You know you're back from holiday when you've scaled Mount Bright, only to find that Peak Dark, The White Ranges, and The Light Alps are spread out in front of you like a panorama, and the phrase 'hours to go before we sleep' keeps rattling round your mind...
Yes, your used clothes have exploded out of your suitcases like ectoplasm from a Ghostbuster's villain. The washing marathon following any holiday of more than a few hours has begun.
Your bedroom looks like a chinese laundry, and the washing basket has disappeared completely behind piles of clothes, probably not to be seen again until some time at the end of next Tuesday. You don't need to draw the curtains when you go to bed since no-one can see in past the foothills and in any case, you can't reach them without a pick-axe and breathing equipment.
Sighing heavily as you despatch a team of sherpas to carry yet another load to the washing machine, you do complicated mental arithmetic to work out how much more you can fit on the airer, whether tomorrow's weather will be good enough to dry anything outside (this is England, and it's April. You're dreaming), and wonder if leaving the tumble dryer going all night will mean that you are environmentally beyond the pale. You decide you don't care as you realise - and curse - the fact that you foolishly allowed the laundry to build up even before you left for your trip, and vow never to let it happen again.
Until next weekend, anyway, when you get back from your visit with your parents.
And let's not even talk about the handwashing. Those pretty summer dresses that won't be needed here until quite possibly July. Or at least, not outside of the catch-all 'jeans and dress combo' beloved of mums desperately trying to jazz up their normal jeans and t-shirt combo. So they will sit sadly and guilt-makingly at the bottom of the laundry hamper until I can bring myself to deal with them. Which will probably not be until the weather does actually warm up, and by the time I then get round to washing them, drying them (not in the tumble dryer, of course - that would be far too easy!), and then ironing them, it will have cooled down again.
Marilyn Moore on the Kings Road, I love you. But please; more machine-washable stuff?