Tales from the washing line

Tales from the washing line

It feels like a long time ago now that we set our heart on buying our house. It was going to be a tight squeeze financially but we needed more space and we all fell in love with the house the first time we saw it. It was going to be a family home. There was three of us back then but we hoped it would soon be four. I remember having a long discussion about the washing line and where it would go, it would have to jostle along with my eldest son’s swing set but I had to have a washing line. Little did I know back then how much use it would get over the years that followed.

It was shiny and green and I always had a sense of satisfaction from seeing all of my washing blowing in the breeze. I still do.

Back then it was all suits and smart clothes with two full-time teachers in the house, littered with track suit bottoms and t-shirts; my son’s clothes of choice.

Pretty soon that changed. Tiny body suits and baby gros in blue and white started to appear, more and more of them as the reality of how many clothes babies get through set in. Mummy’s clothes changed from maternity to regulation jeans and dark tops along with the next run of baby clothes. With the two boys so close together, there would often be sets of clothes in twos but in slightly different sizes; little brightly coloured t-shirts with cute slogans and pictures

These soon made way for blazers and shirts as we entered our first run of secondary school, the sweet little baby clothes quickly disappeared and it seemed like they were all to quickly replaced by football kits; mostly Liverpool, like Daddy’s and sporty clothing.  Little did I know how much more of that there was to come.

Matching Liverpool bedding would fill the whole line and I blinked and there was primary school uniform once more and then again.  Blue sweatshirts which often bore the irremovable stains of boys and grey trousers with the knees worn away by play.

A change of allegiance made for a colourful line when the bedding and football kits were washed; Liverpool red on one side and Chelsea blue on the other.

Then everything changed with the arrival of pink.  This was new.  Very new.  Unprecedented.  A baby girl with everything pretty and pink. Suddenly there were dresses and skirts jostling for attention in between the blues and the reds that had always dominated. It all looked so tiny in comparison with a five year age gap but the gap soon lessened.  The pink stayed as did the pretty dresses and skirts but they grew in size and didn’t seem to pause for breath.

The teen moved onto pastures new with work, travel and university on the horizon, making way for more and more sports clothes; rugby, football, swimming, more swimming.  The washing line bowed under the never-ending weight of family life. With two loads of washing some days, every inch of the line is filled with the washing from our busy lives.

Secondary school loomed again and the white shirts fluttered happily in the breeze along with school uniform of the female kind. Once again this was unknown territory with summer dresses being the latest addition out there drying in the warm April sunshine.

My poor washing line is looking threadbare and stretched but it still does its job.  I don’t want to replace it or get rid of to, it has seen so much of our family’s history and growth over the years and there is so much more to come.  This year, there will only be one lot of primary uniform hanging on the line as another one passes onto secondary and I’m sure it won’t be long before we are back to two sets of clothes on the line again.

That will be a strange day indeed but at least it will give the poor old washing line a well-earned break.

Washing Line

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42 Comments

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:23 am

      Thank you so much

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:22 am

      Thank you

  1. April 21, 2015 / 9:30 am

    Fabulous post! What a unique and fascinating way to document all the changes. Lovely.

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:21 am

      Thank you

  2. April 21, 2015 / 10:40 am

    It is amazing to see how one seemingly unimportant thing can sometimes be the single thing that reminds you of years gone by.

    Beautiful reflective post xx
    Donna @ Little Lilypad Co recently posted…Tween Fashion : VertbaudetMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:20 am

      Yes it is, thank you so much

  3. April 21, 2015 / 11:26 am

    Love this post!! As you know we have just moved to a new house and I have a washing line for the first time in years – amazing how satisfying it is to see it all swinging in the breeze!
    Sonya Cisco recently posted…Portland BillMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:19 am

      I get a bit obsessive about the washing and making sure that I get it all out. I have been know to be outside in pyjamas and wellies at 6am and I do get some strange looks from passers by

  4. April 21, 2015 / 12:02 pm

    Oh this post made me smile and nod along! I have taken many photos over the years of the washing flapping in the wind – it is one of my simple pleasures, fresh washing drying in the sunshine, lovley. I think my favourite shot is one of my washable nappies in all their rainbow colours, makes my heart flip!
    Chris at Thinly Spread recently posted…My Container Garden MakeoverMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:19 am

      I saw some of those nappies the other day, all in a line. It is probably where this post started to be hones, they looked so cute.

  5. April 21, 2015 / 1:13 pm

    What a lovely way to describe your growing and ever-changing family Nikki. I love to look at the washing flapping away in the breeze. I can only imagine what it looks like when your son comes home from Uni or his travels!
    suzanne3childrenandit recently posted…Are You A Proper Mum?My Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:17 am

      Yes I don’t think I want to think about the washing that will come back with him although he is there for 6 months so I really do hope that he will at least do a few loads of washing during that time

  6. April 21, 2015 / 2:56 pm

    Lovely description of ever-changing family life. I wonder how many loads the line has seen over all those years?!
    Izzie Anderton recently posted…A Day in LudlowMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:16 am

      Thank you. I dread to think how many, it has certainly been good value for money

  7. April 21, 2015 / 3:29 pm

    You can’t beat a line of clothes on the washing line (though we still haven’t replaced ours since Al fell a tree onto ours last year!)
    There’s something about a washing line of babygros that melts my heart every time!

    Beautifully written x
    Mammasaurus recently posted…My Workspace (a defined working-from-home workspace)My Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:15 am

      Oh yes the baby gros look so cute and I saw a photo of different coloured nappies the other day too which looked adorable

  8. April 21, 2015 / 7:54 pm

    This is just the sweetest post using the change in washing to reflect the changes that you’ve been though as a family. You should submit this to a magazine. It’s the most perfectly-written short story x
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely recently posted…Postcards from Tignes #markwarnermumMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:02 am

      Thank you so much Rachel, that is a lovely thing to say

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:01 am

      Thank you, it passes too quickly

  9. April 21, 2015 / 9:15 pm

    Such a wonderful post Nikki, oh these are the kind of posts I long to write more of! I remember all the hopes and dreams as my parents helped us get our first family home organised, Dad drilling the washing line up. Need to get him to come back and do a repair job – they take a battering!
    Penny recently posted…Ready to Roll – Easter MondayMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:01 am

      They do take a battering and I would be lost without mine. It is good to write these sort of posts and I certainly want to do more of this as I enjoy it so much more

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:01 am

      You are so lovely, thank you

  10. April 22, 2015 / 4:09 am

    Ohh Nikki, what an utterly gorgeous post. So well written and the loveliest sentiment – that’s a brilliant way to chart your family’s history and development. Brought a wee happy tear to my eye xx
    Ruth recently posted…A Bruny Island BreakMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:00 am

      Oh bless you, thank you, that means a lot

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 10:00 am

      Thank you so much

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 22, 2015 / 9:58 am

      Thank you so much, it just came from staring out of the window at my washing.

  11. April 22, 2015 / 10:10 am

    beautiful post x

  12. April 22, 2015 / 10:24 am

    What a gorgeous post! I LOVE my washing line but I love yours more for the history. And I love that it’s threadbare. I have a retractable one but nothing makes my heart sing more than a blue sky day and seeing my washing blowing in the breeze. I know. I do need to get out more! x
    Katy Hill recently posted…Glass Half Full!My Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 26, 2015 / 7:59 pm

      No I totally agree, I am a bit obsessive about my washing going out and I love watching it. Mine used to be retractable but broke years ago. One day I will replace it.

  13. April 22, 2015 / 10:44 pm

    I love this so very much

    having one child we are moving this year from uniform to suits for 6th form xx
    ninjacat recently posted…Gardening On A BudgetMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 26, 2015 / 7:58 pm

      Thank you, you are too kind. Ah yes, I remember that change too.

  14. April 23, 2015 / 9:38 am

    Oh what a lovely post Nikky! Little things like that are full of such big and fantastic memories!
    otilia recently posted…RewindMy Profile

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      April 26, 2015 / 7:56 pm

      Thank you

  15. April 26, 2015 / 8:26 pm

    Ahh I’ve never thought of this before and we have a clothes horse. My mum’s line tells so many stories over the years though and is now catering for the next generation, mainly with Little Z and my niece running through the sheets laughing their heads off all the time 🙂

    • Nikki Thomas
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 10:43 pm

      Thank you

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