“Who left the kittens back in?, they’re not allowed in. Their mammy needs a break.” On my way to hang out the washing, also known as a break from the incessant fighting that Saturday morning brings, I step over one, two, three little kittens, then over their mother who is looking for food. At the back door, I step over a very furry, lazy collie dog. I know, it sounds mean but I’m carrying a large basket of washing and have a kitten hanging off my trousers and the lout will not get off the warm step so that I can get out. I’m almost out of the treacherous situation when I hear the echo of ‘hungry, hungry, hungry’ from cats and children and spy a farmer working in the field who’s giving me the would-murder-a-cup-of-tea look. I place my kitten back into the madness, move the collie, wave hello to the farmer and place my basket down.
Into the wind, I shake each trouser, underpants, tee-shirt, mismatched sock and take my time, methodically, placing each item on the washing line. There is peace at the washing line. The Atlantic breeze promises to dry this load while the menacing cloud overhead thinks about raining on my washing parade. I feel grass tickle my toes, as I reach from washing to peg to line. I could hang out washing all day. Often, I have to. A rotation of young boy dirty clothes, farming overalls or duds as they re known here, towels, sheets, loads.
But all good things, alas, must come to an end as I pick up my empty basket and breathe in deeply before my next foray into all too well known territory. Back into kittens, roaring, fighting, forgiving, shouting and kettle boiling. That’s Saturday, I think as I pour myself a coffee, open my computer and let them all play on.