Jaqui's Daily Blog

Lessons in Laundry and the Wall of Sunflowers

I thought you might appreciate a few updates on major events in my Life and Times. Well, maybe to describe these events as "major" is over-playing them somewhat. It's all a question of perspective.


I never was too hot on perspective, back in the day of art classes at school. Regular readers may recall that it was my dismal failure at Still Life, in which perspective is all-important, that led me to decide, regretfully, that there would be no point in pursuing an O Level in Art. Oh the vases I agonised over, the bowls of fruit I battled with! All to no avail.

Which is (mildly) interesting but beside the point. What you surely want to know is what's been happening on the washing machine front; how is the Wall of Sunflowers faring in the heat of sunny days; is Mr B bearing up under the strain of having to switch endlessly between TV channels in order to keep up with all the sporting fixtures currently on offer; and am I still in good voice, despite the fact that our Singing For a Pleasure choir isn't meeting again until September 18th.

Shall we start with the washing machine? You will be pleased to hear that Normal Laundry Operations have been resumed, thanks to the guys from Willmers of Pulborough who arrived first thing this morning. Out with the old and in with the new! Incidentally, there is rather a ring about a title which includes the place where you live or are based. Shall I in future call myself "Jaqui of Worthing"? Will it add anything to my persona? Or does it sound pretentious?

I had to leave the Marvellous Men with my Washing Machine hard at it as I had to catch a bus into town for a meeting. Would it be possible, I asked, for them to give Mr B a quick lesson in all things Laundry-Related which he could then pass on to me on my return? This they promised to do but when I arrived home Mr B was less than prepared to give me a tutorial. Fortunately an explanatory leaflet left on the work surface looks as if it will tell me all I need to know. Though if I don't know what I need to know we may just have a problem. My first task is to give the washing machine a spin without the encumbrance of any laundry. I need to work out the difference between Dispenser I, Dispenser II and Dispenser III. Why have one Dispenser when you can have three? That's what I always say. OK, I have never said it before but then I have never had three Dispensers before.

Having dispensed (sorry!) with the Dispenser Issue, I discovered to my relief that certain other instructions bordered on the obvious. "Switching off: Turn the programme selector to off." "It is the end of the programme when the indicator End is on..." Well that's alright then.

Mr B has soldiered on valiantly through the demands of keeping abreast of so many sporting fixtures. The Second Test against Australia - he was sunk in gloom. Wimbledon - the ball boys and girls did well according to my Ball-Boy of 1958, 1959 and 1960. The Open Golf - another triumph for St Andrews. He is currently watching the England Women's Cricket Team playing Australia. You can tell things are going badly when Mr B starts supporting the Fairer Sex in preference to the fellas.

There's not much to report on the singing front though I am still exercising my vocal chords in the shower every morning. However the Wall of Sunflowers is coming along famously. It would have been better had I presented each grandchild with a tender seedling with instructions on how to grow them and asked for weekly reports on progress. As an idea this presented a number of problems: (i) the oldest four grandkids are SO past all this; (ii) the Little Welsh Boys live a long way away and it is doubtful my seedlings would have survived a journey via Royal Mail: (iii) The Twinkles are too young to know what a sunflower is, let alone how to tend one; and (iv) would anyone really consider it a good idea to entrust something so small and helpless to the care of the Rampaging Rascal?

Hence my cunning plan was to allocate a plant in the Sunflower Wall to each of my ten grandchildren. I will send them updates on the progress of their plants and there may - possibly - be prizes for the tallest, the brightest and the first to flower. Because I don't have favourites, I have mentally labelled each plant in the "wall" in age order. So Katie's is the first plant and Lilia's is the last. It is as simple - and as fair - as that. I have just checked them out and at this early stage Young Sam's sunflower is a head above the rest, though it is a bit spindlier than Tala's which is the next tallest. Nevertheless it is still "early doors" and anything could happen between now and flowering.

I check with Mr B to see if he thinks there is anything odd about having a long-distance Sunflower Competition where the growers are conspicuous by their absence and all the watering, staking and general talking to the plants is carried out by one person. As in, me. Mr B is ready with one of his favourite sayings:

"Why have a dog and bark yourself?"

There's only one answer to that.




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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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