Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Joys of Laundry

One of the things that the older books say is the duty of the priest is the laundering of the Altar Linen. What usually happens in parishes is that there are a team of good people (usually, it has to be said, good women) who take the linens away, and then they come back all neat and tidy.

With the widespread practice of Communion under both kinds and the miraculous multiplication of Altar Chalices, the Linens can be extensive.

Here in school, the Linen had been done in the past by Mrs McDermott, but I'm afraid I have stolen her job (I do hope she doesn't mind too much) and started to do them myself.

It all went perfectly well of course. I had my bucket (un seau), and I soaked the Linen in it. The Linen then went into the washing machine, while I went to try to find out what the word for a handle was. As you can see from the picture my bucket was not really a bucket but rather a plastic waste paper bin. The boys really became quite confused when I asked them the word for a bucket - at this point I did not know that it was un seau - and pointed to a waste paper basket. "But fazer, it is une poubelle"! The only way to try to rectify this was to ask what the word for a handle was, so that I could try to say "mais c'est quoi, une poubelle avec un ... "

This took quite some time as I made the mistake of asking some of the younger boys, for whom the whole world seems a little confusing at times, and the sight of a priest walking around with a waste paper basket in his hand, claiming that it is something completely different and asking the French word for a handle, when A BIN DOES NOT HAVE A HANDLE, was really just too much!

Anyway (oh, the word for a handle of a bucket by the way is une poignee), the laundry was eventually done. The water has been poured on the ground in the shape of a cross, and all is now right with the world...

... except the ironing. That takes ages.
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