If you google the term ‘life hacks’ you will turn up pages of tips for making life easier. Some are not relevant to most people, some are geographically specific but many are the sort of useful little ideas that make your day that little bit more straightforward.
Permaculture appeals to me because it works a bit like that, it just makes sense, falls into place and all rubs along really well together. It’s about making the most of what you’ve got, finding the easier path and living alongside what already exists wherever possible.
We are always looking for ways here to make our life that wee bit easier, find the positives and make the most of what we’ve got. One of our biggest expenses and faffs each week is the laundry. Back in mainland land we would have the washing machine going most days and getting the washing done was a constant concern while we were WWOOFing.
We have way less washing these days, mostly because we have way less clothes and way less reasons to wear anything other than jeans. No weekly swimming lessons, different uniforms for Badgers, Beavers,Rainbows, Sea Scouts. We all wear wellies more or less all of the time and given the first time you step outside the front door of the static you are going to get mud splatters up your legs you tend to only change your jeans because they smell or because you have actually fallen over and got properly muddy. But there is still a good couple of (laundrette sized) loads every week to do and getting it down to the village a mile away, through the washing machine and tumble drier and back up to the croft again can write off most of a whole day every week, or at least mean you are walking down to the village and back multiple times to swap loads between washer and dryer, not to mention the cost (£2.50 per load to wash, about £3.00 per load to dry).
Last week I fell over, baoth knees, in the mud. I happened to be on my way to swap over laundry so in the style of that old Levi ad I stripped off the dirty jeans and bunged them in the wash and put on a pair of clean ones fresh out of the dryer. Except they didn’t actually get very clean. So I brought them back up and stuck them on the washing line where they spent the next five days getting rained on, hailed on and blown about in the wind. Today they were clean, rinsed and almost dry so we bought them in to air infront of the log burner. Which gave us the idea that instead of taking the full basket down to process for the best part of £20 we seperated it out. The pants, socks, t shirts, pyjamas have all been handwashed in the shower and then hung on the line for a final rinse, the stuff like jeans and jumpers which require more of a freshen than an actual wash have just been hung straight out on the line.
I still yearn for a washing machine and one day soon might even have one, but for now this feels a lot less hassle than slipping down the muddy hill with a load of laundry.