Daily Prompt: Jiffy, not really

Dad, me and Ada washing up in Oxlow Lane

London 1991 in the kitchen at my dad’s ladyfriends’s place washing up after dinner. These were the days when jiffies were not done because either you couldn’t afford it or it was not fashion. I already had my dishwasher in my own home, but here I was on holiday with the family visiting dad in London, and dish washers were unwelcome. They used too much electricity.  You did not do the washing up in a jiffy, washing up was a ceremony. As you can see in the photo a younger me almost 30 years ago, was just in it for the photo. I probably asked “can I help”, but it seems my help was not necessary. Dad always helped his women folk with the washing up. He would always be in the kitchen with mum after eating, and so it was with Ada, his lady friend. Dad passed away last year at the age of 100 years and 7 months, and Ada about 8 years before, at the age of 92 years, so washing up manually must have kept them healthy.

Dad once won a dishwasher in a competition. It was a quiz with general knowledge questions, but the questions were no so general and you really needed a library to solve the questions. My best friend from my school days was a librarian with college degree and all the trmmings, so together they managed to crack the nut, with the exception of one question, but they won. The guy that got the second prize also cracked them all with the exception of two. The competition was in the newspaper  where dad worked, Fords car company in Dagenham. The reporter from the newspaper paid him a visit with a photographer and his photo was shown in the newspaper as being the winner. He had a drying up cloth in his hand, and the heading under the photo was something in the style of this being the last time he would have to dry the dishes by hand.

OK these machines were not working class east end London, and so he sold the machine and continued to do dry the dishes by hand whilst mum washed them by hand: no jiffies in our home. Of course my friend got her share of the profits as well. She also now has a real electric dishwasher in the meanwhile.

I remember our Christmas parties at my aunts house, where the whole family was assembled. After the Christmas tea the men would disappear somewhere for a smoke and the women were left in the kitchen (also smoking) but they would do the washing up together. My mum and two aunts would get down to the work. although there were enough people to do it in a jiffy, there was some conversation to catch up on and there again the jiffy disappeared.

Today Mr. Swiss always warns me not to rush. He means it well, but my movabilitiy is not longer what it was and rushing is no longer a physical possibilitiy. I have a dish washer in any case, and a washing machine, and yes times have changed. Shame my legs are no longer moving in a jiffy, but I get there eventually. To be quite honest Mr. Swiss is the expert with the washing machine. He is the operator in the evening and I have almost forgotten how the machine works.

So another WordPress Daily prompt hits the road – in a jiffy.

Daily Prompt: Jiffy, not really

10 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Jiffy, not really

  1. In our home I have always done the clothes washing with the washer and the dryer. I also took care of the dishes and we have a dishwasher. Now with my not being able to stand and walk Ron is doing it all. I have to be very careful to hold my tongue. I have ways of doing these things. I have my way of doing these things. I feel like I know best and need to instruct how to do it. Ron is not really appreciative of my hints, suggestions, and out right trying to direct activities from my wheelchair. I wonder why? 🙂 I love the picture. It is grand to see you loved life and smiled back then also. Your dad also seems to love life and is a happy person. Hugs

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    • I sort of stumbled upon this photo when I was preparing something to write. I have so many older photos and it was so good to see dad having a laugh. I know what you mean about doing things the right way, I have been there and constantly doing it myself, but does it really matter eventually. The main thing is you get the help you need and the result is the same more or less. I do things my way as a housewife and now we are both house people we share the work. I know I am no longer as active as I was and you neither, so let us be glad for all the help we get, although a few suggestions are always a good idea. Gives us a chance to have a discussion now and again 🙂

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  2. We have a dishwasher, but don’t use it. For the few dishes we use, it seems like more rather than less work. Garry used to have that attitude of “Death to Dirt” when doing dishes, but lately, he has been slipping. I just get them clean and am always trying to find a way to use less water in the process. We all have our goals!

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    • Dishwasher is a way of life for Mr. Swiss and I. It is part of the budget. He always empties it in the evening. He is so good at it, that I am not really sure how to switch it on.

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  3. We also have a dishwasher that we never use. It came with the house, but even with 3 kids, we washed and dried quickly so we could use them again. Plus the water bill was crazy high the one time we did use it. We’d never had one before so it was a novelty for us. Novelty wore off after the first water bill. Now with two of us, there is no point. My husband and I take turns being the dishwasher. Works out quite well that way.

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    • We would be lost without the dishwasher. It is just Mr. Swiss and I and my No. 1 son, but we have enough for once a day. If it is less we just leave it a day and do it the second day. We didn’t even have running hot water in the house where I grew up. We had to boil it in a kettle.

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  4. I loved this post. At our family get togethers our women still clean the kitchen afterward. It is in a jiffy without the dishwasher. Your father seemed to be an amazing man. Thank you for sharing.
    Sarah

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