That gets in the way of women novelists and artists – it’s the bloody ironing. There is satisfaction in raising a child – on the whole I rather like mine. Admittedly there have been moments when I could cheerfully have sought out the returns label, but those were fleeting (and the logistics in any case somewhat impractical). There seems to be no comparable upside to ironing. “You will never guess what the pillowcases did this week” is never going to resuscitate a flagging conversation. The tea towels (yes I do iron them) are not going to send me flowers on Mother’s Day. The massed ranks of Lachlan’s T Shirts (does he wear 3 a day????) are not, unlike their kindly owner, going to mix me a stiff gin and tonic when the circumstances demand one. It is also utterly relentless. I stood there like a Trojan (but with more clothes on as I seem to remember they were fairly scanty even on the battlefield) for a good couple of hours, saw off two washing machine loads of clothes, battled through a kingsize duvet and sheet, bested sundry pillowcases, napkins and towels – but what did I find as I wearily exited the battlefield? A new load of bedding in the machine and several caches of additional jeans and T Shirts which had been hidden down the back of (oh bitter irony!) the wooden coffer the ironed stuff lives in and a laundry basket in the bathroom that had overflown and was running into the landing like the époisses you bought then forgot at Christmas. To add insult to injury I promptly spilled something on my trousers and had to shove yet a further load on. In the face of this onslaught there was nothing to do other than beat the retreat and send off for reinforcements.
Keith and Lachlan had scooted off earlier to collect Lachlan’s new car. (Readers may recall in a previous post that Elizabeth the Landrover had been taken to bits. Well, the reassembly did not go entirely according to plan. It may not be fatal, but the specialist opinion of Dr Matthew (Lachlan’s mechanically minded friend) is needed. She has retired hurt to a convalescent slot behind the gravel garden. The case for a more conventional small car which does not shed parts on every journey became rather compelling after Elizabeth’s mishap and a Kia with One Previous Lady Owner has been secured. We are all hoping the Lady in question was not like me…………….. ). Accordingly, it was with Sergeant Lyra by my side (I have promoted her) that I set forth round the fields to Butterlaw. It was by that time blisteringly hot and steamy so we were a weary pair by the time we bellowed round the door. Reply came there none. Spotting the car boot open though, we deduced that someone must be around and sure enough we found Tom in the tractor shed, rootling for parts for a gate. He came out and we leaned companionably on two dumpy bags of aggregate on the verge (as one does). Lyra lay down and snoozed at our feet in the middle of the road. A lengthy discussion of the importance of adequate funding for public transport and the changes to working practices likely to ensure post covid ensued. At the end of all this Lyra and I turned for home and Tom undertook to pass on despatches to Sue (currently on manoeuvres). Communication lines have since been opened and Sue will be reinforcing the ironing detail from next week. Thank the lord!!!!
But this is all too humdrum a note on which to end so a round up of other recent developments follows.
I have finally completed the problematic red jumper. In the end the neck worked out fine – I just add libbed and it seemed to work. However, my pattern customisation had also left the bottom overly tight (basically I took a pattern for a cropped top which started at the waist and lengthened it – because I am not Kylie. In doing so I rather forgot that my hips are not the same width as my waist (which is true even of the blessed Kylie)). However, I nattily resolved this by knitting two mini V knecks at the ends and I now have a rather snazzy finished off split sides that look deliberate. I mention this fix in case anyone else reading falls into the same trap.
Hazelnut latte soap has been added to the repertoire. (Hazelnut milk and coffee). I find myself wandering round the supermarket these days eyeing up random foodstuffs and asking myself whether it could be added to soap. I admit now I have avocado in my sights.
The cutting garden, knowing we will be away next week, has delivered a mass of gladioli and sunflowers and I have been running around with vases like a proper country lady. The weeds are 8 foot high and the miniature nasturtiums I put in to fill the gaps in the new lavender border whilst the lavender thickened up are colossal.