Such a pile of work. Today’s washing day! All the linen has to be boiled. Normally, the lady of the house would be doing it herself. These aren’t society folk, you understand, people with servants and suchlike. But today, of all days, everyone is out in the bog, bringing in the peat as fuel for next winter. So then we like to be neighbourly and help each other out.
Right, and now we need to get things moving. I still have to prepare the bean stew. I promised faithfully. And the laundry’s still not on the stove. The fire hasn’t even been lit.
So now, everyone pitch in! One at the pump, to get some water in here, and someone else stoke up the fire. The peat for the fire is in the wooden box, right next to the stove.
Come on, why are you still standing there? The hand pump in your own kitchen escaped your notice so far, eh? Honestly, if you want something done right....
Here, the pump by the window, we call that a Zucke! I'd love to have something like that in my kitchen, my own hand pump for a proper water supply. That's what I call a luxury! No more miserable lugging of buckets through the whole village! Every blessed morning sees me running to the village well with all the other women, and then we have to queue up and wait our turn.
Then again... with a hand-pump like this in the house... I wouldn't see all the other women at the well. And then how would I find out what everyone’s talking about?
Take the other day – my neighbour from across the street told me that the family in this house has bought a brand new kitchen range, the very latest stove with an oven for baking, and burners that are adjustable, depending on the size of the pot. People like me don't have anything as posh as that. I only have an old open fire at home. And so I immediately thought, why don’t I offer to help out, all neighbourly-like, of course. Just look, two burners side by side, now that's what I call practical.
But the stove’s not even lit yet,. My word, I'll never manage if this carries on, there we go, that white peat burns like tinder.
Wonderful, it's finally warming up. And now, the washing and the stew both go on the stove. And it can all bubble away nicely while I go and make sure everything’s all right in the work room next door.
Photo: © Fischer- und Webermuseum