Monday, May 10, 2010

Washing up

A couple of weeks ago (where does the time go?) I blogged about being a waiter and washer-upper at weekend functions. This past weekend repeated the experience in a minor key: a birthday party at my brother's, where I found myself sporadically washing up cutlery while chatting to an EU lobbyist and a doctoral student working on Plotinus (a much less labour-intensive form of service); followed on Sunday by a couple of hours of tending bar with the archery guild during a community event.

My better half also spent International Mothers' Day tending bar, at her school fĂȘte. Luckily, the girls were at youth group and our youngest was at a birthday party, leaving only the oldest "home alone" (putatively studying Latin relative pronouns).

In the mean time, the joys of washing up by hand have become a daily delight. Our dishwasher, over ten years old, has given up the ghost (or more accurately, the element). We're waiting, with no sense of optimism, to hear whether a replacement part is available. By coincidence (so many coincidences lately have been happy, assuming they are coincidences at all), this was a topic of conversation just over a week ago, when I was visiting a little English monastery - almost more of a hermitage, in effect - in Douai, France. The monks there had considered seeking to obtain a dishwasher, but had decided against it, not only because of the expense, but also because "washing up is something we can do together" (while loading a dishwasher is really something you can only do in turns).

So now if you'll excuse me, I have some washing up to do.


Seb said...

I have a dishwasher and tend not to use it much at all, though admittedly I do not have 4 children to take care of.

Roma said...

I find your writing light and humorous and really enjoy reading it. I have an intrigue in Monastries at the moment, and was wondering if this French one you attended is worth researching?

p.s You write so effortlessly and professionally ,i was wondering if you could spare the time to have a quick peek at my blog i've just set up and comment on what you think. If you love it/detest it, please just say- I value your opinion!

Paul said...

Thank you Roma, it's very kind of you to say so.

Your own blog is very entertaining (but then I travel by bus quite a lot).

Solesmes, the monastery in France, is certainly worth looking into if you're interested in monasteries.

Good luck with the blogging.

Paul said...

Or hang on - is it Maison St Benoit that you meant? (Did I ever actually publish the blog post about Solesmes?)

Either way - very different though they are, they are both interesting places.

Pretty Pauline said...

No dishwasher here, and no plans to get one. Same with a dryer. I loved finding your blog and hope to return to read more of your adventures and discoveries!