“Accept it,” says the LTLP. “At some point, you are going to have to do some washing up.”

Her empty threats do not scare me. I sip from my plastic cup, defiantly.

We are cosy in our new little cottage. It has comfy rooms, a nice narrow staircase, working central heating and a general aura of homeliness. But there is no space in the kitchen for a dishwasher. We are having to wash everything manually with washing up liquid and a bowl, like they do in the third world.

“Mrs Short Tony said we could use their dishwasher,” I explain. “Once we get a reasonable pile of stuff I’ll box it up and drive over there.”

Fortunately we have not yet managed to procure a cooker. It is all very well having hot food etc., but it tends to stick to the plates a bit more and require saucepans, and it is the time of year when it is nice to have salads. Having central heating is still a wondrous new novelty for me, and I am sure that I can re-heat frozen things on the radiators if needs be.

“I’ll have my cheesecake now,” she orders.

I fetch her dinner, thoughtfully. As regular readers know, I do try my best to be what the style commentators call ‘a new man’ by cooking, ironing, organising cleaners etc., but when it comes to washing up, I’d rather dress up as a woman and attend a ‘Mike and the Mechanics’ gig with Jack Straw. It is something to do with the dirty greasy water that repels me.

“Here you go,” I offer. “Can I have the plate after you?”

The plan is that we shall be living here for six months. I have bought some Fairy liquid but do not wish to get further than half way down the bottle.

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