I have a lovely little laundry room just off my bedroom here on the 9th floor of the building. It's sunny and bright and has a tiny terrace perfect for hanging out my freshly washed sheets and towels. It's by far the nicest laundry I've ever had and I wouldn't be exaggerating to say that doing the laundry in this room makes me happy. I know I am a fortunate women in this world because I not only have a washing machine but also a dryer. I'm not sure where to find the statistics on it but I know that a huge percentage of families in the world still do their laundering by hand, and even fewer have the convenience of a machine to dry their clothes. I lived ten years in Europe without one myself.
When I was throwing a load of shirts into the washing machine this morning I spotted this wonderful line of just washed items. Look how they are hanging. Neatly arranged in a perfect rainbow of colour. I love the bright pairs of socks on the left, and the orderly way the colours flow from lights to darks. You can't really see the surrounding buildings but they are not fancy by any stretch of the imagination. The clothes line is in the garden of a very typical little villa in the middle of Tirana, more falling down than building up. Far older than the building I live in, and full of charm and character.
I didn't see the woman who hung this artful line of colour this morning. She was up much earlier than I was today. I was only beginning to do my laundry and she was obviously already done. But I'd like to know her, and in fact I know I'd like her, because you see, I hang my laundry just like she does. Socks must always be hung in pairs, toes facing the same way; towels and pillow cases must hang in a rainbow fashion, from light to dark; and though I can't see her pegs, I bet each item is hung with two matching pegs, just like mine.