Wednesday, August 20, 2014

$30 for 20 minutes

The memory washed in with the warmth; first through my nose, down my throat to rest cozy in my lungs. My cheeks are next, as the only thing that can be done with arms full of clean washing fresh from the dryer is to bury my face into that soft, comfortable warm pile, and hug it to my chest. Let it warm my bones.

It was getting last night's tea towels out of the dryer that was my first waypoint for a standard housekeeper's day in Ullapool. First came the cleaning of toilets, wiping of windows, incessant mopping and buffing; interspersed by dashes to the laundry in the little country garden out back to switch the loads over. Most of the time it was bloody cold, because a Highland summer is a wonderful thing, but not a particularly searing one. After having my hands immersed in cold waters, grabbing all the towels out and flomping myself over a bench and them was the purest of delights. I was overly fond of them, in a weird way. After all the weird stretching and bending and scrubbing, being able to stand still and methodically fold the same square of fabric in the same fashion until the pile before you is a pile no more was peaceful. It did not involve other people's bodily fluids or uncomfortable strenuous activity. Just nice warm hands. The folding of the tea towels also indicated breakfast time. We'd fold them, have them sorted into their colours, and drop them into the kitchen on our way to the staff hut. Lovely cup of tea with the sound of the village waking up and the first ferry coming in from Stornoway.

I don't miss housekeeping. But I do miss Scotland. 

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