I surfaced from multiple conflicting deadlines long enough to prepare for the First Official Houseguest and noticed that I'm not responsible enough to own white towels.
These goods were purchased from Heal's when I moved in to the flat last September. I had never before owned quality towelling and couldn't have known what to expect, but I did anticipate they would remain dazzling and fluffy longer than five months. Especially since I was away for two of those months.
They are not tattered or dirty, they are just. . . vaguely not quite white.
How do people manage? Stateside friends reply "bleach" but I have never found the stuff here in the UK. Or at least, the stores I frequent stock only the colour safe powders, not the vats of industrial toxins so common in my homeland.
And if I could find pure liquid bleach I probably wouldn't use it, as my washing machine is one of those tiny all-in-one units located not very efficiently in the kitchen. The smell of a bleach cycle would be awful - and possibly dangerous. Can you mix bleach and integrated dryers? I don't think I want to know.
What a conundrum.
The fact that I am indulging in these thoughts is probably the most disturbing thing of all, as I have built my adult life on the premise that I do not cook or clean or care.
Why then have I become infested with concerns domestic?
Largely because this home is my own; it doesn't belong to anyone else, and so, like my boat, or the PDX office, it is a strictly controlled environment.
I lack all housewifely skills and aspirations but I am authentically obsessive compulsive. What is mine is not only mine, it is tidy. Twenty years of slovenly misery has been vanquished!
My house is clean, and will remain clean, no matter what the other residents think or feel or desire.