The sun blazes down, the kind of weather that brings out knotted handkerchiefs, deck chairs and the race to the ice cream van. The air is full of birdsong, bees and the distance swearing from the kitchen door. Bloody tumble dryer. With those three words our washer dryer is consigned to the scrap heap. For seven years we have stored a replacement top for it, waiting for the moment when we finished the kitchen and now the washer dryer is finished before the kitchen. Bloody tumble dryer. Maybe the washer part will still work! Maybe! Maybe! Except that this washer dryer probably uses the same heating coils to warm the water too. Bloody washer dryer. The sun is still shining, the washing line still exists and the birds still sing, swoop down and shit. All is right with the world, and there are paths that take us away from our problems, take us up into the orchard and away to something more simpler, something more family orientated that doesn't involve sitting indoors on the computer looking at a new washer dryer.
We have a hobo stove, we have wood, we have a cook out and to hell with smoke smelling clothes. It's time for onions, hotdogs and burgers.
There is wind too, did we mention that? It whips the wet clothes on the line in a series of distance whip snaps that would knock out any trespasser in away that only Bruce Lee could. Ha-yaaaa! There goes some white shirts, there goes someone just popping around for a cup of tea, we'll find them in the cottage garden borders later still clutching a lupin. Beyond the wind, the broken tumble dryer there is homemade bread, homegrown salad doused with a mustard dressing. Before finding the unconscious body in the cottage garden there is cold beer in a bucket.
There are hotdogs, bad for you, full of salt and just part of the whole camp out journey. The kind of things snaffled down by Little D with thumbs up from the undergrowth (is it nice? Thumbs up), a small hat on a small boy bobbing behind the elderberry tree, collecting great finds from the garden, which today, mouth still crammed full of hotdog are: a small frog (ewwww!), a snail (look, Daddy), a decapitated bluebell (for Mummy), grass (they're fishing rods), several stones (can I throw them?). Which he does. Through the hedge and hits the coldframe (it's not broken, Daddy, it just has a mark on it). Another hotdog and the small boy in the small hat, with mouth full and hands brimming with stones vanishes into the grass to giggle at next door's chicken (they seem to be down to one chicken again!). Hotdogs and busy hands = internal monologue exposed to the elements. His words are whipped away over gardens.
The sun is high, necks are starting to burn even through the sun block. The kelly kettle is out and water is boiled, not for tea or coffee, just so we can wash up as we all go back to doing work on the garden. There are walls to be built, orchard to be mown and a small boy in a small hat to chase frogs out of the grass before they fall foul of the mower.
The sun will wane, we will all trudge down the hill at the day becomes evening, evening becomes night and the kitchen door will close and there will be final words to share: bloody washer dryer.