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Monday, 13 May 2019

Half way through May

How the wind worries at the still flowerless trumpet vine and tosses the May leaves of our neighbour's walnut tree. It’s become rare to see a familiar day arrayed in light from dawn, instead, day after day, morose grey driving overcast, rain and distant thunder.
Such weather's accompanyed my sense of being wrong about things. 

Small taunts and points jumped to, with over much attention. Interrupting of others – friends, guests. Lin, I slighted. We’ve been chilled. In May the last weeks I’ve lit the wood stove most evenings.
Our washing machine, hardly twenty years old, a household mechanism into which all is piled and processed, hung out to dry in long lines – a favourite garden installation – is irrevocably broken. Lin’s rebuilt the broken plastic housing of its door catch, helped by a clip on Youtube; enter make and part and click to see how the job’s done. 
But the door interlock that activates the water pump – our last hope – is inaccessible, because the rubber seal at the washer’s mouth is held by a sturdy metal ring, impervious to leverage.
Lin’s mum stopped using their old fashioned un-automatic washing machine with a mangle, even a separate spin dryer, but when Lin left home, Dorothy stopped using them. She reverted to doing all her clothes washing by hand.
“There was only her and dad. She had time. The way mum did her washing was to wash what she needed every day, unless it was raining. A few item at a time. Simple.”
“Like buying food for the day at the corner grocers and butcher, instead of loading a car once a week at a supermarket”
I have morning routines. Empty the kitchen bin outside, empty the bowl for veg, teabags and bits of paper, on the compost along with my piss pot contents and wood ash from the stove grate, make the bed, run a cloth over kitchen surfaces, ease spots of food off the cooker top with a rough edge sponge,  put away the washing left on the drainer, fill and run the washer - but that last, no more. Make a cup of tea and coffee.
Become more compassionate and less dismal. Do hand washing of our clothes, towels and table cloth. It wasn't so tricky. Squeeze and gently pummel what's to be cleaned in a sink of lukewarm water, soap in hand; scrub stains, collars, sleeves, and gussets; use cold water for a jumper. Rinse and wring and rinse again. Squeeze and drop in a plastic basin. Hang, then after a minute or so when water's dropped, wrangle the bottom edges. Not the end of the world. We've plenty of wood in the apothiki. 

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Simon Baddeley