Is it not just so gloriously suburban and romantic, to see white pillowcases and children's clothes, strung out in rows, telling us that this is a house where it's occupants are loved and cared for ?
Lacy underwear, towels and sheets, soccer shorts, table linens; it's so uninhibited, and they tell volumes about the occupants of the house they are adorning.....
This theme is repeated in other cultures. But why ?
Were we all pushed out into the garden in our prams as babies to watch the gaily-coloured garlands of washing dancing in the breeze?
Is it that there is something reassuring about linen being washed and cared for?
Is it the thought of snuggling down in a bed, or pulling on a shirt which exudes the fragrance of fresh air?
Is it the feeling of abandon and unadulterated joy we share with the clothes as they regally wave and happily flap about?
It is probably a mixture of all of these, the impressions which invoke the childhood we had (or would have liked to have had) coupled with the fact that mothers or, in past centuries, maids and washerwomen, spent many hours doing the washing, while at the same time entertaining the small children of the household.
The maid was in the garden, hanging out the clothes
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose.
She made such a commotion that little Jenny Wren
Came down into the garden and pegged it on again.
What's the time? - Half past nine
Hang your knickers on the line.
When they're dry, bring them in
And iron them with the rolling pin
Photo credits: Walter Crane, Wikipedia