Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What - No Concrete Troughs?

I can remember my grandmother's washhouse.
The little room out next to the outdoor dunny with the wood fired copper in the corner and concrete wash troughs.  Every Monday the copper was stoked up with great gurglings of boiling water with lashings of Velvet soap. The clothes were boiled to within an inch of their lives, ladled from the copper to the concrete troughs, rinsed, wrung out by hand, or if the woman was lucky, put through a hand wringer,and hung on lines propped up with poles to keep the laundry out of the dirt. The last of the boiling water was used to clean the toilet, floors, paths and anything else that needed a 'good wash'.
This ritual was carried out by armies of other red-faced and sweating women across the suburbs.

Now, in my mother's house well, we were posh.
We had an indoor washhouse. 
It still had a copper, gas fired,
                                               photo - Powerhouse Museum
and concrete troughs. 

but the drudge of washing did not change in our house until the arrival of the "Wizz-Dry"
This was a round rotating tub that fitted into the troughs and was powered by a jet of water. Dripping wet clothes were loaded in and the tap turned on full and awaaaaaaay it went. Wasted lots of water, but spun-dried the clothes better than the modern machine. Could always tell when it was in use as the whole house shook and the windows rattled.
All this laundry excitement was swept away with the arrival of the Simpson Automatic Washer, which faithfully served my mother for 35 years and went on to be used by the new owners when she sold the house.

So what has all this to do with me?
Well I now have this.
Yep - a glass laundry, right next to the glass shower. 
Equipped with a manual input automatic solar washing machine. Due to tank water I use the rinse water to wash the next load, but being able to load the clothes and push a button is luxury, even if I have to pump water out of a bin back into the machine.

My clothes than go to the nearby solar clothes drying system, complete with props. 

This system comes with a uncontrollable, intermittent, randomly activated rinse system which is action today. Oh well at least the tanks are being topped up.

My only puzzlement is, that if this facility is outside then according to my experience it is a washouse, but it does not have a copper or concrete troughs but a washing machine, which only occur in laundries, so do I have a

or a 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Delayed Civilisation Advance

All that stands between me and the next advance in civilisation is this.
 The pump from my washing machine. The machine sits forlornly with the back off and hoses hanging out waiting the new one.
Waiting. . . waiting. . . waiting

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Out Tacky Tarps

When we first established 'Ourgunyah', I strung up a piece of silver tarp to keep the rain off the front of the van. 
Talk about construction by dodgy brothers.

Yesterday in the shed we came across the awning that came off the caravan, which sparked an AHH-HA moment.
Out with the tacky tarp and up with the much larger waterproof canvas.
You STILL think it looks tacky?

Clearly you have no appreciation of the finer points of scrounging and humpy building.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Solar TV

Yep the wording is correct, we now have solar TV.
We mothballed the little set that you had to squint at and lean forward on the couch to see and installed in it's place the big-ass digital screen!
Woooooah! it sure is BIG. Took a while to get used to it. We have 11 high definition digital channels all received through some little rabbit ears. Alas can only receive ABC on analogue and no ABC2/3 or News. Probably need a taller outdoor antenna.
All these channels just means more crap to sift through.
Ya gotta love the mute control.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

You Light Up My Life

One of the benefits of civilisation we most missed was a big fridge full of goodies.
The caravan had a tiny little gas absorbtion job which was somewhat limiting. When the temperature went above 28 degrees it started to struggle and the temperature climbed. 
Stocking it was an exercise in micro-insertion. 
Meat was purchased purely on the basis of what would fit, packed in little baggies, vigorously flattened as much as possible, and stacked into freezer. Everything else was also purchased on a fit-it-in basis, jambed into fridge, door slammed shut and the clip put on. I also shopped twice a week.
With part of the power system operational, we started our big fridge on Thursday night and then on Friday I went to town!
My shopping list was worded thus:-
fruit/vegies - lotsa
meat - lotsa
dairy - lotsa
frozen - lotsa
and . . . 

 Now all we have to do is resist the temptation to stand with the door open - just admiring.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Finally . . . .

Insert image of mature age feral granny jumping up and down, clapping and squeeling - eeeeeeeeeeee!!!!
Then . . . 
hoiking t-shirt up over head and running around with arms outstretched and wisely aborting the magnificent knee slide she had planned when she remembered the ground is stony.
Not quite the 'full monty' - only one array is wired in but we have 3kw to call on after the batteries are fully charged.

First silent night in 6 months. 
Local wildlife will be pleased.