‘Climbing every laundry mountain’ – Michael James rises triumphant!

April 21, 2020

18.51pm Tuesday 14 April 2020.

What a strange day it is turning out to be  Strange good not strange bad.  I had no hopes, no expectations for my day.  I lay in bed with my 2nd cuppa of the morning.  The first was at 8.30am.  I went back to sleep waking at 12.30pm.  I got out had a pee and made my 2nd cuppa.  I looked out of the window before making the decision about a walk today.  The clouds clearly showed the wind was in the north east.  Far too chilly for a delicate flower like me to venture out.  Home then.  If home then what do I do?  All those unfolded T-shirts, socks, knickers and the whites from last week.  UGH! I could no longer ignore them.  Well I’m not going out so I should at least try to make a start.  First things first though.  My old friend prevarication reared his beautiful tantalising head.  Porridge and another cuppa first.

I sat eating the porridge looking over at the spot where by now Mrs Gimpy Gull should be sitting on some eggs.  Nothing.  I am beginning to get a little concerned.  I will have to look up dates and things for gulls nesting and incubating.  I could well be worrying unnecessarily but then again not

A bag of unwashed laundry was calling my name.  What the hell.  Then I realised that if I was going to venture out perhaps I should also take the rubbish down to the bin room.   OK that is it.  Rubbish and then laundry.  This time however due to Carol B’s exhortations I use a scarf as a temp face mask whilst in the lift.  It possibly is the most dangerous spot for me in the block.

I venture out and complete both tasks.  No problems.  I try getting onto  Waitrose delivery list yet again.  No luck.  But a potential solution.  There was a letter dangling from the letter box.  From my doctor no less confirming in writing that I am a grumpy old git with special medical needs. Whoopee!  At long last there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.  In my happiness I send a text to Jose asking if he could do some shopping for me.  He agrees and I send him a list.  The day has really brightened up and I’ve not even left home.


A quick visit to see what if any emails are lurking.  An email from my lovely Matin in Amsterdam.  Saying she has read a little of the book but events have overtaken their lives as well as our own. Also her english reading is a tad rusty and she is having difficulty with parts.  Despite this she loves what she has read so far and can see me there in nearly every line.  What a fab boost to my day not to mention the tired bedraggled old ego.  With the washing in I tackle the mountain of unfolded clothes.  I work my way through until the alarm on my mobile tells me it is time to put the washing into the driers.  Heavily veiled I take the lift to the ground floor laundry room.  I separate the T-shirts from the jogging bottoms, sox and knickers which I bung into the dryer.

I bring the wet T-shirts up and hang them from the bedroom door lintel. They should dry off naturally there over the next week or so.  I notice it has gone 4.30pm.  Time for breakfast then.  Three sausages and the last of the cauliflower cheese zapped in the microwave.  I’m on my third or fourth mouthful and the landline rings.  Oh what a wonderful, fantastic, lovely surprise.  It was Fiona Leggert nee Wallis.  The magnificent ward sister from the Almoth -Wright HIV/AIDS ward at St Mary’s Praed St Paddington.  I worked under her guidance as a volunteer hospital visitor for Body Positive.  We worked together for eight or nine years sharing grief and joy in almost equal measure.  She was calling to see how I was under the current restrictions.  What a wonderful woman.  She is my 2nd best favourite woman in the world following closely on Matins heels.

We talked for over an hour.  Comparing past experience with HIV/AIDS and today’s virus.  In between the horrors we managed to laugh and even giggle. We had to say goodbye when the timer rang again telling me my clothes were dry now.  I feel wonderfully uplifted.  She and Matin on the same day.  What more could I ask for.  Well there were a few little surprises left.  Jose sent a text saying he was leaving Morrisons with my shopping and would be here in 10 minutes.  He arrived with carrier bags.  Using my ‘old ladies fingers’ I dropped the envelope into his bag.  He waved and blew a kiss as the lift doors closed.

I came in put everything away and decided to call Art.  I caught him in the queue at Lidl buying my gin.  I asked if he would take my doctors note into Waitrose with my Waitrose card and inform them I am a bona fide elderly notorious queen who has needs.  Namely can they now use this information to allow me access to a delivery slot?  What a spectacularly fabulous day it turned out to be.  I should stay in more often.