Doing the washing (based on the life of Antonia Manzanares Rosa) by Helen McGinty
When I was little, it was so different from how it is now.
I am going to explain it. In my house and all the houses in the town there was not any running water. In rich people’s houses, there was because they had wells in their orchards or gardens. They had the best houses in the village. The neighbours were supplied with pipes in the streets, so they all had some water. This town was very rich in water. It had many springs or water sources which sprang from the ground. The phrase in "alhaurino" is “que salía por su propio pie.” Literally, “which comes out on his own foot.” It was not necessary technology because in the past it rained a lot.
The people of the village washed their clothes near the springs which are now dry. They were near the Guardia Chicavilla or ‘Nacimiento de Montánchez’. Every two days I went with my mother to do the washing in the river. We hung the clothes on the branches of the trees. The surroundings were all countryside. While we were waiting for the clothes to dry we used to eat two "chorizo" sausages and two slices of bread. There was little to eat.
At the end of the village, towards Coín, at the Fountain of Twelve Pipes or "Fuente Lucena", we had another river, on the other side of the road that is now the Coín road. That river was always full of people doing their washing. In “Calderona Street” (the name comes from the widow of Calderón, owner of the garden, his brave wife managed to get her children alone.) down the street, there was another river, and it had lots of stones to use when we were washing. That area was at the upper side of the town.
“El Chorro" (the appearance of a liquid through a narrow part, such as an orifice) was another one, located where the school is now. In the end, the town council made a municipal laundry "Lavadero Mazacote". So, the people would not go to the fields to wash clothes, when it rained. Life in my village used to be very tranquil.