Today was a planning and washing day. Guess who would do what? Well, you know I don’t wash (clothes that is!). It’s just not my department and does not appear anywhere on my remit, unlike cooking and driving which are high up on my list of duties. OK, cooking is a shared task, I admit, but I still think I do more than Lady Burton.

So it’s established beyond reasonable doubt that I did the planning while Mary did the washing. It was all the fault of the sunshine you see. As soon as the warming rays came through the curtains, the female genes kicked in and Mary just had to wash everything she could get her hands on. Luckily I ran away and she couldn’t get me! The main victims of this cleaning frenzy were the bedclothes and I don’t mean just the pillow-cases and sheets. The downy cover was removed too and even the double sleeping bag we use when it’s particularly cold was dragged off to the washing machines near reception.

Meanwhile I settled down to some working out where we would be when, between now and 1st February after which our location is fixed until about mid-March. I took the decision to miss out the Riviera entirely and go straight to the wee seaside resort near Toulon where one of the few all-year campsites is to be found. Unfortunately, as part of the preparations, I checked the weather forecast for the 3 sites we will be using and it didn’t make particularly great reading in truth. It would appear that the wind plays a major role in the climate of the south of France from the Camargue westwards, cooling things down markedly and becoming troublesome with its strong gusts of up to 100 kph.

Back to the washing side, where Mary had 3 machines going at the same time, one for clothes, one for towels and one for the sleeping bag. She was back and forwards umpteen times “checking” on their progress, a concept I couldn’t really get my head around. But I was gallant enough to accompany her on some of these sorties just so she had someone to speak to. We watched the clothes going round and round and realised that today this was about as thrilling as it was going to get!

With the washing done, now came the big challenge. The drying!! There was one dryer, one expensive dryer, which we used over the next 5 hours, finally getting all our clothes dry but being left with rather damp towels and sleeping bag. So you can imagine what the inside of the Magic Caravan looked like all evening: it was the archetypal Chinese Laundry! There were towels hanging everywhere and the sleeping bag was draped over the wardrobe door, leaving us with a very small spot on one of the benches for ourselves.

There was nothing else for it but to watch TV. Luckily we found a new series of “Silent Witness” one of the very few things we follow back at home, so that was an oasis of entertainment in a not very entertaining day. We watched “Question Time” in bed but I can’t remember seeing the end of it. Did I switch off the telly or did Mary? Clearly we were exhausted after such a rollercoaster of thrills today!

Tomorrow I hope to be able to write something a bit more interesting. Oh, there’s a pigeon! Mary, quick!

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