The not-so-beautiful laundrette!

What’s the difference between a Washeria and a laundrette? That’s not the beginning of a joke – I really want to know. Perhaps washeria is another word for noisy sweatbox? We spent our morning in a local washeria, trying to catch up on five bags worth of things we needed to wash, but have nowhere to dry.

It’s a miserable place, complete with lots of typed and handwritten orders: no food or drink to be consumed; no alcohol or food allowed; no pillows or feather duvets to be washed; no pet blankets (I bet they’re cheap to have as pets – I don’t think a blanket needs to be fed or watered). However, it’s a bit of a writer’s dream. The characters that came and went as we sat were great. There’s a friendly old woman who knew everything there was to know about the washers and dryers, and was happy to pass on her wisdom to newbies. There was the chatty middle-aged man who didn’t realise you had to bring your own powder, and was too impatient to follow the instructions on yet another sign. Harrassed mothers, bored children and us, sitting there concealing our takaway lattes. I wish I’d brought a notepad, rather than Scrabble on the DS! It was almost 3 hours before we heaved our bags out into the welcoming fresh air, and it made me so grateful we don’t have to do this every week.

Speaking of gratitude. I’ve been feeling a bit low, and lacking in Christmas spirit this year (which is quite unlike me). I feel bad because I’m not able to buy everyone the things I’d really like to get them, and haven’t been able to keep on top of all the work involved at this time of year. Sitting in the not-so-beautiful laundrette gave me some time to reflect, and Christmas isn’t about gifts, or banquets, or drink, or decorations or perfection…its about people. It’s about family and friends and, in our case, pets. It’s about people who are here, and about people who aren’t. It’s about making the most of what we have, and being grateful. So I was able to put some things in perspective: maybe my trip to the laundrette wasn’t such a waste of a Saturday morning after all…