“Hand me a pin,” I asked as I helped Wally hang up clothes on the line.
“It’s a peg,” said my Australian friend.
“We call them clothespins,” I answered.
“Clothespins are those skinny things ladies sew with.” He retorted shaking his head.
“Pegs are flat things that go in holes,” I responded defending my American English.
Upon reflection, I think both terms are incorrect. Modern clothespins should be called clips since they open and close, clipping clothes on the line. They neither pin nor peg them into place.
A brisk breeze on top of the hill wanted to start the lines spinning before the clothes got pegged.
“You know the rotary clothesline was invented by an Australian. His lazy wife got tired of walking from one end of the line to the other so her husband built one.
This sounded fishy to me because I haven’t met one lazy Australian woman. I did due diligence. I asked Siri, “Was the rotary clothesline invented in Australia?”
Siri referred me to Wikipedia where I discover the Hills Hoist is an Australian icon, invented first in Australia in 1911, and mass manufactured Lance Hill in 1945. His wife was NOT lazy; she just wanted an inexpensive way to dry clothes in a smaller space so her
lemon tree would have more room.
Every time I’ve washed clothes here I’ve enjoyed the fresh air and marveled at the sun and the wind drying the clothes without wasting any energy. The simple act of hanging clothes on the line is an ecological statement that most American’s fail to make. When I tell Australians that in many communities in the United States hanging clothes out of a line to dry is illegal, they are shocked.
While most Australians I’ve met have clothes dryers; they are used only in an emergency. Rain is not considered to be an emergency. Most homes have additional lines out of the way of the wet, either under the house or on the veranda.
When I get home, I will be installing a rotary clothesline. Thankfully they aren’t outlawed in my community.
One thought on “Drying Clothes at Long Timber”
I used to have a rotary clothesline but I left it behind when we moved. Many communities frown on them. Now I have the neatest thing that I use occasionally for really big items that need the sun for drying. It is a pulley line from one corner of the deck to the opposite corner. When not in use, it goes back into its case..
I’m enjoying your blog so much. And happy for your experience. Tell us more.
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