Lines and linings

Lining PaperIt’s been a week of chilly mornings, giving way to glorious golden September days. We’ve been doing lots of sorting. I’ve been potting on numerous perennial seedlings and lining drawers with this lovely paper. It’s a bit of an old-fashioned thing to do I know, but it’s not without practical merit. If you have a wooden chest of drawers like us the varnish can transfer to your clothes without some good paper liners, and tights can ladder or snag on rough bits of wood. And it looks really nice!

We’ve also been working hard on our washing line. I love washing lines. I love those old pictures you see of washing lines strung between houses across streets, bright white sheets hanging like sails in the breeze. Our washing line is one of those really tall old-fashioned ones. It has two lines on it, one that hoists nearly as high as the top of the ash tree and the other lower down, which is a stationary line. I thought it was wonderful, until that is, I tried to raise the upper line with a full load of wet washing on it. The problem isn’t only that I’m a bit weak and pathetic but also that I can only pull down on the rope with one hand because the other is holding up another rope to stop the whole lot from crashing down in the vegetable patch. I couldn’t fathom it. How on earth did they used to do it?

We bought a clothes prop but that didn’t help either. It just collapsed sideways and down the washing came. We wondered about buying a ratchet that would wind the line up and down but there was no way of attaching one to a round pole without some major engineering. A pulley system is what we need, declared Big Dreamer. We duly purchased one and Big Dreamer climbed onto the garage roof to install it. At first it made no difference, even when he rigged up the other rope in a loop so that I didn’t have to hang on to it any more. In spite of various experiments with plastic piping it would catch on the pole, wedging firm just out of reach. At last I discovered an alternative use for the clothes prop and I use it to push the loop up to the top. Phew, what a mission! Worth it for all that lovely line-dry washing though.

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