Australia · music · photography

Iconically pegged out to dry


The Australian icon I will be focusing on today is something just a bit different and no, it is not a kookaburra, although they occasionally play a part in this story, being the gregarious birds that they are!

Today’s icon is the humble clothesline, or to be more precise, The Hills Hoist.

I’ll bet you didn’t see that one coming! 😉

The Hills Hoist, an Australian invention was first manufactured in Adelaide, South Australia in 1945 by Lance Hill and has become a standard item in the back yards of suburban Australia for several decades.

I would have been lost without my Hills Hoist during the years that my four children were growing up and even these days with only two children and two adults living at home, it surely does make washing day so much easier.


And as you can see, our Hills Hoist rotary clothes lines are not only useful for hanging out the washing to dry. Where would our kookaburras perch so near to the house without a clothesline being there? Mind you, they pay no regard to the fact that the clothes are clean before they hop upon their magical merry-go-rounds.

How do the folks in cold climates manage their washing days? I’ve heard that laundry rooms are built to be far bigger in countries where the weather is….um….not the best for hanging the washing outdoors to dry, shall I say.

Seriously, how do you dry your clothes when there is snow on the ground reaching up as high as the rooftops?! Are electric clothes dryers the norm in the Northern Hemisphere? When I contemplate such thoughts, I have to admit that perhaps I do take our predominantly fine weather for granted!

clothesline 3

Speaking of the weather, the song I have chosen for you to listen to today is “Weather With You” from Crowded House. The members of Crowded House are technically New Zealanders but they did make their name here in Australia, so we have claimed them as our own.

The video was filmed in Victoria and shows a cute little old caravan travelling around with the band, which leads me to another question. Here in Australia, taking a holiday road trip and towing a caravan behind the car is quite common place, but I wonder if this is the way families take their holidays in other countries?

As much as I love my home and wouldn’t want to part with my creature comforts for any extended amount of time, I must admit to rather enjoying travelling with a caravan. In fact I have lived in a caravan twice during my younger years. Just last year I wrote about my experience of travelling and living in a caravan for four months at one stage in my early life in a post I called “A Sea Change – (AKA An Adventure with my Reckless Parents!)”

My clothesline features in a number of the photos I add here, so the next time you see my Hills Hoist, you will know that it is yet another Australian Icon.

clothesline 2

“There’s a small boat made of china,
Going nowhere on the mantlepiece.
Do I lie like a loungeroom lizard,
Or do I sing like a bird released?

Everywhere you go you always take the weather with you,
Everywhere you go you always take the weather….” ~ Weather With You.