RDP: Laundry

Wash and Iron

I don’t really enjoy doing laundry more than anyone else does but I don’t have a lot now that there is just me. I have a front loading washing machine and a dryer although I prefer to hang washing outside and let it dry naturally. The dryer is good for our wet winters though. There are still a few things I iron. Most people I know don’t iron any more and it’s not a favourite job of mine either. I usually wait till I have a basket load and then do it in front of the TV watching a movie or a favourite series.

Time to wash the sheets.

Sometimes I bring things home from the Op Shop to launder. We don’t have the facilities to wash things at the shop and occasionally something comes in which has a stain or is yellowed from age but too good to throw out. As I am on town water and probably have more time on my hands than the volunteers who have families I bring them home to wash and iron.

Op Shop tablecloths on the line.

On one occasion we were given several old tablecloths, they were very nice but stained and wrinkled from storage. I looked online to see if there was a way to save them and ended up boiling them in a pot on the stove, probably similar to the way that our mother’s boiled things in the copper. It improved several of them quite a lot and I even ironed them all. We sold the lot.

One of the many items I ironed this week.


I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


  1. Very nice tablecloths. I do quite a bit of ironing because I like things crisp. My mother would even iron my father’s tee shirts and the sheets and pillow cases. She kept a sprinkler bottle of water close at hand. I remember my grandmother having a boiler in her basement. She would also cook some type of paste starch and used bluing, which I would know nothing about today. They also used a wringer washer for many years. So much easier to toss everything in the washers nowadays. But clothes hung outside to dry always smelled so fresh. I don’t do that anymore, but should.
    Every now and then I will still see someone has hung their laundry out to dry.


    • I think you can still buy a product called Bluo which if I remember rightly mum’s generation would throw in with the whites to brighten them. I remember starch in aeorosol cans, maybe you can still buy it? But before that I think it came in a packet and had to be mixed with water. Mum had a washing machine with a wringer, or “mangle” as she called it. The boiler or “copper” was something every housewife would have been familiar with prior to plumbed in washing machines. Laundry was hard work in those days.


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