Somewhere offstage, someone is scattering soiled handkerchiefs and smelly socks, sending them floating down through the rafters until they settle in drifts in odd corners around the house. It can't be me; I don't use hankies. It is the same somebody who hides stained spoons and crusted knives, stockpiling them behind cushions on the settee creating boobytraps for the unwary, the same some one who steals odd socks and purloins my pillowcases.
The washing machine is now doing the washing it's supposed to do, but has forgotten how to do a silent wash. It is ordinarily so silent even when spinning that the bip bop bip bop bip bop it emits to let me know it has finished comes as a surprise each time. Only now it's not so much surprise as relief - the gentle satisfied hum has become a three hour squawk, the work surface rattles, plates fall off the draining rack (must get the dishwasher fixed), the floor vibrates under foot. The 17 minute final spin cycle now requires my assistance; I need to lean my full weight across the machine to stop it from walking across the floor and blocking the back door. It is definitely no longer possible to sling a load in at bedtime and rescue it first thing in the morning.
So the laundry mountain is growing daily. And in the meantime odd bits of washing detach themselves from it, suicide sock squadrons throw themselves under the wheels of Little Fish's chair, to die painful deaths wrapped around the castors. Kamikaze knickers wrap themselves around my shoes, and remain hidden until I answer the front door, when they reveal themselves, knowing their fate will be to be kicked into the flower bed as I point out interesting clouds to hopefully unsuspecting callers. Distressed dresses lie down to die, knowing that nothing now will ever remove the rhubarb stains. And my dressing gowns have flown the nest. I have two. They aren't in the waiting to be washed pile, they aren't in the waiting to be put away pile