“Lovely morning,” said the woman filling up two rows on the clothesline beside my six at the park where we were parked up for a couple of days. Her husband smiled a hello beside her.
Back at the bus, my lovely wife was editing photos so today it was up to me to make the idle chit-chat while hanging out our washing.
Now I don’t want to give the impression I’m some sort of housework hero. I’m not. But neither is Tracey really.
Our MO is whoever has the least on their plate at the moment we run out of undies or spoons needs to pull their finger out and do whatever needs doing. Apparently watching Youtube videos doesn’t count for anything so it was up to me today.
“Where are you guys from?” I asked the couple, using a standard enquiry in these social situations.
Where are you from? Where are you going? How long have you been on the road? Are you staying here for long? Any of these will kickstart a conversation and keep strangers happily nattering for hours – certainly long enough to hang out a large basket of washing.
These two campers were from a little way down the road and were simply enjoying a relaxing week in Lakes Entrance. They enquired after us and the conversation flitted to how many kids we have with us, our complete failure at the rhythm method and the sorts of adventures we’d taken them on since leaving our hometown of Gympie.
It genuinely was a lovely morning, which was why we were about to take the kids to a beach, and they really were nice people to pass some time with.
The couple finished their chores and wandered back to their caravan long before my basket was half empty.
I plodded on happily enough with my thoughts. and began to really enjoy the smell of these freshly washed clothes.
Only by the time I’d reached the bottom of the basket I began to notice the odd item lacking any hint of the citrus I’d been enjoying, and the occasional sock was giving off a smell more closely associated with clothes in need of a wash. Clearly this was the first load we’d done sometime yesterday and it maybe should have been hung out before now.
Now I was doing the old sniff test to see if things I was hanging still had a hint of that lemony scent or if they needed another run through the machine. I began to make a pile of ‘I wouldn’t wear that’ to take back to the bus.
It was around this time I was joined by another wanderer. A woman I’d seen walking about with her husband and daughter the day before.
“Hello,” I smiled as I pulled out another item to check and hang up. “Are you guys staying here for long?”
Usually, as I say, this is a conversation starter.
Not so much this time.
What I got instead of any sort of answer was stunned silence and, when I glanced over, the sort of standoffish vibe I used to see a lot of when I attempted to speak to girls in bars.
She was staring worriedly at the item in my hand which I was holding up to my face.
To be fair to this woman, I wouldn’t be keen to make light conversation with someone as they were sniffing their wife’s undies either.
Raising a family on little more than laughs
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