I was feeling very carefree as I had no washing to do. Not wanting to be thought lazy, and to take advantage of the hot, sunny weather, I hung out the winter blankets to air.
The ‘umbrella’ clothesline is wonderful; I have a green cover that fits over it when closed up. The only problem is if I put it away in the shed, the metal pipe it fits into gets lost in the grass; we have to get down on our hands and knees feeling for it. I did try upending a small plastic bottle in it, but the gardener always threw it away when she mowed the lawn. Luckily the cover blends in very well with the backyard jungle.
We have another clothesline outside an upstairs window. I would never have thought of that but my son saw it in Europe and put it up here in London. This is tremendously useful for hanging king-sized sheets, large towels, and duvet covers. They hang down past the living room sliding doors and flap away in the breeze. This makes them dry very fast and they never need ironing. For some reason I can’t fathom – though I’m grateful for it – they don’t seem to get at all dirty.
Except where I pegged them on the line, which was many years old; you know how plastic gets covered with sticky dirt that won’t wash off. Or if it does come cleaner, it stays sticky. Ugh.
Anyway, I bought some lovely green line to replace the old one, and it has been sitting on the windowsill ever since; for at least a couple of years. I keep meaning to ask someone to replace the old line but somehow it never gets done.
Until today. Which is why I am now feeling extremely carefree and rather proud of myself. I replaced the line myself. As I had to hang out the spare room windows to reach the pulleys at each end, my PA shouted up to me”Don’t fall out!” and then he left to run errands. No help, he.
These lines have a multi-wire core and it took me quite a while to cut through the old one. I thought the new line which is a bit thinner would be a cinch, but no, I had to hack at it too for quite a while before I could cut the required length. There was also a bit of a tussle to get the stiff line around the pulleys at each end, but once through I only had to fix the join.
There is a wonderful little tool which has a ring at one end and a hook at the other. They screw in and out of a central holder. You have to tie one end of the line into the ring, and make a loop at the other end. Then comes the fun part. I tried screwing one end at a time but it simply unscrewed itself. And in order to get it taut enough, I had to shorten the ends and then try to hook them together. This took many tries but I finally got to where they were both at the right distance.
And suddenly the lightbulb went off! Turn the holder and both ends will be moved together simultaneously. And it worked!
So now we have a new line and I am feeling very carefree, until the next job looms.