Our washing machine has been broken for about 4 weeks now. Frankly this is a nightmare of epic proportions for us. Mountains of washing piling up, stinking out our house and so I had no choice but use a laundrette.
None of local ones seem to be open in the evening so my poor tot has made the trips with me.
We began with the laundrette on Plumstead Common Road. Luckily my mother-in-law was with us to help carry bags since it's impossible to park in front.
Once in, I was transported to the 70s and memories of going to laundrettes with my dad and brothers. It was a treat then and we played around a lot. In those days not many people had washing machines so laundrettes were better run and had longer opening hours.
A long chat with the nice service wash lady in the Plumstead laundrette revealed that the owners used to open from 8-8 (rather than 9-4 as they do now) but they just didn't make any money and couldn't afford to keep the service wash lady in there for longer.
After a few hours we emerged with lovely fresh clothes. My tot was happy as she got a walk in the park in between washes and enjoyed this first experience.
After that, I did a service wash. How expensive...who can afford this on a regular basis?
Last week, I tried out the laundrette on Conway road. Again had a bit of walk as there are parking restrictions in the road. This one doesn't offer service washes, is more run down but had a choice of 3 machines and the dryers stayed on longer for 20p. The clothes washed and dried very quickly.
It's different being down that road. There is a strong Asian community who seemed to know eachother well. I bought some veg from the grocery shop (not fresh but better than nowt). I also noticed that Wild East is now called Purple Chilli and during a walk we could smell the most delicious curry smells. Will have to try that out at some point.
If and when our machine gets fixed, we will not need to do these trips (though I'm convinced my towels were better cleaned than at home). But maybe once in while when the towels need a cleaner than normal wash, I just try a few more local laundrettes as it gives me a couple of hours to explore the neighbourhood and see it from a different angle.