In the middle of our kitchen renovation our washing machine has decided to pack up on us and of course with Christmas just around the corner, nobody can promise delivery for over a week.

With two children in the house, one a teenager and one on the cusp, daily clean clothes, and trainers, (which is the problem behind the broken machine, I suspect) are a must, so this morning I’ve been to our local laundrette for the first time.

I’ve just had the most sociable morning I’ve had in a long time. The place was a hub of activity and I’ve spent the last 1/2 hour speaking to a lovely gentleman in his 70’s who is still working as an architect. We’ve chewed the fat about eco design, sustainable materials, planning consent and the nightmares they entail and a lovely lady called Molly has shown me how to use the machine.

I think its fantastic that we still have laundrettes and the community spirit and social aspects of them are wonderful. It almost makes me wish my washing machine would take longer to be delivered so that I can pay another visit and have a chat to some more interesting people.

The laundrette in Chorlton Manchester, just up the road from where I live, has been recently turned into a restaurant. When I first heard about it, i thought the possibilities for an amazing design around the old fixtures and fittings would be obvious, but sadly it has been given a very chi chi makeover, with nearly all signs of its previous history eliminated, apart from the name, which stands testament to its previous incarnation.

I have however, come across this chain of bars in Belgium, called Wasbar, designed by Pinkeye Design Studio. The designers have cleverly come up with a concept that includes the ability to wash your smalls, whilst having a haircut and a drink. Now that’s clever design.

Great graphics design of a peg and a bottle opener