Hang out the washing

  Photograph: Alamy

When the Queen was in the parlour, consuming bread and honey, in which was the maid? Everyone understands that. And if she hadn’t been in the garden hanging out the clothes, there’d have been no unfortunate incident with the blackbird. But, blackbirds apart, washing-lines generally deliver great rewards. The Vitality Conserving Trust now says that a standard household could save £18 in 3 months by pegging out the washing rather of tumble-drying it. The global climate would no doubt benefit too from a little holiday from Britain’s twelve.5 million hot and roaring tumble-dryers. The clincher, even though, is absolutely the freshness that an outdoor airing provides clothes and sheets. New supplies of air are delivered day-to-day, cost-free of charge, with a hint of Atlantic ozone. If the wind had been a clever invention, we’d happily spend a whole lot for it.

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