The Wash

Today is washing day in the Widdershins household. And as we live in a goodly sized apartment building with a small laundry room (the building isn’t of this century) if I don’t time it right, the queue can be frustrating.

Working for myself usually means that my schedule is flexible, but some days it ain’t! Today was somewhere in between.

There are unwritten laws about large tenant population/small laundry that you only learn as your total loads of wash reach double digits, usually within the first six months of moving in.

I never lived in an apartment building before I came here (to Vancouver) so my learning curve was a steep one all round. There’s the land-line phone buzzer thing-y so your guests can get past the first gatekeeper, two front door keys, plus a storage locker key, a laundry key which is also one of the front door keys, the mail-box key, six flights of stairs (there’s also an elevator) …my list goes on and on and on … but I’ll stop now.

Right. Back to the laundry. I was first in this morning and I’m usually quite prompt in scooting down to the laundry room in time to move my wet washing in to the dryers just about as soon as the washing machine is done.

So, I scooted promptly but some nefarious person had already taken my wet washing out and put hers in. I knew it was a ‘her’ because just as I turned the corner of the basement corridor to our laundry room, she was exiting at the other end.

I was indignant. I saw her in my minds eye, poised over my washing waiting, with carefully measured amount of washing detergent in one hand and her smalls in the other. (‘smalls’? – an English colloquialism – look it up) Waiting like a spider in the middle of her treacherous web, for the spin cycle to stop.

It wasn’t until quite a while later that I realised I would’ve done the same thing if I’d needed to do a load of wash and the machine was full – laundry etiquette.

My righteous indignation was due to two things. One – I had promptly got back to my wash, not like some people whose wet washing is piled up in the sink for days – not a pretty sight, or smell for that matter. And two – someone else laid their hands on MY washing!!! – Oh the horror of it all!

So I laughed at myself and made sure I was right there when the dryer cycle ended!

Isn’t ‘ownership’ a funny thing?


“Love does not cause suffering. What causes it is the sense of ownership, which is love’s opposite” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Author of The Little Prince’)

P.S. Still haven’t decided on which new theme I might try … you might’ve noticed that! 🙂 



So, now I’m Back, from Outer Space …

… Betcha you thought that song was out of your head didn’t you?

 Back from the Interior actually, where I attended a lovely heterosexual wedding, accompanied by my wonderful wife. (Some straight friends of mine proudly announced a while ago that they were going to a gay wedding, rather than just simply a wedding of folk they knew, so I thought I’d return the favour)

Events occurred there that were post-worthy, but as quite a few of the rellies* read this blog, I’ve decided to wait until the guilty partys are safely deceased (or have moved to an alternate reality) in order to protect the innocent.

A bit like that bloke who wrote, or produced/directed (can’t remember which) The King’s Speech, and waited until the Queen Mum had turned up her toes before going ahead with the project. Quite respectful I thought (if it’s a true tale of course)

*rellies is Aussie slang for relations.

So, yes, I’m back in time to visit my dentist this afternoon. I had a very unfortunate series of dentists and appointments when I was a child that left me with a rather horrific terror of them.

That slightest anesthetic-y smell is enough to send a frisson of adrenaline into my bloodstream even today. Which is ironic since I’ve been in and out of hospitals (which are veritable dens of anesthetic-y smells) over the years putting my knee back together after that motorbike accident a couple of decades ago.

However I eventually faced my fears and had gazillions of dollars worth of work done, (teeth, not knee) and can honestly say, that now I don’t dread my six-monthly checkups.

However that’s not the point of this story.

I was walking to the train station on my way to the dentist and crossed a street that had recently been dug up in order to replace our aged sewer pipes.

The street used to be paved in cobblestones that dated back to the beginnings of this city’s existence. (maybe not quite that old, but close enough) I had wondered whether the old stones would be replaced or the public works dept would just smack down a layer of asphalt and be done with it. The asphalt won. Not long after I noticed two hand-painted parallel lines running the length of the new sparkly black surface.

“Oh dear.” I said to myself. “They wouldn’t.”

But they did. Today I saw what looked like a bench saw on GMO steroids (is that a tautology or just redundant?) cut very precisely into the new surface right along the yellow guidelines. They dug up the cobblestones and replaced them with asphalt only to dig up the asphalt a week later to lay some more pipes!

I want my taxes back!

After my dentist appointment, with teeth all smooth and polished, I headed off to my local library which is housed in the same building as our community center. It’s a hub of activity, a well used and appreciated resource in our very mixed income community.

I was standing on the opposite side of the street waiting for the light to turn when I witnessed a rather extraordinary sight.

Right in front of the generously sized glass doors and floor to ceiling windows of the neighbourhood center/library, stood a young man who thanks to genetics and a lot of time in a gym possessed a very impressive set of upper body muscles.

How could I tell this? Because he quite casually took his t-shirt off, completely unaware of a gaggle of young women who stood nearby being just as completely unaware of him, of course. His dilemma came when he had to decide where to store his t-shirt about his person. He tried first the left rear pocket of his board shorts, having flexed all his muscles whilst doing so. But that wasn’t working for him so he tried tucking it into the other side, also flexing muscles. I didn’t know these things took so much flexing. I was receiving an education.

Finally he gave up and walked right past the gaggled young women and placed the shirt on a bench, perhaps for some homeless person to make good use of. How generous, I thought.

Then walking by the young women one last time he sauntered up the street as a true hero should. I was certain neither the young man or the young women noticed each other. Really.

I’m sure I could turn these observations into a writing metaphor but I think I’ll just leave them as observations … of life.

P.S. Mabel – Blogger won’t let me comment on your blog. It appears that it doesn’t approve of the fact that I blog over here at WordPress. But rest assured I do read it every day.


“That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in another”Adali Stevenson