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  • Call me a homebody, but sometimes all there is left to do is take some huge deep breaths and tackle some simple and therapeutic tasks.

    Laundry and bed making are mine.

    The stripping of sheets off the beds. (And the subsequent resorting of books and soft toys that comes with that, from my children’s realm of slumber.)

    And then the methodical piles and sorting and turnover of washing machine to basket to washing line. (I thank whichever domestic goddess before me who invented the automatic washing machine. An old copper and a mangle is not my idea of therapeutic.)

    It feels gloriously suburban and safe, for me, to see pillowcases and sheets, flapping in a gully breeze, strung out in rows. It tells me that this is a house where its occupants are loved and cared for. That there is a little order in the world, here, for a moment at least.

    Towels and sheets, quilt covers and tea towels, pegged, so neat and regimental, squared neatly. The smell of sun on clean damp, mixed with rosemary as the cottons brush against the herbs...

    Like many children, I was strolled into the garden as a toddler and watched happily as my mother and my grandmother pegged out.

    I, too, have always carted my babies out with me, often in a wicker basket, and smiled down at them as they gazed at the laundry, in the breeze, enjoying the damp dappled shade that linens give.

    And now to rest, to sleep, in sheets that smell of sunshine, to surrender to some peace. There is no greater luxury, for me, than clean sheets upon the beds.
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