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Mairéad | all galleries >> Snapshots and stories >> pad_year2 > Drying to Save the World
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Drying to Save the World

Drying to Save the World

I've always taken the right to dry for granted. We've got a couple of clotheslines, one in
a disused cow byre which is great for all round drying as I don't worry about it raining
on my washing, and one in the garden to take advantage of summer sunshine (when we
get it).
It's perfectly natural to see clothes hanging out to dry in cities in Italy, Spain,
Portugal, etc, and indeed the colourful washing often adds to the character of the
So I was totally taken aback a few years ago when a friend who had moved to the United
States told me that the by-laws where she lived prevented her from hanging out her
washing, even on a warm summer's day. Further research revealed that such by-laws are
common in many parts of the United States as it's feared that washing hung out in
gardens would lower the tone of the neighbourhood, giving the impression that the
residents couldn't afford tumble driers. There are 'Right To Dry' campaigns by those
who realise just how nonsensical it is to be using electricity to dry clothes in warm climates.

Nikon D90
1/125s f/5.6 at 50.0mm iso500 full exif

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slhoornstra15-Jul-2010 06:00
Many neighborhoods ban clotheslines from view these days, but you are right, they are sometimes lovely, with colored garments blowing in the wind. Suburbia, alas, has little character. A very fine composition. V
Jeff Real13-Jul-2010 11:44
A wonderful remembrance you have created with your words and nice image. I miss the days of that fresh smell from the clothes that had been hung out. ~V~
Neal Nye13-Jul-2010 11:21
Wonderful colors in this image. Drying is legal here, but I'd rather not expose my laundry to bird droppings, dust, pollen and bugs.
Alan K12-Jul-2010 22:22
An unusual and colourful still life. There are similar restrictions in some parts of Sydney as well, though they aren't always enforced. There has been a pretty strong environmental backlash over the last couple of years with proposals to amend the default by-laws (which ban laundry from being visible), though I'm not sure whether that's gone through. Naturally certain vested interests whose interests are "property values" have been opposing it. I can only wish that I had a place big enough for a cattle byre (and must remember that word when next I play Scrabble.)
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