Wednesday 27 January 2021

Ah. There you are. Got you.

Tug, bundle, scoop up and in. 

"Hmm. Efficiently done. Nicely done," I mused. 

I reached for the washing liquid, gave the product drawer a jaunty hip bump, leant down to close the machine door and pressed 'start.' Hublot, porthole ... washing machine door. And with a nod and another self-reflective "hmm,'' I listened to the first whooshes, signalling the arrival of the water in the cavity. 

So much more romantic to do the washing in French, I thought, and watched as my bed linen swirled out to sea.

I turned to go upstairs, scrabbling around on the bench for my phone.

Odd. Not there. 

Not on my bedside table. Not .... oh, no. Had I inadvertently sent it on a little watery escape?

I ran back to the laundry and willed the machine to return immediately to port. Obligingly, it began its slow twenty-five point, child-lock-release turn, before spewing out its heavy, drenched contents into the basket at my feet. No red phone case jumped into view. Had it already joined forces with the odd socks to play hide-and-seek in the corners of the fitted sheet? Nope. Mmm. Be more methodical, Catherine. Take everything out ... piece ... by .... dripping piece. Rien. Not there. Good, good.

I called for my husband to ring me. 

"Not being lazy. Looking for my phone," I hastened to yell back.

"Won't it still be on silent from the night?"

Of course. Mmm. 'Silent Night. Holy Night,' I hummed as I rifled through the random stacks of motivation clutter on my desk.

Not there. 

Not under the bed.

'All is calm. All is bright.' I waved my conductor's baton at the image in the bedroom mirror.

Calm. Bright ... bright red ... Ah. Got you. There you are. On the floor. Peeking out from under the quilt, courtesy of my magician-like removal of the sheets from the bed, no doubt.

Tout est bien qui finit bien. All's well that ends well. 

And that indeed is my most fervent wish for you all. To be well. In France, the declaration of good wishes in the New Year is real. It is sincere. Necessary. And it must be done before the end of January. Timewise, I am just sneaking in, albeit a bit hesitantly after the year that we have just had, to send my good, best wishes to you. 

Purchase page for 'But you are in France, Madame' and 'Weaving a French Life' here

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