Laundry Day

Rain on a Monday makes you cross. In fact the whole rainy day business is rather intolerable unless it is November and the deluge doesn't threaten to drown the curly fronds of your pea shoots or the line full of sun-sprinkled laundry a Monday morning in May should guarantee.

The whole house sways along with Polly Scattergood. She is a melancholy and elfin but the lyrical skip of her music suits the rhythm of your day. Contentment and lethargy fighting a hormone fuelled duel in your veins. You eat cinnamon topped french toast and watch virtue float out the open window. You wipe up the mysterious wet patch on the kitchen floor for the third time in an hour and resolve to stay and watch it re-form but are all too quickly distracted by noticing that the cover of the 1906 Encyclopedia of Needlework you found on Saturday is stitched on upside down.

The laundry room is filled with tomato plants, the scent of them sharp as you open the door. You rub the leaves between your fingers then load the tumble dryer, dripping lavender oil on to a handkerchief you will lay on top of the wet laundry so it's fragrance will diffuse while the dryer chucks its self about in clanky abandonment. This dryer that is as old as the hills. This laundry room doing double duty as a greenhouse. You pick out another earwig from a strawberry plant and marvel at your bravery. You pull on your spotty wellies and wander around the yard in the rain. The peg bag is full of water. You are the worst housekeeper you know.

And already the morning is over. The radiators laden with wet clothes. The windows steamy and cosy. The rain tapping softly through the hole in the roof. You button wet shirts on to oil-cloth covered hangers and hang them from the shower rail. You roll diddy socks together and re-make the bed's, tucking a tiny cartoon wrapped pillow gift under the quilt of our little boy's bed because yet again he isn't well: the glands on the left side of his face swollen to elephant man degree and yet insistent on spending the morning in school regardless. You tell yourself it isn't catching. It isn't mumps. It's the remnants of an ear infection. A little body pumping good health between his congested head and the little bone in his foot that won't mend. He will tell you when he isn't OK. You will read it in his gluey little eye's.

You sit down with your sewing box and now, silence. You catch a falling hem and sip a cup of hot water, the phone jammed between your ear and your shoulder as you listen to a friend regale stories of a life well lived. You watch a blur of postman's orange appear at the door and take the exciting little parcel he proffers. Your fingers smell of onions and it will not go away. You pull on your coat still wet from the morning's monsoon and steel yourself for another shower. Perhaps you should buy an umbrella.

You will bring your little boy home and there will be scrambly eggs and warm tea. Clothes hot under the iron and the kind of domestic running commentary only a five year old can provide.

Rain on Monday's make you cross. But some days it really doesn't matter.

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