Now that the midwinter festivities are over, life is returning to normal. I'm sure that in many places, as at Tense Towers, 'normal' is a mixture of work and domestic chores, which seriously makes a dent in any opportunities for wildlife and cake.
Wednesday saw gales across the county, so my work was indoor admin (much safer than being up a ladder) but, before commencing that particular delight, there were some domestics to attend to. Having put a load of dirty laundry in the washing machine, I moved some clean clothes from the free-standing drying rack to the airing cupboard, then took some already aired clothes to our bedroom to be put away. Everything was going along nicely as per the usual script: play Mahjong with everyone's socks and hope that there's no odd ones left over; organise my knickers so that no two consecutive days are the same colour (too much info?); and grizzle continuously whilst rummaging through the wardrobes to find sufficient coat-hangers for trousers, blouses, shirts and tops. It's quite mindful in a way (assuming no odd socks) and is a neatly-contained task with a satisfying conclusion and no risk of any strange surprises.
For most chores at Tense Towers, Our Lass and I operate on a system based around task urgency, availability of personnel and number of snits given. In essence, if it doesn't need doing and/or no-one is around or can be bothered to do it, it doesn't get done. However, another consequence of the system is that we do tend to pitch in with most things eventually. It isn't exactly a 50/50 split and the spider protocol is constantly being re-written (I think the term for this is that the document is 'live', a fact whose irony is often lost upon the spider in question). So, there I was, with everyone's socks satisfyingly paired, in possession of sufficient coat-hangers to reduce grizzling to a minimum and with only Our Lass's knickers to put away.
Er... hang on a moment... I don't recognise this pair?! Hmmm, they aren't mine, but I'm pretty sure they're not Our Lass's either. Having checked the label, I realise I'm holding a pair of ladies knickers that aren't my wife's size, a situation which most definitely can be described as a strange surprise. I couldn't begin to remember when I last had hold of another lady's knickers. Should I phone Our Lass at work to confirm they're hers? Wait a minute, knickers are usually in sets, and this pair is very much on its own, in style and designer. Perhaps they were inadvertently picked up when we were south visiting relatives? [Carefully puts knickers down] Oh God, whose might they be? There were four generations of womanhood present for Hogmanay, and I can only rule out young V, who is all of eleven months old.
With rising panic, I try to decide whether to phone my sister-in-law instead, but running the likely conversation through my head, it doesn't seem like an option guaranteed to defuse the situation. Perhaps I should just put them away in Our Lass's knicker drawer and pretend I didn't notice? Let's face it, I'm a bloke and therefore not expected to pick up on such fine details. Hey, why am I feeling guilty? After all, I'm not the one with a new pair of knickers not bought by their partner. To be fair, we tend to purchase our own underwear, ever since the incident, a very long time ago, with the pair of knickers with four leg holes. [Blushes]
In the end, I bit the bullet and messaged Our Lass, asking about the pants puzzle and including an Embarrassed emoji. It turned out that they were a gift from said sister-in-law at New Year.
This tale actually followed hard on the heels of a recently-purchased bra where one of the shoulder straps has a half twist and is effectively a Moebius strip. If the thought of the words 'bra' and 'strip' in the same sentence makes you uncomfortable, please spare a thought for the wearer.
Someone else with their knickers in a twist this week has been Counter Terrorism Policing South East, who have produced a guide to inform police forces and government organisations about the threats from ideological extremism. In their infinite wisdom, the document's authors had included the environmental and climate campaign group Extinction Rebellion alongside violent and extremist organisations which are banned in the UK. The guide has now been pulled, saving Our Lass the dilemma of whether to report me to the authorities, as she would be obliged to do under the Prevent programme.