Do you think it’s a slog getting the Laundry done, think again. How about if you had to carry it out to the nearest irrigation ditch and scrub away at it. According to the Author of the classic The Root and the Flower, John A Crow, it was still a common site in the 1960s. Can you imagine in the 40 degrees heat we sometimes get. I recall the big washing day my mother did every Monday before washing machines were a common household item in UK. We had copper boiler, worked by gas, a mangle and a lot of elbow grease. That said we did have running water and we could work inside the house.
I have not seen anyone washing in this way though I read only this year that the river Segura was being used for washing of clothes by poor immigrants. It’s hard to imagine what everyday existence must be like when the Segura is your only source of water.
As I say I have not seen anyone washing their clothes in the irrigation channels here or in the several stone sinks you come across in the campo. The picture here is of oneof those sinks along the track near the Royal Thai restaurant. The sink is next to a well that has just been renovated so thought I had better get a record of this ancient artefact before that to disappeared too. Just imagine for a moment the harshness of most women’s lives here within living memory, remember also such conditions still exist within a stone throw of where we live.
So next time you open the automatic washer say a big thank you and a may be a little pray for the fortunate.