Karmic laundry day at Auntie’s house

My aunt likes to burn incense in her house because she thinks it smells good. Like me, my mother, or much anyone else in my little clan of relatives she certainly has no time to indulge in the concept of the supernatural. But her house has this slight exotic quality which is best underlined by the smell of burning incense.

She also has the washing machine that we use. Once weekly, Mark or I pack every scrap of dirty cloth, clothes, and linen and drive over to her house for a few hours to do the laundry. It is a point of contact, where we get to see her and she can have a chat with us, and for that reason none of us have followed through on the idea that maybe we should get a washing machine of our own.

Auntie’s house is big enough to allow her to stick the washing machine down in some corner of the house where it’s not in the way, but she still keeps it in the kitchen like most English people I know. That’s why these laundry visits means piles of clean or dirty laundry on her kitchen table and mugs of tea or coffee or wine balanced on anything else which has a surface.

Since we were going over to grill dead animal parts with Auntie today, we decided to bring the laundry, and get two things done at the same time. After confirming that there wouldn’t be lots of people who maybe shouldn’t have to see our dirty underwear in the middle of their biscuits and their cake, we brought the bags and some wine and some cuts we’d bought for this.

The high point of the evening was, of course, when someone (I won’t say who) spilled red wine over our fresh white linen. We had to put it back in the machine again, of course, and it meant that we had to stay for two hours longer. Maybe it was the incense? Maybe it was karma? Maybe it was the fat little decorative Buddha Auntie keeps who decided to intervene.

But, to the smell of burning incense and to the taste of good wine, and to the sound of Auntie’s chatter – which she is very good at – we had a lovely evening of laundry. I’m still full, even though it’s one am and we came home hours ago.

Sloshed, basted, and tanned

It has been a very hot day today again, and I have complained and whined about it, until I spoke to my dad who said they had 38 C in Sweden. Then my whining didn’t seem so proper any more.

The benefit of hot day is of course that everyone sheds clothes. While we stayed in the back garden, we could avoid the sight of our less photogenic neighbours doing so, and could limit our exposure to naked male skin to that which was appealing to the eye.

Writing that I feel so shallow and terrible and awful. Everyone is beautiful, right? Well, maybe. I’ll just jump over this part where I leered at everyone like a hormonal teenage male sex maniac. I’ll just conclude that I had nice decoration in my immediate field of view for a few hours, and that was another reason not to complain about the heat because removing the heat would also remove the view. Okay okay, I’ll skip the creepy leering and tell you what I’ve done today

This is an amazingly simple thing to do. I have done absolutely nothing except to lie in the shade, breathe heavily (from the heat, and not from being a generally very creepy and strange person!). I have even finished a book today, and as I was well and properly oiled I have basted myself to a nice tan.

We have also learned that direct sunlight is not very healthy for our iPads because Mark has followed the Commonwealth games while spread out on a blanket in the sun with me. He had to put it inside, or it would be ruined, and when he had to do that he abandoned me outside and watched the telly inside instead.

To celebrate our weekend of idleness, we corked up a nice Spanish wine and Mark made a simple Paella for dinner. So, now I’m sloshed, basted, and tanned here for your entertainment. Tomorrow we’re going over to Auntie’s for a barbecue which will probably last all day.