It’s suddenly busy here at the launderette, an hour before they close and there is a queue of people who just need to dry their washing that they did at home; it’s too cold outside for quick drying.
I washed mine here and it looks like a long wait, watching other people’s (clean) clothes rolling over and over and over, until a machine becomes free at last.
One dryer stops, the clothes collapsing to the bottom of the drum like exhausted dancers. A tiny woman and her young daughter, who is overtaking her mother in height, bustle forward between the baskets of wet laundry to unload.
The man who is, strictly speaking, ahead of me in the queue (remember, this is Britain) gestures to the next dryer that is emptied, inviting me to go ahead of him. He tells me he has only come in to use the dryer but saw that I had done my washing here: “I think you’re supposed to have priority for the dryers” he says, in an accent I can’t place exactly.
Pleasantly surprised by his honest generosity, I accept his offer with thanks and load my damp heavy clothes into the hot drum of the machine, the smell of hot lint filling the air.
His own patience is rewarded a few minutes later. Twenty minutes afterwards, I am returning home with another of the day’s tasks done, still impressed and grateful for unexpected kindness.
As the saying goes:”what goes around, comes around”… like the socks and shirts!