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unconditional bath towels

I don’t mind admitting that I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself this evening.

The blues hit me before I even left the office, with the thought of an empty house waiting for me at home. Vaguely made plans of making my way to the swimming pool had floated off I waded through treacle at work, not getting anywhere fast. So I decided to strike a clever deal with myself.  Upon leaving the office in my little mint imperial car, I would kill three birds with one stone: make the trip to Ware to drop off some leaflets for an upcoming event; pick up my phone charger which I had devastatingly left at Sara’s house – also in Ware – (clever eh?); return home via Waitrose’s in Stevenage Old Town and a hunt for some Monday night bargains. All of which I achieved (including cut price passion fruit, broccoli and minced beef) so really I should have been pleased with myself (especially when you edit out the full price posh gluten free Lizi’s Granola, £4.09 of parmigiano and £3.50’s worth of  overpriced but thoroughly delicious Taiko Vietnamese Prawn Rolls with Sweet Chilli dipping sauce; nom nom nom).

So you’d have thought I’d be in a better mood, really. Especially as food normally has the ability to lift me up again, but tonight for one reason or another it just wasn’t happening.

Then the not-especially-wise (some would say masochistic) part of me decided that it would be a fabulous idea to listen to whatever took my fancy on Spotify. I’m one of those whose ears catch the lyrics so I find myself trying to work out the soul of a song. Do you do that? If you are one of my breed, you probably already know that Spotify surfing isn’t something that’s helpful to do when you’re feel a little more than heart broken and bruised: ‘The Incidentals’ (Alicia’s Attic), ‘Kissing You’ Des-ree, ‘Runaway Train’ Jamie Scott, ‘Sweet Disposition’ Temper Trap, ‘Strong Enough’ Sheryl Crow…the banked up tears spill out and won’t stop. I feel well and truly sorry for myself.  I told you earlier didn’t I? Well, it’s true.

Ok, lets pick it up Easboid. Moping clearly isn’t going to help anyone. Especially you. Remember that song in one ear from the bus in Mexico?  That’s a good one. ‘Are you Gonna be my Girl’ Jet whilst dancing at a now perplexed looking ginger cat who now can’t work out whether to commiserate or – quite frankly – hide.

Nope it’s not working.

Just look at Ron’s scared eyes.


Back to the more mood-appropriate territory of Lisa Hannigan (‘I Don’t Know’ is such a beautiful song when you’re just falling in love and such a heartbreaker when you’ve just fallen off it) and Jose Gonzales ‘Heartbeats’ just to well and truly finish me off.  By the time I climb up the stairs to bed there are more than a few damp teary train tracks down my face and I know I look sad without anyone to tell me so or a mirror to confirm the fact (which I have already resolved to avoid).

But then, I walk into my bedroom and spy the stack of yellow towels happily balanced on my bed. Bought for me by my lovely Mum. It’s a quirk of hers which she’s indulged me with before, the last time a ‘could be forever’ relationship came to an end. She never just buys me one or two towels. She buys the whole set. Two of each: hand towels; bath towels; bath sheets; even two matching flannels:

“I know you like Sunflowers so I thought you wouldn’t object to bright yellow. They were in the sale and the other colours were pretty awful. You might not even like them but I had to get you two of each, and then I couldn’t decide between bath towels or bath sheets so I got you both. We could always take some of them back, or all of them back, or maybe you can just keep the whole lot”.

These towels are the brightest you’ve ever seen (they’d probably make your retina’s bleed if you looked at them for too long) but I love them and, despite the rain clouds gathered above my head, they make me smile. And not because I have some sort of weird towel fetish either. Just because, sitting there on the end of my bed, they perfectly sum up why my Mum is so special and why I love her so much. She has such a very down-to-earth way of looking after me: I’d never buy myself bath towels, but now I have a lovely fluffy set, the colour of sunflowers, for when all the old towels from my previous life have gone. They are very bright, very thoughtful and they are mine to wrap around my very damp back each morning. Now every time I take a shower I get to wrap myself in the unconditional love of an entire set of bath towels….plus two flannels.

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