Yippee, the girls will be back tomorrow!
Not quite such yippee, they are bringing exactly 42kg of dirty washing with them.
Though a smidgeon of clothes washing was achieved at their first holiday stop, all that good work, brought about by constant drilling from me that they might mention to Mr X the concept of the washing machine, without him getting wind of the importance of the issue and going into reverse, they have since moved on to holiday destination number two, where there is no washing machine, and they have worn absolutely everything, they told me cheerfully.
And we are leaving the day after tomorrow for my holiday with the children. Which means that either I turn into a washing whirlwind the moment they get through the door, and resign myself to packing damp or frankly wet stuff that will smell, crease and probably do its damndest to go mouldy, or I accept the fact that I will be loading 42kgs of grubby kit onto a plane, only to have to wash it when I get on 'holiday'.
The washing frenzy is something I am not much inclined to contemplate; after 14 child-free days, I am in a strange grown-up zone where I think nothing of popping out for an impromptu drink or going to the movies on a week night and without organising a babysitter. I am not in a manic, washing-till-dawn, mode. I am laid back, I am zen.
Well, that's all a lie. I am, actually, just much too fat to rush around washing, as I have been stuffing peanuts night and day and now resemble nothing so much as one of those lovely bags of flour they used to have on Trumpton (I think) as milled by Windy Miller. There were four little ear-type protuberances, one at each corner of these sacks, which are like my limbs, standing out proud and useless from the enormous, round, peanut-rammed belly. Yum. There's no way I can get upstairs to hang out the washing, even if I could muster the energy to stuff it into the machine. Which I can't, so there.
Of course, it'll all be different when I actually get on holiday, when all my energy will come zipping back. It'll have to. The cherubs have had a fantastic time, going to sweet factories, kayaking, frolicking in Tuscan vineyards and the like. I shall have to get off my peanut-engorged arse and show them a good time if it kills me. Not that Mr X and I are in mortal combat over who gives the best holiday, or anything. Much. Actually, I really am thrilled that he's found them some great things to do, even though it sets the bar so high I can barely see over it.
Anyway, think of me on Saturday, when the nice BA check-in girl will ask me at Heathrow if I packed all the bags myself and if I have any toxic substances to declare. No, I didn't pack the offsprings' bags and, frankly, I wouldn't want to handle any of the contents even with tongs. And I certainly have no toxic substances to declare - oh, unless you count the 28 pairs of rancid socks, of course.