Dad had gone to a Show today and Mum was muttering to herself (and me) whilst going about her chores.
"You see Gordon - I knew it was sailing close to the wind - but I added just one more eensy weensy towel to the washing line - and then it snapped. The already heavily laden soaking wet whirlygig tumbled majestically onto the lawn, the pegs still gripping resolutely on to four days' worth of washing. You know the way of things, Gordon. Just one more turn with the screwdriver and the wall cracks."
I think I knew. And admittedly we have had a lot of rain this week, but I hadn't realised we have had so much that Mum has to take to the garden at Wattlebury Cottage in a boat.
Mum threw us a bit of left over melon and prised a wedge into Ellen's cage. "I wonder why the last straw broke the camel's back?"
I didn't know.
"An old Arabic saying, I wouldn't mind, Gordon. You know there is a variation on this - 'the melon that broke the monkey's back'."
I eyed the thrown offering most suspiciously. Not that we actually have any monkeys, I'm somewhat relieved to say. Mum pottered off to feed Mickey. It is very wet everywhere and we could hear her sloshing through the puddles and squelching on the leaves until it fell silent. And then sure enough the sloshing and sliding got louder again as she returned once more.
"Fifteen white pigeons! And the Ash and Beech are fast losing their leaves. The Oak is still hanging on to hers though."
More than can be said for the washing line! Gordon xxx