In Greek mythology Sisyphus or Sisyphos was the king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished for his self-aggrandising craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down every time it neared the top, repeating this action for eternity. Through the classical influence on modern culture, tasks that are both laborious and futile are therefore described as Sisyphean.
Whether I was, or am, self-aggrandising, or crafty, or deceitful I do not know. I certainly hope that I am not because to know that you were in the same league as the current President of the United States, or the Prime Minister of the UK would be a terrible knowledge – but then, I suppose if you really were in that league, you really would be like that, and you would feel quite pleased with yourself for getting there.
I digress as usual.
But I must have accumulated a lot of less awful wrongs in my lifetime and my eternal punishment set by the gods is that of the dishwasher. Every day the saucepans and plates and cutlery multiply themselves, and if left, the multiplication continues, and I am not sure that it isn’t at the start of some sort of exponential function so that if left for, say, a week, the whole kitchen would be crammed from floor to ceiling with dirty housewares.
So, most days, (sometimes alas, I do miss a day to my discredit), and sometimes when things are bad, twice a day, I set about the great dishwasher loading process. When we set up home here we thought a small dishwasher would be enough for two Oldies, and in any case, there was not room for a standard sized model. So although it swallows plates and dishes quite well, it is less capacious for pots and pans. Fortunately, these can often be cleaned perfectly well in the sink using elbow grease. Nevertheless, it all takes time, and a great deal of learning which things fit best where. One major lesson is that if you are too clever, and with great ingenuity fit in all sorts of items, tucking small dishes down the side of bigger article and so forth, you gain no advantage because when the arms whirl round the upcoming water cannot penetrate between things and do a thorough wash.
By the time all this is done one’s hands are usually wet and greasy and you realise that if you had done the washing up in hot soapy water you wouldn’t be in this mess, which rather defeats the point of having a dishwasher in the first place. The main problem with the DIY solution is that we have insufficient space to do everything in one go, so you end up doing a wash, then drying up and putting away, then starting all over again.
Eventually, the dishwasher is loaded, the tablet is inserted, the door closed and the programme selected and set going. There is then an agonising wait when the thing sits there not making any noise until a great clunk is heard, which I take to be the trap door opening and allowing the dishwasher tablet to fall out.
Time to go and sit down and recover.