Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My Beautiful Laundrette

I've long harboured a secret love of laundrettes. From an aesthetic point of view that is. (I realise its probably easier to feel that way when I own a shiny brand new washing machine and don't actually have to use a laundrette myself, but nonetheless I do love them)

I've always loved the smell of them from outside too - a warm clean smell. But mainly it the sight of the rows of washing machines, the repetitive pattern they make and their essentially retro-ness.

It may have started after seeing the film with the above title, one of my all time favourites, especially the scene where the uncle and his lover dance in the laundrette. And I've been coverting the work of Corinna Radcliffe that features laundrette images for quite some time.

When I got my hands on the digital camera, one of the first pictures I took was of the laundrette near our home - surreptitiously snapped on my way to work so no great work of art. But I was pleased to have the picture of what, to me, was a thing of beauty!

I thought I was alone in this penchant until a couple of weeks ago, one of the winning pictures in the Guardian magazine's photography competition featured a laundrette. Then today, whilst browsing Flickr.com (how easy it is to lose hours on there), I came across a group dedicated to this very subject. And then several more for the American term, Laundromat. veritable feast!

It seems I'm not alone. And whilst I feel (a little) less weird now, I feel that something that was once just mine is now perhaps not that special.


Anonymous said...

oh I know what you mean.... I love the smell of laundrettes too, but using one regularly as a student was a nightmare. It always seemed to be full of mad people - there was a guy who used to hang out eating dog biscuits and offering them around like sweets!

My favourite laundrette memory (if you can have such a thing) was when I lived in east germany not long after the wall came down. Washing machines were a luxury I couldn't afford (apart from a laughable stasi one which used to eat underwear) and laundrettes did just did not exist. When a big shiny new one opened I almost died of delight...

Miss Forthright said...

Oh my God I LOVE launderettes. In my old flat it was a huge pleasure to go over to the launderette and wash my clothes and then sit there watching the huge tumble driers dry it all. The warm smell of the clean clothes, the gentle hum of the machines... all oddly relaxing and satisfying.

I'm glad it's not just me who loves them.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to take yet more of the specialness away but I too have long harboured a secret love of the launderette. Like you, I love the smell and warmth of them and also the orderliness of them.

I spent many an hour as a student in the launderette and I found I got some of my most productive studying done in their, especially as the little old lady who ran it would make me tea and feed me biscuits!

SandDancer said...

Hello and welcome Ginger.

I suppose I'm relieved not to be such a weirdo afterall.