Dedicated to my dearest loving mum who I miss so much. This would have made her smile.
I have an unusual obsession, pegs. I really like pegs. Plastic, replaceable, if you can bear to throw them away, pegs. Red ones are my favourites but I save them for particular items, like hanging out my best frock, my preferred bed linen or my distinctive underwear. I’m not going into the underwear issue here, suffice it to say it does not come out as often as it did. Red pegs then; my best frock is rarely in the wash, why would it be when special occasions that tie in with the underwear question and ditto, bed linen, are rare. Can’t use red pegs on white stuff, it wouldn’t be right. So my red pegs, used once in a blue moon, are as lovely now as the day I bought them. Other colours have come and gone but the red pegs remain at the bottom of my peg pinny, oh yes, there is such a thing, and they are dropped back immediately I plunge in my hand and inadvertently remove one.( If you want a peg pinny, contact me and I will get in touch with my friend, who made mine to my personal specifications. It’s a fiver for the pinny and a fiver for a thermal padded pan holder shaped like a chicken, the prototype having been made by my great grandmother in two shades of velvet and stuffed with god knows what, complete with eyes and comb. If you buy a matching set to coordinate with your kitchen it’s eight quid. Quite a bargain don’t you know..incidentally my friend does not stuff her chicks with god knows what, trust me. ) All my family have a set, I bought them and gave them as gifts so they all have them, like them or not! What’s not to like?
There’s more to pegs though, than you may realise. Others with the same fascination will know what I am talking about. Don’t care for wooden pegs they discolour easily and dolly pegs make indentations, so, sorry, not for me. Some pegs are poor grippers, although this could be down to the washing line itself. Never buy cheap, never buy ‘natural fibre’, they stretch. A good thick line that can be wiped is essential. Nevertheless, despite this, some pegs are poor grippers. Buy a set that look like miniature tulips, put in right hand pocket of the pinny, and you will see what I mean when you come to use the pink ones; weak grasp. Pink, washed out red, there lurks an envy issue. Pink pegs will never match up to red, never, they shouldn’t try. Green and blue are ok, no resentment there. Some green ones, they look like ferns, left hand pocket. They are fine for lightweight or delicate stuff.
Needless to say when hanging out, things of a kind stay together, towels first of course, bath and then hand, and obviously the pegs need to match. It would be a terrible thing if the colours were mixed up, so think on.
The pink pegs can be useful when hanging towels. Towels need to be joined together and hung by the corners increasing the thickness of the cloth; hanging this way, not only highlights the relationship between the items but is an easy peasy way to use the inferior pegs and as the towels are up there first the pinks are soon got rid of, out of your pinny pocket. A tip about towel hanging and indeed, bed linen: Never stretch the full width of the material , nor sling, causing twofold, over the line; (It may have been Mrs Beeton who initially advised this as the perfect drying method, but not according not to my dearest mother.) but drape slightly, to catch the breeze. Just for a while, the pinks, those second raters, can feel proud. Panic though, if the wind gets up, rush out with the blues and greens.
But, the reds, the beautiful superb reds, handsome and exquisite. If you never, ever have anything special enough for them to grasp, cling to, then just lay them out on the kitchen table and look at them. Place them end to end like dominoes or a toy train, arrange them with the grippers facing the middle like poppies in a meadow (you need a green tablecloth for this and an odd couple of green pegs for a stem, small translucent ones, yes you can buy them, make lovely clouds and complete the picture ), write your name with them (try not to use letters with curves), oh yes, the list of things to do with red pegs is endless and can keep you occupied for hours. Introduce them to your children and show them how versatile red pegs can be. Join them to make a chain and dangle them from the ceiling at Christmas (you may need another touch of green for the full effect). But make those reds special, do not neglect them. With red pegs you have a unique utensil, love them, like I do.