Going for a spin

Winter has finally made its move. Snow fell on Britain last night, though this was not entirely unexpected after the cold of the last few days.

By the time I dragged myself from the warmth of the duvet, the snow had turned to rain and the last vestiges of white were being washed away. Rain turned into downpour and soon there were puddles on the front path through which we later splashed on the way home from Sainsbury’s with our loaded shopping trolley.

Rainy Chapel Market
Rainy Chapel Market (from Pane Vino)

Undaunted, we set out as usual for Sunday’s business, the first and most important part of which was… breakfast! Chapel Market for once presented a bleak appearance. All the stalls were grouped at the Liverpool Road end and some of the stalwarts were not there.

When we emerged from Pane Vino, the rain had eased off but this was only a temporary respite. We reached Sainsbury’s to find a crowd standing outside. At first we thought there must have been a fire alarm and the store had been evacuated. Not at all, it was a queue for jobs! I don’t know how many jobs were on offer but I was amazed at how many were applying. They could have manned several stores with that crowd…

When we started for home again, we found that the heavy rain had resumed and that was when we had to ford the puddles at the gate and in front of the door.

Not many in
Not many in

This was bad news because today was… laundry day! We would have to drag our suitcase and shopping trolley to the coin-op in Marchmont Street. We made tea and thought about it but there was no alternative. We should really have gone last week…

We took the 73 to the British Library. This is a bendybus which is easier to get onto and out of with big luggage than the conventional buses. We resent Boris Johnson’s intention to get rid of these buses. He obviously doesn’t use public transport and has rather stupid ideas about some things.

Rainy crossroad
Rainy crossroad (from the Valencia Cafe)

Then we trundled up Mabledon Place and Marchmont Road to the launderette. Fortunately, the weather meant that there were not many people in the launderette today. As usual, we set our machines running and retired to the Valencia Cafe on the corner where we had coffee. By now, the rain had turned into a cloudburst and you may get some idea of the conditions from the photo.

We’ve honed our technique to a fine art, so it doesn’t take us long to get the job done provided the place isn’t crowded and there are machines to spare. While the washing machines are spinning, we can go to the cafe or, as today, do a little light shopping in Waitrose, just down the road.

Final spin
Final spin

The slowest part is drying. Bundle the clothes into two dryers, put money in the slot, sit and wait. Pull out the clothes and test for dampness. Throw the damp stuff back in, put money in the slot, sit and wait. Repeat as necessary.

You can at least watch and listen to the people. The launderette is near a student hall of residence so you get a mixed crowd in there, though not just students. You often see the same faces and it can be fun “doing a Sherlock Holmes” and concluding as much about them as possible. Sometime disputes break out. We’ve even seen people pull other people’s washing out of the dryer.

Then it was time to brave the rain again to go home. “Brave” is right. We got a soaking. Not to worry, though, because that is nothing compared with the satisfaction of knowing that the laundry is done and that we can forget it, hurrah!

Well, until next month, of course…


About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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5 Responses to Going for a spin

  1. Ted Marcus says:

    Here in Southern California we’re expecting the first rain of the season starting on Tuesday (or maybe Monday night). It’s surely not as cold as in Britain, but people here are in a perpetual state of denial about rainfall. The first rain leads to tied up traffic and accidents, between the slippery roads and the lack of driver familiarity with rain (which apparently has to be learned anew each year).

    It also seems that laundromats look the same all over the world. And your camera does a good job white-balancing the overcast and the fluorescent lights.

  2. Villager says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but why don’t you have a washing machine at home ?

  3. SilverTiger says:

    to Ted Marcus: Motorists always have to relearn about weather from scratch. I think it has something to do with being shut up in a box out of contact with the real world.

    Launderettes are the great levellers. They are the one place where it is acceptable to wash your dirty laundry in public.

    To Villager: A washing machine is only one of the things we don’t have. We also don’t have a TV, a cooker or a dishwasher. (Well, I am the dish washer, actually.)

    Apart from cost (buying it, repairing it, compensating our downstairs neighbour when it leaks, etc.) there is the environmental impact. People with washing machines seem to run them daily whereas as we run ours once a month.

  4. Villager says:

    Sounds like a good approach; we replaced our dishwasher with a dog……..who now sleeps in that particular slot under the work surface.

  5. SilverTiger says:

    Good move. Well, the dog’s got to kip down somewhere. So does your wife now carry the washing down to the stream and bash it with rocks to get it clean? 🙂

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