Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Even Puppies Like Laundry

We have a problem with laundry here. The water is so hard that even with softener, clothes come out stiff. Then there is the sun, which fades the colors and eats the elastic. So where does one dry one’s laundry? I started with a clothes-line among the trees, only to find that snails love damp, wet laundry and leave a silvery trail across your clean clothes. Birds sit and nest in the trees, leaving their droppings all over your washing. I moved my drying to two clothes racks in the middle of a patio, only to find that the big black olive-eating birds fly by and leave huge purple stains that don’t come out. The puppy has just found a new friend to play tug-of-war with: my clothes on the rack. He doesn’t destroy them; he just drags the wet clothes through the dirt and the foxtails to bring them to me. Having finally taught the puppy that those are Mama’s clothes and not a toy, I moved the clothes rack under the cover of my patio; fine for the winter but in spring the swallows come back from Africa and build their mud nests in the beams under the terrace roof, to make matters worse, when the babies hatch, they automatically know to hang their back-sides over the edge of the nest to do their business, leaving huge piles on the terrace or smaller dabs on my laundry. So, ever ready to come to an arrangement with Mother Nature, I moved the clothes rack to a corner where the birds don’t nest. However, in life, nothing is perfect and our pet chicken, Valentina, she of the delicious morning eggs, must join this tale about now.
After an enjoyable forage about the garden, and a chase with the puppy through the flower beds, she will rest her feet and gossip with the sparrows while perched on our clothes rack. And, if the mood strikes her, she’ll poop.
Maybe it's time to get a dryer.