The marina laundry – where evil lurks
Boat people At its best, it’s a place for unrecognised kindness. At worst, it’s a place for airing one’s own secret dirty laundry.
There is evil at Mana Marina and it lurks in the laundry. Last week someone took our laundry out of the dryer while it was still wet, so they could put in their washing.
I’m still gobsmacked and I’m not sure why. There’s so much struggle in the world and I’m quibbling about soggy clothes.
We share the laundry with all the other live-aboards. Sundays are busy and getting the timing right is an art.
You often have to traipse down the pier to the laundry a few times.
We had another live-aboard couple over for dinner recently and they left three times to check on their washing – normal boat people stuff.
You meet people going to and from the laundry and there’s always someone to talk weather and boaty stuff with along the way.
For some, just a nod is OK. It’s hard to catch the eye of one or two, but that’s OK because some are here to be private.
Everyone has a life or two behind them.
It’s a nice, safe place: people leave their washing powder in a cupboard there and it never gets nicked. There’s nothing of value in there – money wise – but it’s an important part of living. We have no choice but to use it and be considerate of others.
Sometimes a person may put your wet clothes into the dryer if they need the washing machine, or pick up rubbish that’s been left behind.
At its best, it’s a place for unrecognised kindness. At worst, it’s a place for airing one’s own secret dirty laundry.
I like the laundry. It reminds me of being a kid on holiday in a camping ground. Because people live here permanently, it has more significance.
I’ve only seen a washing machine on two boats. They were million dollar catamarans and the owners ate at posh resorts.
While I would like my own washing machine on our boat, I also love it when we’re away and I’m stomping in a bucket of water with clothes in. It’s often the only exercise available!
Besides, we don’t have room for an extra cookbook let alone a washing machine.
The laundry has a small library – mostly romance and crime novels. Books change and there’s always the same number on the shelves.
I’ve never seen anyone take a book though. Magazines tend not to last as long.
I love the idea that something is being shared without any acknowledgement.
And there’s a noticeboard – our laundry lost and found – pinned odd socks, reading glasses, a key and a necklace.
I put up a ‘‘hello’’ sign there once. It lasted a day.
A ship braves high seas in a painting on the wall.
Maybe the evil dryer person was in a hurry. Maybe they were late for a date or a job interview.
Perhaps they’ve come up with a new positive theory about damp clothes. Or maybe they thought it was funny.
There’s a ‘‘free stuff’’ box in the laundry. The box contains mostly junk, but now and again you’ll find something useful or cute.
I started the box when we moved here because I was horrified at the sort of stuff that was being thrown into the communal rubbish bins.
I didn’t do it to save the planet – I did it because the box reminds me of what to give to the world instead of what to take.