I had my first child and got my first house in that year. Back in the days before having a fully equipped house was the norm, back when electrical appliances were a luxury not a right. When we moved into our first flat, a top floor flat, we did not have a washing machine, or a spin dryer for that matter.
I boiled my nappies in a jam preserving pan on top of the stove, I washed all my washing by hand in the double sink, and hung it all on out the verandah. dripping wet until it was dry enough to bring in and finish off drying on the fire guard round the coal fire......yep you have guessed it there was no central heating in the flat back then either.
In 1980 I had child No two, a mere eighteen months after I had child No1. So here I am living in a top floor flat with two children both in nappies and with more washing to do than anybody deserves.
Fast forward to 1983 with child No1 now four and the younger one three. By this time I am friends with an amazing woman, my saviour, who despite having six children of her own always had time for me and mine. But that worked both ways and I did my bit to enhance her life and help her out with her brood, doing school runs, looking after them while she did shopping or had nights out with her husband.
Sadly for my friend her mother in law died in that year. Her husband was an only child and so had all the funeral to arrange, the house to clear and all the masses of other work related in winding up somebodies life.
So me and mine moved into her house for four days after they had sold the mother in laws house while they emptied it and cleaned it. The house was over seventy miles away and so it was much easier for my friend not to have to run back and forth, and this way she did not have to worry about the children, she knew they were in good hands. Think of the advantage to me, I had access to a washing machine, an automatic washing machine at that. Twin tubs were fairly normal back then.
Anyway the last evening when they came back her husband run me and mine home and helped us up the stairs with all our stuff and then left us at the door. Hubby and I came in and as the girls were ready for bed we put them straight down and then I went into the kitchen. There fitted into a gap next to the double sink in the kitchen was a washing machine, an automatic washing machine. I could not believe it. On top of the washing machine was a note - Thank you for everything you do for us.
It turns out that the washing machine was from my friends mother in laws house and that as she had no need for it it any more my friend thought I would appreciate it, and she reckoned as I deserved it.
So as there had been washing lying before we went away my husband and I popped in a load of washing, pulled up two chairs and sat and watched the machine do its job. Yes we literally sat in front and watched it go round and round until it finished. I was over the moon, had never in my wildest dreams expected somebody to do something so lovely for me. You modern parents don't now you are born I did manage without what is now my favourite appliances, but would not like to have to again.