I thought that one of the neighbours at the back of my house must be getting some work done recently, there have been diggers there and one day, a cement mixer. Then last Friday I noticed a huge crane had arrived. It appears I am getting a new neighbour. The crane was lifting a house into place.
The houses directly at the back of me are all transportable homes and were put in about ten years ago now I think. The former owner of the land built this small subdivision consisting of six or eight house blocks behind us, built an access road, and we watched as fences went up and the houses arrived. Up until that time we had an old post and rail fence separating us from the empty paddocks. The developer discovered that part of our land belonged to him, there are a lot of dodgy property lines in Tasmania. We had to lose a couple of metres but he did not ask us to pay half the cost of the new fence so it didn’t work out too badly for us. I was happy to have a more secure fence and happy it was high enough that I could not see much of the ugly houses when they arrived. Honestly, the one directly at the back of me has to be one of the ugliest transportable houses I have ever seen.
The Scene in 2009
I looked into the back yard soon after the crane arrived and realised that they were getting ready to lift the new house of the truck it had arrived on. I had plenty of time to get the camera.
I watched as the crane operators attached cables to the house and lifted it high to swing it into position.
I know it was the angle I was viewing from but it honestly looked as if the swinging house was going to hit the one next door to it.
Finally, the house was lowered into what seemed to be an odd position, slightly at an angle to its neighbours. Now it just has to be connected to services and the owners can move in.
Today was a pleasant sunny day and the garden guys came by to cut the lawns. I thought that as it is summer solstice it would be a good time to take some summer pictures of the back garden. The new lawn has grown terrifically. I am just amazed at how quickly it grows back after being cut. The new trees are all surviving except for one bottlebrush that the guys accidentally cut off because it was lost in long grass. It had a spreading rather than upright habit so it wasn’t really their fault. We got a bit out of sync with mowing during October/November. The apple tree looks fabulous and has lots of fruit which will be ready around the end of February.
The bench at the bottom of the garden is the one that used to sit outside the back door. David used to sit there a lot. I decided to move it so that I could enjoy the view of the garden from a different angle and not have to look at the neighbour’s houses. It was nice to sit outside and listen the wind rustling through the tree and the faint chime from the windchime that I hung on a branch. A flock of cockatoos added a bit of a raucous note but there was twittering (not the phone kind) from other little birds like blackbirds and swallows. The new path has hardened nicely and it’s time to think about putting some more flowers about. I had a gift voucher that David got me last Christmas from the local hardware store which I hadn’t used yet so I decided to buy perennials, English lavender, daisies and pelargoniums and plant them in containers. Later I’ll get some French Lavender and other perennials and maybe some roses.
One of the household jobs my husband doesn’t mind doing is laundry. In fact I would go so far as to say he enjoys doing it but as I know many of you will understand his way of doing laundry and mine are very different. We have come to an unspoken agreement that he will not wash my clothes unless I ask him to.
Here are some reasons why:
He puts my white underwear in with his black jeans
He doesn’t treat stains
He loses my socks
He uses the same machine setting for everything
He claims not to know which drawers my clothes belong in
For a two person household we seem to do an awful lot of washing. My husband is a big man and he goes through a lot of clothes so he has got into the habit of doing laundry at night. Sometimes he does it in the evening but sometimes if he gets up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet he throws a load of jeans and track suit pants in the machine while he’s up. His reasoning is that it saves electricity to wash at that time and I have no argument with that.
I, on the other hand, like to wash in the morning so that I can do other chores while the machine is running and still get everything washed, dried, ironed and put away in the same day.
Last year, after 35 years of managing without one, we bought a dryer. Winters are wet here in our corner of Tasmania and after ten years here I’d come to the point where the sight of a blue sky made me run to put a load of washing in the machine so as not to waste the sunshine. I still like to hang things on the line but the dryer is a blessing in winter. Naturally Hubby also prefers to run the dryer at night to save electricity. Luckily we can’t hear it from our bedroom.
My only quarrel with all this is having washed the clothes and dried the clothes he loses interest and they stay there in the dryer until he needs something. Then he will go and take out the item he requires and leave the rest hanging half in and half out of the dryer.
I am sure you have all read household hints about how to organise the family wash. Each family member has their own laundry basket and once the clothes are sorted and folded they take the basket and put their clothes away. Well the other day I retrieved Hubby’s laundry from the dryer, folded it all neatly and carried the basket to our bedroom for him to put away. A day later it was still there. He’ll just take the clothes out of the basket to put them on. Half of them are back in the dirty laundry basket now. I haven’t read any hints about how to fix that problem; none that work anyway.
Occasionally when our washing machine has broken down and often before we bought the dryer we would have to resort to using the local laundry. As I don’t drive we would either go together or it would be Hubby’s job to take our clothes to be washed. He would usually come back fuming because of “inconsiderate people who fill the dryers and then go off for hours” and minus at least one article of clothing, usually one of my socks. I was once very embarrassed to pass the laundry and there, hanging in the window waiting to be claimed, was a pair of Hubby’s very large underpants. If I need to use a dryer that is full I will generally take the clothes out and fold them up neatly. If the owners come back they usually don’t mind and often thank me for taking the trouble to fold everything.
I find going to the laundry can be quite a sociable occasion which is lucky because whenever we go on a trip I seem to spend a lot of time washing clothes. When we’ve stayed at caravan parks on holidays the laundry is the place where I’ve often had interesting chats with other travellers. We once had a very enjoyable conversation with a Canadian in a youth hostel laundry in England while waiting for the world’s slowest dryer cycle to finish. By the time it did we had discovered that the two movies we’d been talking about “Flying High” and “Airplane” were one and the same film! So wash days can be fun when you are on the road and at least I can keep track of the socks!
More Washday Blues:
Here are some wash day stories from other bloggers.