… Washing My Dirty Laundry in Public.

I quite like laundry. 

Laundry is the least worst of all the household tasks.

Hoovering / pretending to be the Ghostbusters definitely has its place.

But today the sky looks like the opening credits to the Simpsons and that makes it a day for laundry.

But, not so fast!

For the true expert, laundry doesn’t start when you bundle a load of clothes into a machine. 

Oh no.

Laundry needs sorting.

Step one.  Whites versus coloureds.  Laundry apartheid.

This is problematic because I never have enough white stuff to justify a full load.  I own one white shirt (last worn to a Royal College of General Practitioners dinner in 2019) which lives right at the bottom of my laundry basket, and three pairs of gym socks which are now so grim their microbiome has evolved far enough that they will wash themselves.

Then there’s the chair.

Mrs Dr Brown thinks my bedroom chair is a mess and disgraceful. 

I will argue that it’s carefully ordered and – dare I say – autobiographical.

On top there’s the jeans, polo shirts and work trousers I wear now.

A bit deeper down there’s the Christmas jumper that I’ve not worn since December. But it takes ages to dry once you’ve washed it, and was never really dirty enough to justify a wash anyway.

Keep digging and you’ll eventually find a Live Aid T-shirt and a pair of stonewashed jeans.  Mine a bit further down and there’s a pair of yellow 70’s flared dungarees.  And if you make your way through the layers all the way to the very bottom of the heap, there’s apparently the immaculately preserved skeleton of a stegosaurus.

The girl uses a different and much more helpful system whereby she kindly displays all her used clothes around her room in a single layer for me to peruse in my own time and at leisure, like a social realism art installation in the Tate Modern. 

And when did she get so many clothes?

At her birthday and Christmas, a little of me dies inside when she asks for Primark vouchers seemingly to buy more laundry.

The boy is easier because he follows my system of having one outfit which he wears until there isn’t enough cloth to hold the holes together, then reluctantly bins it and replaces it with the most similar thing he can find.

I make my selection and bundle it into the washing machine.

Choose a setting.


Choose. A. Setting.

There are eight different time settings, six temperature settings and fourteen different levels of vigour giving a total of six hundred and seventy two permutations.

The temperature ranges from lightly chilled (presumably for whites, with a room temperature setting for reds) to volcanically hot.

The timings range from too short (just as dirty as they were when they went in, but now wet) to far too long (your kids will have grown out of them by the time it’s finished).

So I set it for the only setting I ever use and come back in an hour.

59 minutes later…

One minute to go.

So I wait.

And I wait.

And it goes quiet. 


And then it churns again.


Then quiet.

Then another churn.

Until finally there’s a beep.  Cycle finished.

“Would you like your clothes now, Rick?”

“Yes please, washing machine.”

“Take them then.”

“Thanks… Emm… Can you unlock please?”


 “Oh come on.  I still need to sort this yet.”

“Oh yeah!  Sorting. I’d like to see that!  Help yourself.  CLICK!”

And the sorting begins.  Hanging out the big stuff is easy. 

But then there’s socks.

I hate pairing socks.

The worst episode was this:

My running socks are labelled L and R for left and right. 

My walking socks are both labelled L because both my feet are large.

I did not know this.

I therefore spent half an hour I’ll never get back holding two socks marked L looking for the Right Sided equivalents to pair them up.

When I complained to Mrs Dr Brown she unsympathetically suggested that the two socks both marked L would perhaps be worn with the two left shoes reserved for the two left feet I used for the first dance at our wedding.

She can put them away herself.

3 thoughts on “… Washing My Dirty Laundry in Public.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: