I was washing up this morning and my mind started wandering, thinking about the way I wash up, when I remembered how I first learnt to wash the dishes ‘correctly’. I remember being in the Brownies, the younger cohort of the Girl Guides, back in the 80s and I had a copy of The Brownie Guide Handbook. This book showed how to behave, how to perform well as a Brownie or Guide and demonstrated numerous tasks, step by step, in order to complete badges and generally become a well-rounded young lady.
With this handbook I learnt how to efficiently pack a suitcase, repair a hole in a sock and why fingernails should be cut and not bitten. But most importantly I learnt how to wash the dishes, and the girl-guide method has stayed with me throughout my life. This is why I give my husband a funny look when he tries to wash crockery before glassware and pans before cutlery. Surely everyone knows that the cutlery goes into the bowl to rinse while glasses are washed, followed by teacups and barely-soiled saucers, bowls, plates, then pans and lastly greasy frying pans and caked-on bakewear. Obviously, I’m just being cheeky – my hubby doesn’t really muddle up the order, I’ve showed him the Girl Guide’s Handbook 😉 seriously sweetie, I’m just pleased you do it more often than I do!
I wonder what the modern Guiding Handbook would say about housework? Does it mention the correct way to load a dishwasher? (I hope so, because this can be done wrong too) or does it focus on more important things such as camp survival, building a fire and first aid? I’d love to take a look and the next time that I see a copy at a school jumble sale or carboot I’ll buy it and report back!