Sunday, 19 September 2010

In which 'The Woman in White' leads to a woman inadvertently yellow

The moral of this story is that reading, however enjoyable or elevating, should not be allowed to distract one from even the most mundane of tasks. After my initial post, I toyed with the idea of reading 'Poor Miss Finch' but decided that although an enjoyable read, it is so preposterous a tale that I would save it for another day when boredom was rife. Nonetheless, I felt a great inclination towards some work of Mr Wilkie Collins, eventually lighting on The Woman in White.

The story wove its immediate spell and I was reading while putting the laundry - a whites wash by the purest coincidence - into the washing machine, musing at the back of my mind on how charming it would have been to have a laundry maid and how altogether less charming it would have been to be a laundry maid. In my state of literary distraction, I put in with the bulk a dishcloth with which I had been cleaning up some turmeric spillages. I had made a boorani for some friends who gave us the pleasure of their company for dinner; a dish which involves rubbing turmeric and salt into slices of aubergine. The gloriously golden turmeric, I seem to recollect reading somewhere, has been used to dye clothes in the past. Its effects on my hands was to stain them yellow in a manner which rivalled Lady Macbeth's in durability and resistance to repeated ablutions, while its effect on my laundry has been to render my whites wash several interesting shades of yellow.

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