perhaps does it fit with 21st century life styles.

But this Monday morning it is pouring with rain, so little point in following tradition…even if one wanted too.  Little chance of the clothes drying in the wind today.

Funny how life changes…..I suppose that is progress

15th January

(C) David Oakes 2018


15 thoughts on “Moody Monday… Monday so is it Wash Day

  1. Mine is hanging in the bathroom… Hope it will not take two days to dry. No drying machine. Just a washing machine. Same in the kitchen. No dishwasher either and no microwave. Keep things simple works for me. 😀 Being on me own…

  2. That picture really evokes old England for me and I love it. We haven’t had a dryer for almost 5 years. When the last one died we decided not to buy another. But then again we do live in a sunnier, hotter, drier climate. We actually hang things in the shade to avoid them getting too much sun. Even when it’s raining most things dry ok when they’re under cover. The world is full of different places. Isn’t it wonderful?

  3. Nice photo. I never had a tumble drier, and when I inherited one last year, I sold it (cheap). I prefer outside, even in a country where it is often pouring down. Then I have to wait…

      • From The Historian by Robert Wood:

        In the old days, the housewife’s work week was ordered by a strict schedule: Monday, washday; Tuesday, ironing; Wednesday, mending (repairing seams and tears as well as patching and darning); Thursday, upstairs cleaning (The washed, ironed and mended clothing was taken up, put away, and the upstairs cleaned and mattresses turned.); Friday, baking; Saturday, cleaning (downstairs); Sunday, church. Downstairs cleaning was done on Saturday because Sunday afternoon was visiting day. The routine was strictly adhered to by almost everyone. Indeed, the earlier on a Monday the woman had her wash on the line the more industrious she appeared in the neighborhood. An informant notes that one woman had her wash hanging before first light! If it rained on Monday, wash was hung on temporary lines in the attic, on porches, and kitchens.

        • Thanks to Robert Wood for the time table….but it still doesn’t explain ‘why’ Monday. After all would not folk want to start the week wearing clean clothes particularly in the long gone days of real austerity and shortage of clothes and much else (at least for the bulk of the population) 🙂

  4. We don’t see many clotheslines these days, that’s for sure. But I live in a rural area here in the USA, and I do have an outdoor clothesline even though we also have a tumble dryer. I use my clothesline in the spring and summer on days when there is abundant sunshine and hang linens and white clothes on that line. Makes the clothes smell so fresh! And yes, I do laundry often on Mondays. 🙂

  5. Looking back, I think my mom did some laundry almost every day. That’s what happens with eight kids. Especially in the days of cloth diapers. Boy, I hated folding those diapers. 🙂 Though I did love the smell of sun dried clothing. The clothes line has disappeared throughout much of the US. People are too into creature comforts. Also, many developments with associations have banned them, as have some communities. This has increased with the decline in housing yard sizes. Residents don’t want to have too look at others underwear hanging in the breeze. 🙂 🙂 I would guess that if you asked most American millennials what a clothes line was, they wouldn’t know.

    • Younger City dwellers here may well not know what a clothes line is (at a push some may think of a rotary dryer). Peters historical link above gives some clues to the cycle a of ‘working families’ week in times gone bye 🙂

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