Originally uploaded by nilexuk.

Since moving house, I’ve had to start using laundrettes again. New house doesn’t immediately have anywhere to put a washing machine, although our kitchen redesign and possible conservatory plans will include one somewhere. AND a dishwasher.

I hadn’t used a laundrette for at least 6 years. Both my previous rental houses came with nice new machines and were permanently festooned with airers with drying clothes. I certainly wasn’t particularly organised and have been running a demand-driven laundry system rather than a pro-active one, relying on the backstop of slovenly men the world over: a month’s supply of underwear.

Careful timing usually means I can have the laundrette to myself and spread0out over a variety of different machines. When I was a student, I used to wait til everyone else was out on the lash of a friday night, and combine laundry with watching Frasier. Last week, I came and laundered one afternoon, reading my council papers whilst my smalls danced around.

Coming on a Sunday evening was a mistake. Everything was fine to start with. Then while I was over the road in a wannabee euro-style cafe having a double espresso during the rinse cycle, all hell broke loose. Now i’m in a battle of wits with steel-eyed housewives and a genial tanned bloke in a blazer who’ve committed the cardinal sin of just coming in to use the dryers.

After an hour of this, I’m increasingly tempted by the service wash options. I gave up washing and ironing my own shirts last year in favour of paying £1 a shirt to a dry-cleaner to do it for me (if anyone out there needs wire hangers for anything…) so it wouldn’t be that much of a leap. I’m just not sure how comfortable I feel having someone else folding my smalls and bundling my socks. Will they pay enough attention to the 4 different shades of navy?

Have to dash now. Still need to defend my second dryer. Tanned blazer man is confiding that this is his first laundry in six weeks and that it’s cost him 14 quid to dry it all. When he half-jokes that he needs a woman in his life, I can’t tell whether the change in atmosphere is the women pricking up their ears or tutting to themselves.

2 comments on “Laundrettes

  1. Rob F says:

    Damn it, what was the soundtrack they used to play on those Levi 501 ads again?

  2. […] I was getting ready to leave for work when I remembered it’s my Dad’s birthday on Monday and to be sure of getting his present to him in time, I needed to get it in the post today.  So, I popped into our local district shopping centre to get a card and some wrapping paper.  Whilst I was there I remembered I still had a bunch of shirts waiting for me at the cleaners, so I picked them up, came back to the house, printed a stamp, wrapped the book, signed the card, and put it with my bags ready to take with me to work. […]

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