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Thursday, 27 April 2017

The ubiquitous Hills Hoist



This week's Sepia Saturday prompt photograph features someone hanging up washing. The line looks a bit like a Hills Hoist, except that it appears to be suspended upside down in some fashion.

I did a blog that included the history of the Australian Hills Hoist some time ago, which you can check out here, so consequently I don't have too many more relevant photos, but I did manage to find a few. It seems that often the ubiquitous washing line sneaks into the photograph even when it is not intended to. It certainly was always present in the back yard when we had young children, and almost always laden down with washing drying in the sunshine. Here are a few examples I found, not taken by me I must point out. These days of course it is very easy to crop out unwanted objects, but these are snaps from the 1980s, when a pair of scissors was normally the only tool available. Consequently if snaps with extraneous items in the background were not discarded, they slipped into albums unaltered.


This photo was taken on the occasion of our second son's first birthday party. It's possible that whoever took it was trying to make a point, ie. that the washing should not have been there in full view. I agree that if there had been other party guests attending that might have been a reasonable point, but in this case the only party guests were our children and my parents, so I probably didn't think it was essential to take down the nappies just for their benefit. I think there are also be some lemons there on the lawn, waiting to be taken inside. The previous owners had lived in the house for forty years and were great gardeners. We benefited from their work but with four young children by the time we moved on we could not keep up to their exacting standards, and sadly the neglected lemon tree was never quite as good as it had once been.


Here's the digitally cropped version. It's an improvement but I'm sure I have a few better shots of the birthday boy. 



Here is another shot that I clearly did not take. It was in one of my mother's albums and shows our elder daughter in her Brownie uniform and our youngest closely examining the grass, watched by a visiting cousin and myself. With the washing and various other objects in the background, it's not able to be cropped so neatly and is probably not one I would have saved, but this is of course the main subject of the photo, with just a couple of distractions in the background.




Here's a Hills Hoist intruding again, even without washing, this time in the in-laws' back garden, c. 1988.


but this one is easily removed.



In this last shot however, the washing line is central. I imagine I took this photo to show how my capable better half was able to manage child minding and hanging up washing at the same time, c 1987/88. He was doing a good job here.

For more blogs inspired by the prompt provided by Sepia Saturday #365, click here. That number could perhaps relate to the annual number of days the endless task of washing needs to be done, or at least contemplated, at least when there are young children in the family!

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