It was the neverending nature of it that got under her skin. There was a sense of satisfaction when it was done for the day, with the clothes neatly folded or pressed and put away in drawers and wardrobes, but each day the clothes basket gathered more items that needed attention.

As the kids got older, they were asked to put on loads of washing and hang them out, but this was a bit hit and miss. They didn’t seem to understand the importance of separating different colours, or put a load on and promptly forgot about it. And sometimes the way they pegged out the clothes made things worse, or they brought them in, leaving a crumpled mess for her to sort out later.

But there were times when she found herself hanging yet another load out on the clothesline with the sunshine on her back and the wind plucking at the garments and she felt a degree of calm. The scent of clean clothes on the breeze momentarily overrode the drudgery of the task, and her mind was free to wander elsewhere as her hands moved effortlessly through the pile of damp laundry.

I’m participating in this blogging challenge for the month of January, which supports starting the year on the “write” track. You can find other posts with #bloganuary and join in the challenge.

Photo: display of laundry at Cascades Female Factory in Hobart