Calling a blog ‘laundryetc’ I suppose there is a danger that readers will expect laundry tips and advice. That is not in fact my intention (though ‘never say never’ in case some uplifting snippet of household lore comes my way). I feel that cliched path is already well trodden. ‘Laundry’ for me is not so literal, it is more about what is blowing in the breeze than what is requiring attention in the utility room. Those house cleaning programmes on TV fronted by bossy matriarchs are not for me.
Since moving to the country last year after many years living in London some very fundamental things have changed in my life. I’m less likely to eat out and more likely to cook something fresh and seasonal. I’ve rediscovered and am reusing kitchen gadgets and machinery that I had forgotten I had. I’ve always loved baking but had got out of the habit. Preserving things in season has become a consuming passion. I have intensive sourdough bread weeks trying to achieve results similar to the artisan breads sold in the smart London delis I was used to frequenting. Of course I can buy posh loaves just down the road from here, you don’t have to live in London for such things (though when you live in SW2 you don’t realise that) but now I have the incentive to take the good life to another level because I’ve always been interested in making things and at the end of the day it is just so satisfying.
My old solid-fuel Rayburn is not the most glamorous example around but it came free from an old lady in the village who had reluctantly decided that her coal lugging days were over. The enamel is chipped and a little bit more falls off every time the door bangs shut, the flue snakes across the wall as the oven is on the wrong side for the position of the chimney and it is simple boring white not a fabulous colour like the newer models, but who cares, it is wonderful all the same. Concerned that burning solid fuel makes a carbon footprint the size of elephants feet I am trying to use every scrap of energy it generates to heat the water, heat the house, dry my laundry and slow cook casseroles.
I started my vegetable garden last spring so that is relatively new beginnings as I am only one season in. The plan is to build a brick oven out there as well to cook my sourdough bread in as well as the produce from the garden. I hope to show how these plans progress.
So what will this blog be about? Well all of the above really. I love things and ideas that upend the cliche, the colourful and unusual as well as being a research obsessive.
Anyhow, let’s see how things develop……
ROLAND – ONE OF THE LAUNDRY CATS