All the clothes are of course hand washed. There is no electricity never mind any washing machines. We would often walk past streams and rivers and a family would be sitting there with all their brightly coloured wraps and dresses stretched out on flat rocks, drying in the sunshine. They were a spectacular sight but I felt that it would be an intrusion to take photos of them. I wish I had now but would probably feel the same if I was back there. Anyway once washed and dried clothes need to be ironed. As a keen and enthusiastic non-ironer I found the rigour of the ironing process astonishing, but as Pia explained to me, ironing acts as a safety measure. Apparently little beasties like to crawl into the fabric and either stay there or lay their eggs – ironing destroys all these. I always travel in a long skirt (cos it’s more comfortable!) and once Immaculata had it washed and ironed, it resembled a small block of wood, in fact I think I could have played cricket with it. Anyway, ironing and no electricity hmm? The answer is a charcoal iron – so not a good idea for delicate silks as it has two settings, hot and not.


Gelina dashing away with a smoothing iron – so fast that her hand is a blur. She must have thought I was mad – well how often have you taken a photo of someone ironing?


Gelina with a patient smile.