even laundry can be fun if you know how to behave.


we finished our work tasks at a nice and early hour yesterday and realized we had a TON of laundry to do.


(that wasn’t just for laundry – although we will admit that in Manhattan, we dropped it off every friday morning, super early before heading to the office, and picked it up when we got the saturday edition of the Financial Times, Times Have Changed – we do our own Laundry now).

back to *horrors*!

because the (small but perfectly sweet with a view of the front plantings and fragrant they are too) Laundry Room at teamgloria (apartment) towers – was CLOSED (new floor being put in, which is very nice, but rendered the room Unavailable).

we *thought* for a moment about dropping off the two (rather large) bags for a Service Wash and then we reconsidered (we have time, and we are being Prudent with cash) – popped the bags in the perfectly Prius and drove to the nearby Laundromat/Launderette.

It was an engaging experience.

Because ANYTHING can be so if one has an eye for Adventure and a nose for a Hollywood reference or two and just takes a look around to sink into the Atmosphere.

so. we. did.

at first glance it was not a Great deal like the Levi’s 501 advertisement (if you can’t see this transmission in your territory ask your mr.local.google for “Levi’s 50s nick kamen”, you’re welcome)


but then it WAS (the actors woke up and came to do their Laundry before heading out to the gym and, hopefully, an audition).

we took a look around (the wash cycle is 29 minutes and the drying cycle 30 so we had some time to Observe our surroundings).

there was a Spanish soap opera – telenovelas – playing – and then we switched to a ladies-in-a-row-at-a-roundish-table talking about Matters of the Day (movie stars, something clever with a fillet of fish and a beauty treatment), a 3D bas relief mural on the back wall, several vending machines (for washing powder – but we bought our own – and snacks – again, we brought a small picnic), outdoor tables (this is california, despite being March), a gossipy attendant (we chatted for a while, because she put up a postcard for the book a while ago and remembered us) and Lots of People Watching.

magic clean++4-2-2011-14-51-42

we did feel a little Doris while folding the clothes (always nice).


while also remembering our (mis-spent but useful for material) Youth watching ground-breaking films like this one. 

we always keep an eye on the Machines because there was that One episode back in – when? 1980-something? when Cindy Beale put her washing in the Albert Square launderette and it Got Stolen (this would be SO awful – not the programme – we quite liked it – strangely enough – and its Still Running!).

EastEnders-bartenders-Cindy-19finally – after all the People watching (and writing in our moleskine and enjoying the small picnic outside on the white cast iron tables not bolted down but you’d be hard pressed to nick them) – the laundry was done and folded and another engaging experience was made Better by a good Attitude.


Thankful that the laundry room is now Open in teamgloria (apartment) towers, we may not have to see the Laundromat again for a while – but we are open to (many) new experiences. Or even re-inventing old ones.


so we went to the Movies.

3c249b66b6de11e3a787123c4a08efd0_8 b7ffc7cab6dd11e38dfb1285e255b5db_8always delicious to see a chandelier – especially at a movie picture palace.

where we saw…….


what’s that?

what did we Think of it.



let’s see.

it was perfect for a friday after doing laundry.



it was sensuous and full of longing but little meaning apart from why do we meet the people we do and what happens if we follow them up to hotel rooms (probably best not attempted outside Paris) and tell them Secrets that we cannot tell the people in our real life – whatever real life is – does it exist?

even the middle bit – where they hold hands and see amusing street musicians and feel close-in-a-crowd (we are not ruining the plot for you – it’s a Film/e Francais/e – being a bit Violette LeDuc there et pourquoi pas?) and have Big Questions about their Lives and France (the two are Always intertwined), trains (might) be Missed or Caught and regretted, or not.

yes, it’s a French movie.

and that’s why it’s perfect for a Friday after doing Laundry.

just so you know.

what have you seen recently?



oh, glorious.

hello, saturday.


and all our clothes are freshly washed.


23 thoughts on “even laundry can be fun if you know how to behave.

  1. Oooh, I too am lost in a dither over Mr. Byrne – who I saw ages ago in “Moon for the Misbegotten” and wow is he an amazing theatre actor as well. And I really like the French actress as well. Will look for the film here on cable – merci! :)

  2. You had me at the story of dropping off your laundry on Fridays in your previous life! My sister (of all people) keeps on reminding me of the things I must do without, once I leave the corporate life: Paying people to take care of me and my things. But quite honestly, I can’t wait for the day to enjoy the luxuries of time in doing more of my own chores. :)

    No movies until I finish more reading and writing, but I’m waiting to see _The Grand Budapest Hotel_.

    1. *wavingtoseoul*

      we saw the GrandBH and have to say *whisper* “not his best” – eek – there, we Said it.

      and yes, it was a Shock, at first, doing chores but nice not to write those cheques/checks to pay for Other People to Do Them at the end of the month anymore ;-)

      for now…..(said with an intake of breath and a look to the horizon)

    1. gosh.

      was that a CHANDELIER in the last one?

      and retro 1950s sugar dispensers?

      where are the intense people with interesting glasses reading Schopenhauer?


  3. OMG — Gabrielle Byrne. Sighing longingly from Massachusetts where we had about 2 hours of spring weather today — Just long enough to take my new shoes for a walk.

    Movies? We saw “Tim’s Vermeer” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS_HUWs9c8c) in NYC last weekend with older son — who also suggested we watch “Helvetica” on Netflix (http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/Helvetica/70076125?trkid=13462100). Neither of these evoked sighs like G.B. but did elicit many chuckles. As older son just wrote me in an email, “Helvetica is a barrel of laughs, isn’t it? I’d say it’s the most entertaining font themed movie since “Wingdings the Musical.”
    My boy does love geek (and freely admits that musicians, like him, have their own form of geekiness (http://rayabrassband.com/).

  4. I went to a laundromat once in new york and I felt like i was in a movie. It is just such a scene. You make it look glamorous though TG! Did you know that I once told that guy in the Levi’s ad that he should be a model as I had no idea who he was and my friends just thought I was taking the mick! But I grew up in Asia and this was before the internet…

    1. love your last line:

      “But I grew up in Asia and this was before the internet”

      sounds like an opening line from a companion piece to an Amis the Younger novel circa 1984 (the Rachel Papers part ii)

  5. I completely agree that laundromats are fascinating places. I visit one a few times a year when I want to do a big load of blankets, post-camping sleeping bags, etc. Sometimes you meet people from whom there’s no escape, and sometimes you meet the nicest folk.

    Now, to follow this up with a French film sounds perfect.

    P.S. So glad you included a photo of Doris Day – was that short from “The Thrill of it All”? She’s always as cute as a button.

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