Our Family’s (2nd) Year in the South of France
Kids and Castles - Our year with kids in the South of France

Of Clotheslines and BBQs

There is no clothes dryer in our house in France. I am told that this is pretty common across most of Europe and that it is very good for the environment. What we do have is a clothesline and some clothespins.

Turns out that there is actually a bit of skill to using a clothesline. It looks easy, but the first time I put clothes out they blew into the blackberry bushes.  They dried nicely, but it was a tough job to get them out without snags. The second time I got a nasty clothespin pinch. The next time the clothespin made a spot in my favorite t-shirt creating an unfortunate cloth nipple.

Sunny days are good laundry days.

Z's Hello Kitty Drying on the Line

The BBQ is also different. You heat up briquettes in this silver bucket thing, then spread out the coals on the stone part of the BBQ when they’re hot, just below the chimney. There is a grill you put over that to cook the food.


Check out what’s above JM’s head in the picture. Do you see the grapes?  We can snack on grapes hanging above our heads while we stand around waiting for the food to cook.  Natural, organic and zero-effort appetizers. Yumm.

7 Responses to “Of Clotheslines and BBQs”

  1. Val says:

    Are there blackberries in the blackberry bushes too? If so I’m TOTALLY jealous!

    • Diane H. says:

      Yes, actual and edible blackberries. They’re smaller than the ones we have in California, and not quite as juicy, but very tasty. We also have figs and almonds in the yard, and there is a walnut tree on our walk to the garbage. Now are you TOTALLY, TOTALLY jealous?

  2. patti says:

    I am TOTALLY, TOTALLY, TOTALLY jealous!!! PS Tip from a clothesline user – but I get urban dust, so I don’t use it as often as I’d like – hang your t-shirts upside down. Not folded over the line – totally upside down. They shape better.

  3. vered says:

    One of my childhood memories from growing up in Jerusalem is the mad dash to the clothesline whenever it started raining. 🙂

  4. em says:

    While we were in France, we were in an apartment, so we didn’t have a clothes line or a dryer. What we had was a compact but expandable drying rack which sat out pretty much permanently because clothes took 24 hours to dry and you could only dry one load at a time. I called it the underwear tree 🙂

  5. Carol says:

    When we were in England this summer c’s family asked if I could put the clothes on the line. I was only asked the once. They said it was clear I had no knowledge of this domestic task. I am tempted to send the cousins this piece so they can see it is just not me!

  6. Corinne says:

    One more thing, upside down and inside out! I love reading your stories. Looks like you guys are having a great time!
    A tres bientot de te lire!