A sink with a view

A sunny view from my kitchen window

A snowy view from my kitchen window

Brace yourself here as I have something to tell you. Ready? Ok. We don’t own a dishwasher. Yes, you heard me right, in our house we don’t own a dishwasher and must therefore wash our dishes by hand. It’s not so bad though, because of the view. As you can see, the view from our kitchen window is rather pretty, whatever the season. There is often some entertainment provided through the window too, mostly by cats and children. Sometimes, when it’s my turn to do the dishes, I forget altogether about actually doing them, and just stand there with my hands in the dish water, watching my own personal reality TV window screen…

– I’ve watched snowball fights, and water fights, and cat fights.

– I’ve watched a group of teenagers, determined to put up a tent in the pouring rain and howling wind, laughing, and shouting, and eventually admitting defeat.

– I’ve watched cats chasing leaves, and cats chasing birds, and children chasing cats.

– I’ve watched the younger of my two cats cautiously follow a hedgehog across the lawn and back again, and the older of my two cats bravely (some may say stupidly) approach a large fox. Did I say large? I meant HUGE.

– I’ve watches birds eating worms and children eating ice-cream.

– I’ve watched ball games being played on the lush green grass, and board games being played on the beat up old blue table.

– I’ve watched leaves fall and snow fall and night fall.

Yes, I’ve watched a lot through that window, but mostly I’ve just washed the dishes, admired the view, and allowed myself to get lost in my own quiet thoughts.

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56 responses to “A sink with a view

  1. Washing dishes really can be a relaxing time. Good for you for not having a dish washer! This post was lovely. πŸ™‚

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  2. Christopher Lampton

    Very nice view out the kitchen window, especially in the snow (and snow is one of the things I most miss since I moved to California), but don’t worry about not having a dishwasher. For years I had a dishwasher and didn’t use it, choosing instead to wash the dishes by hand and use the dishwasher to store them while they dried. Now I use a dishwasher (the woman I live with insists on it), but I still do every bit as much dishwashing by hand. As a friend of mine put it, the dishwasher isn’t so much for washing the dishes — you do that anyway, before you put them in the washer — but for *sterilizing* them. But, heck, I trust my own hand washing to get them sterile enough.

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    • Yes, as much as I hate the cold, I do love the snow and that’s something I would miss too if I lived somewhere that didn’t have it.

      I tend to side with the view that it’s not good to make everything too sterile because it doesn’t allow people, particularly children, to build up their natural immunity. So that’s actually another plus point in support of doing dishes by hand!

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  3. We don’t have a dishwasher either. i get so much stick for this (possibly because i don’t have a good view, love your post above). My eco friends are always telling me that hand washing wastes water. I reckon it depends on how you wash your dishes. That said I’m not mad about the task (just had to negotiate – and lucky for me my husband is downstairs doing them while I type…). Do all your household share washing up duty?

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    • Yes, they do say that a dishwasher is more eco friendly than hand washing, not just with the amount of water used, but also energy – but are the taking account of the production, and later disposal of the dishwashing machine itself? Although I guess if it lasts for years…

      In theory we all share washing up duty around here, but some of us share more than others!

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  4. So idyllic. We have a dishwasher, but we don’t use it. If I had more than two kids, I probably would, though. Sometimes it’s tempting. But then…I’m not sure how to run one of those contraptions. How embarrassing!

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    • I would definitely use one a lot if I had it, especially after my kids have been cooking. I’m always amazed by how much washing up they can generate when they do any kind of cooking or food preparation – even making a sandwich!

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  5. What a beautiful yard. I, too, wouldn’t mind washing dishes with that view.

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    • Yes, we’re quite lucky in that respect. Those pictures are obviously from the back, but we also have the same size at the front, probably a bit bigger, of grass and trees like that, and we’re tucked away, so even the front is private.

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  6. I don’t mind washing dishes but without your lovely window. Sometimes I use my dishwasher when after company or if I’ve been extra busy for a couple of days. Dishwashing can be relaxing: warm soapy water, gently moving a sponge across plates…daydreaming or simply slowing down after hanging over a hot stove and rushing around the kitchen.

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  7. I completely get the vivid picture you have painted, and I appreciate it, but I really appreciate the disher washer, for within it, my hands are in the dish washer. Wonderful view.

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  8. This is really lovely, except for the worm eating birds part! πŸ˜‰ Willy’s get paranoid. He he!

    We don’t have a dishwasher either, but we’ve only got the view of a boring wall and the water’s often not particularly hot. I love this post, great memories and great observations. Nice one, Vanessa. πŸ™‚

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  9. What a wonderful post. Fun to see the seasons in your back yard.

    I’ve seen lots from my window to the world while washing dishes. Much the same things. A Mexican family lives next door, and when I see the tamale cooker going on the back deck… I make sure to be around.

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    • I think I need to take some more photos throughout the year to have a good set of the four seasons.

      I’m interested to know more about what goes on when the tamale cooker comes out!

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      • It’s what comes out of the tamale cooker… real tamales from rural Mexico, with ingredients you never see in any restaurant. The kind of tamales people make for their families everyday meals. I will have to ask Maria how many she makes at a time, but a lot. They are very generous, and I make sure to share my bounty from Costco each trip.

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  10. Well, I do use the dishwasher, but I’ll bet your view also helps inspire your writer’s imagination on a regular basis. πŸ™‚ And thank heaven it was the birdsβ€”and not the childrenβ€”eating the worms!

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    • Yes, I quite often compose blog posts in my head whilst doing the dishes – this one in fact was mostly composed there while I visualised what things I had seen through the window.

      I can’t actually guarantee that no worms have been eaten by children, but I’d just rather not know about it if they were!

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  11. I don’t have a dishwasher either. The only thing a dishwasher is good for is it provides work for the people who make dishwashers.
    Loved the words describing the various scenes you watched through that window. It shows how much a single simple scene can inspire so many possibilities.

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    • Well hey, creating jobs for people isn’t a bad thing!

      Thank you, at first I was just going to write about the simple view out back, but then I realised I had seen so much more our there, and that was much more interesting!

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  12. I remember washing dishes as a kid and looking out my front window too and imagining all kinds of fun stories in my head. My kitchen doesn’t look out on anything except my living room now–and ick! I’m glad I don’t have to do dishes by hand now. But with a view to outside…it would be fun again.

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    • When I was a kid our sink was just against the wall with no window there, and that’s probably partly why I hated helping with the dishes! It definitely helps if there’s something pretty to look at and spark the imagination!

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  13. We have no space for a dishwasher and sometimes it’s a pain washing up. But, like you, I quite enjoy day-dreaming whilst washing-up. I can sometimes see the moon through the pine trees which tower over the back of our house and my husband chops wood in the small yard there so it’s quite an interesting view! Carelessly stacked dishes, however, can quickly bring me back to earth with a crash.

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    • A man chopping wood is always good to view!

      Yes, I have the carelessly stacked dishes issue at times – I’ve given up buying any decent glasses or plates because I keep smashing them on the kitchen floor!

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  14. I have a dishwasher but I too occasionally wash up just to look out of the window as I have a nice view.

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  15. I have a dishwasher and a view out my window above the sink. I don’t use my dishwasher everyday only because I don’t like to run it unless it’s full. When we bought the house and had to update the 1960s kitchen, my number one request was to put the window above the sink and to make it as large as possible. We have a view of our backyard and on toward conservation land which includes some wetlands and a small pond (it is illegal for anyone to build in that area because of the wetlands). I have seen much the same activity out my window that you describe including a fox trying to figure out how to get out of our fenced-in backyard and my dog chasing a wild turkey.

    The view out your window is lovely!

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    • It sounds like you have the best of both worlds then, a dishwasher and a view!

      What you can’t see properly from my photos is that the view continues through the space in the middle of the trees at the back over fields and hills – the area directly on the other side of my trees is similar to yours in that they aren’t allowed to build there.

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  16. I have a Zanussi ZWH6140P

    I hope this helps

    It sometimes makes a sound like an Elk gently lapping at a dewy leaf. Which can be quite relaxing.

    On the downside it does get a build up of scale and crud which can be off putting.

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  17. The dishwasher was one of our best purchases. Our garden is an overgrown mess most of the time so no view to savour whilst washing the dishes. I used to hate washing up and have no plans to change. Having a nice view would still be nice so I better get to work on my garden.

    At least you weren’t watching children eat the worms πŸ™‚

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  18. Lovely – I think my mom enjoyed doing the dishes, and my dad liked mowing the lawn, for the same reason – they didn’t have many opportunities to be alone with their thoughts! I used to “enjoy” my work commute in the much same way. All the tasks required concentration, but allowed for “down time” as well.

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    • Yes, I like mowing the lawn too sometimes, if it’s a nice sunny day. And the work commute too, I have a half hour drive each way which is perfect really, it’s long enough for me to listen to a bit of music and have a bit of space to myself, but not too long that I feel the drive is a pain. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

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  19. Way to take what many would consider a negative and turn it into a positive! Just watch out for the children eating worms.

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  20. I have a cheap dishwasher… it’s called Aaron. πŸ˜‰

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  21. I really liked this post. It made me think about what I see out my kitchen window when I’m washing the dishes. Although I didn’t think much about it until I read this. We have a dishwasher, but we rarely use it. I like washing dishes, and looking out the window at the world outside. My kitchen window faces west, and I’ve seen some of the most amazing sunsets since we’ve lived here. Thanks, Vanessa.

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    • Thank you, that was a really nice comment. It’s always a lovely compliment to know that something I wrote made a difference to someone, however small (I mean the difference is small, not that you are small!). And thank you for mentioning me in your post.

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  22. There is so much to think about while doing the dishes. I have a view of Sydney harbour from my sink (I know, spoilt huh!) and so often wash up instead of putting them in the dish washer. I think about so many things doing this very mundane things. I am right with about the view and the peace of it. I’ll think of you when I’m washing up in the morning.

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  23. I am so glad I have a dishwasher purely because I am one f those cooks who feels the need to empty the cupboards of all dishes when she’s cooking. However, we do wash several things by hand. Our sink is also at the window (many houses sinks are not here – how terrible) and our kitchen window looks out across the football field. On a Tuesday evening I get to watch tanned men running around in shorts. πŸ˜‰

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  24. One of the most beautiful view out the kitchen window I have ever seen. I don’t have a dishwasher either; I just wish I do have such a beautiful view out of my kitchen window. πŸ™‚

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  25. I love the way that you describe this – the way the view out your kitchen window seems to really be a view out on to all the things happening in your life.
    When designing our kitchen, we made sure the view was good, so that washing dishes isn’t such a chore – so we have a view of the garden and park beyond, through the fronds of a ginat tree fern.

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