Jaqui's Daily Blog

In Which I Get By With A Little Help From A Friend


Problems are there to be solved. Somehow. Often with a Little Bit of Help From A Friend.

My immediate problem is Laundry-Related. Caused by the significant lack of a working washing machine in our kitchen. Regular readers will remember that the Man From Siemens-Neff-Bosch has declared my seventeen year old machine officially defunct. It is a sad ending for something which has served me so loyally and well over so many years. Even if, as Mr B points out, I have only ever used two wash programmes and two spin programmes out of the many on offer.

It's the same with cooking. Virtually every dish I make is cooked at precisely 180 degrees. This may possibly go some way to explain the varied results I achieve when cooking. My dirty dishes are always washed on the Eco cycle, not because I am particularly "green" by nature but because it was the first cycle I used and I have stuck with it. Likewise with the tumble dryer. I suppose you could charitably describe me as A Creature of Habit.

We have ordered a new washing machine which has multiple settings for every Laundry Related Activity though it is unlikely, I reckon, that I will ignore the habit of a lifetime and indulge in some experimentation. This time next Tuesday I shall be back in charge of a washing machine. In the meantime the washing is piling up and Mr B is getting Short on Shirts. I throw myself on my good friend Delia's tender mercies.

Delia (she of the delicious biscuits served up half way through our fortnightly cribbage sessions) is one of Life's Kindly Souls. Of course she will be happy to place her washing machine at my disposal, she said immediately when I tentatively broached the subject. So this morning I packed up two shopping bags, one containing a "light" wash and one a "dark" wash. I arrived on her doorstep looking like the proverbial bag lady.

In Delia's kitchen, a washing machine. The Very Thing I Was Looking For. Together we loaded the light wash and then Delia asked the question I was dreading: "What programme do you want?" I looked at the dial on the front of her washing machine but, despite being of the same make as mine, it wasn't providing me with any clues. My newly-deceased washing machine is permanently set to a particular wash cycle but I couldn't begin to remember what that was. After a nano-second of thought, I hit upon the perfect response: "Which programme do you use?" I asked. The inference being, of course, that Delia would understand the workings of her washing machine far more thoroughly than me. I think I got away with it. Would I, she queried, use the same programme for the dark wash? I nodded assent though it did occur to me that it might have been a trick question.

While at Delia's I was able to check the progress of her sunflower plant, one of those I had given out to members of our Nomination Whist Group. Delia's sunflower is doing splendidly. It isn't quite as large as those which I have planted out in giant pots for this year's competition between Mr B and me (he is winning at the moment: I think it is because he has cunningly placed his pot directly under a hanging basket so that it receives extra watering.) However it is considerably taller than any of the plants in my Wall of Sunflowers. Delia tells me that she takes a photo of her sunflower every fortnight. This seems to me an admirable routine and one which I shall adopt myself forthwith.

Incidentally, I have decided that every one of the plants in my Sunflower Wall will "belong" to one of my Truly Tremendous Ten grandchildren. This way they will have all the fun of competing without having to worry about watering. Even if they are not particularly bothered about the whole Sunflower Growing Exercise. Or, in the case of The Twinkles, too young to know what a sunflower is, let alone how to grow one.


There is one exception and that is the sunflower at the very end of the row which Pat, another member of the Nomination Whist group, has chosen as her own. You may remember that poor Pat could not grow a sunflower plant at home because her block of flats is covered with scaffolding, making entry to the balcony impossible. I gave her a completely free choice of the whole wall and she chose the little plant on the end whose slow growth compared with that of its peers is almost certainly directly related to my difficulties in getting the hosepipe to stretch that far. I now feel doubly responsible for Pat's sunflower to the extent of resorting to a watering can.

Tomorrow morning I will collect my clean washing. Delia said she would pin it all out on the Whirligig this afternoon so that it will be not only clean but dry, too, when I come to reclaim possession. This is definitely Over and Above the Call of Duty and I am doubly, nay trebly, grateful.

Everybody should have a friend like Delia.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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