Andrew Petcher has a great eye for spotting washing lines in interesting places. He asked me how Australians dry their washing. A lot depends on where abouts in Australia you live. When we we kids and living in the bush there was a long strand of fencing wire strung from two trees and held up in the middle to catch the wind and to stop the sheets from touching the ground.
Something like that, although posh people who lived in town might have had one like this.
Now the thing that dictates the style is the amount of land attached to the house. As Australia developed and the population grew and suburbs expanded the blocks of land got smaller and the backyard was needed to be used as economically as possible. There was always a vegetable garden to supplement the daily bread, and an outside toilet commonly known as a ‘dunny’. Chooks were kept for their eggs. “Chook” is the standard word to describe the feathered birds that are kept in the chook yard. There is always a male bird called a rooster and the females are hens and the babies are chickens. Why on earth all of the family are now referred to as chickens, as in ‘fried chicken’ I don’t know. It is rather like referring to a half ton Angus steer as a calf. Or an Alsatian guard dog as a puppy.
But I digress.
I was talking about the backyard. Then along came the Hills Hoist.
The road for the two cars gives onto the front which is basically the door to the garage. There may be a small garden in the front. The house will have more bedrooms than necessary – two bathrooms; for the parents up one end and for the children up the other end and a backyard that might have enough room for a retractable line and maybe a bar-be-cue. The cost of the house is such that no mother can stay home to look after her children but must work to help pay the mortgage and for child-minding. I could go on…but I won’t – it is too sad.
Oh, yes, I forgot. There will be a tumble dryer to dry the clothes even on warm windy days. What a shame.