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 fête. 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.