Daily prompt: Never mind the view, feel the footprint

Look out your back window or door — describe what you see, as if you were trying to convey the scene to someone from another country or planet

I live in a unit, which by any other name (flat, apartment, is there a difference except that I own it?) is still not Rose Cottage with a back door leading to a pretty garden, a crappy back yard, a Hills hoist (Australia) or even a red back-infested dunny in the furthest corner (also Australia).

The front door opens onto the landing at the top of the stairs (not much to look at there), and the other door – very large sliding glass – leads to my balcony. My desk (aka dining table) sits at right angles to the non-sliding bit, so when I’m on my computer (now, in case you’re wondering) I can see the view: a few rooftops, lots of trees, and a very satisfying strip of the ocean. At the moment, it’s calm and sparkling, so when I’ve finished here I’ll be off for a swim. When there are lots of white horses in January, I know it’s not worth the effort because there’ll also be bluebottles. So there you go. I’ve already posted a photo of my view. What more can I say?
th[2] (2)
So let me return instead to the vexed question of the Hills hoist. They aren’t pretty, although you can buy covers that turn them into giant umbrellas for outdoor entertaining. (See? Very versatile!) They are, however, amazingly useful, and not only for their designated purpose. My second daughter could be entertained for hours by sitting her in her bouncer to watch the clothes whizz round in the breeze (all that colour and movement!) and many a child has discovered the joys of grabbing on and whirling. (Not good for the hoist, but irresistible.)

However, that’s not my point. I have discovered, much to my horror, that thousands of communities in the US have banned outdoor clotheslines. I can understand that high-rise blocks can’t cater for the sheer volume of laundry to be dried, and clothes flapping on balconies do rather lower the tone of the neighbourhood. But houses with yards? Stuck with dryers? Bad enough when it’s wet or snowing, but on glorious clear days? Carbon footprints, people, carbon footprints! What are you thinking? And you’ve never known the sheer sensual pleasure of crisp sheets smelling of the sun! Do you realise how sad that is? You don’t have to stick your yard with a Hills hoist, I’m not insisting on that. You can get retractable clothes lines, if you want. But come on, now! Would it be so hard? I can even drum up the ad for you. Want your clothes whiter than white? Banish the greys with free, natural sunshine!
On the other hand, I am not advocating the red back-infested outdoor dunny. That, my friends, is best shrouded in the mists of time.


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16 Responses to Daily prompt: Never mind the view, feel the footprint

  1. bkpyett says:

    I didn’t know this, we’re so lucky to still be able to dry our clothes outside!
    Your word pictures resonate with me!

  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Looking Out My Back Door | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  3. Fran Macilvey says:

    Helen, you always make me smile. I would love to swim in the ocean with you! :-))

  4. If I left my clothes outside, they’d be gone before the hour was out….

  5. Surreal, is it not? There are communities in Canada, too that have banned the unsightly clothesline. Drives me nuts. Call me crazy, but hanging laundry on the line is one of my favourite things.

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  7. Martha Kennedy says:

    “We” in the US think laundry on the line is ugly. “We” do not include me.

    • Queen Victoria thought naked table legs were unseemly. Do you think there’s a parallel?

      • Martha Kennedy says:

        It seems possible. Probably does have something to do with underwear. I remember in school being taught to hang sheets on the OUTSIDE lines and underwear on the INSIDE lines. I guess they had to draw the LINE (ha ha) somewhere.

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