Life in a Washing Machine

Sometimes I think my life is like living inside a washing machine. From the languid tumble of a slow, soothing rinse, cushioned by layers of soft sheets, to the hectic speed of a hard, fast spin.

doing-school.jpgMy slow and languid days have been spent teaching Hat (we relocated to the garden when it got too hot to be inside, and she sat beneath the shade of a spreading mango tree to write a story).

bouganvillea-blooms.jpgLazy afternoons were spent observing with forced patience the sloth like growth of grass and the gentle unfurling of a bouvanvillea bloom,

or following lizards around the house marvelling at their hues – from dull greys and browns to brilliant scarlet and flamboyantly camp purple.

 chasing-lizards.jpg         of-brilliant-coloured-hues.jpg

Hat and I have embarked on an extracurricular art project: we are making a bead curtain, the selection of just the right coloured bead makes for astonishgly good therapy.  Therapy I wish I could offer the lizards which are being tormented mercilessly by cruel, beautiful Moshi who tosses them about with her paws and growls menacingly to try to stir them into more interesting action from their playing dead paralysis.


We have been alone, Hat and I, this week. But not lonely. She has me and I, thank God, have her. She keeps me busy so that I am distracted from the permanent dull ache at her siblings’ absence, from the lack of any adult company. Little girls need entertainment, feeding, stimulation. Mine needs school. And she needs, after her bath, to slather herself in mozquito repellent.

Which one do you want to use, I ask her, as she clambers into her pajamas, the spray or the gel?

The spray, she announces confidently, because it is more affectionate.

She means effective. And she makes me laugh.

The fast spin button was hit follwoing a fraudulent attempt to steal funds from our bank account. The speed exacerbated as I was obliged to hang on for a distant bank advisor, frustration mounting in direct proportion to my telephone bill.

And faster still when I realised three commissions were outstanding and all needed filing before the end of the week when I will on the road again and attention focussed on being briefly reunited with my children, not editing stories for newspapers. The midnight oil was burned. And when it ran too low for light, I set my alarm for four in the morning and worked with strong coffee at my side and Hat still fast asleep.

A brief lull today before the pace picks up at dawn tomorrow when Hat and I will pile back into the car and trek northwards for 500 miles towards evenings and playdates with friends, a pedicure, a dentist appointment, several capuccinos and – very best of all – a weekend with my big ones, to celebrate my son’s 16th birthday.

Where have all the years gone?

Down the drain?

No. Into the murkey reservoir of memories in my mind where some have frayed and faded with age and grown a little grey, but where others are still bright Ariel white for their clarity. As if just yesterday – like the day my boy was born, all 8lb7oz of him, at 7.50 in the morning, shrieking his cross little head off.

3 Responses to “Life in a Washing Machine”

  1. minx Says:

    Damn nuisance these kids. You turn your back for a second and they are suddenly hairy and hormonal.

  2. Kathleen Says:

    Eloquent as always. I enjoy your writing.

  3. Roberta Says:

    Beautiful cat but the lizards! Yikes!

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