At our place the recent change in seasons has led to some upheaval.

Firstly, in a moment of rampant enthusiasm, I put down a new lawn way too late for any growth. And secondly I shifted the clothesline to what I thought would be a better location to catch the sun.

It would also mean when I peered out of my office window I would not be confronted with the site of Mrs P's smalls flapping enticingly at me suggesting all types of mischief. I'd also be reminded that that pair of boxers she bought me as a laugh in Sydney last year with the Superman logo really are not for public viewing.

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Unfortunately the clothesline which had been perfectly positioned previously now wasn't getting any sun and was accessible only by negotiating a series of stepping stones over a gloopy, muddy ocean which was unlikely to display any grass until spring.

And of course I heard about it every time an expedition was mounted to the said region. Such was the persuasiveness of the storyteller I'd become convinced a team of Sherpas and five yaks was required to carry the laundry baskets every time she did the washing.


Last weekend's cold snap propelled me into a frenzy of action, which basically means I was so cold I needed to move real fast or there was a danger I'd freeze on the spot and Mrs P, who was enjoying the comparatively tropical climate offered by the big stores in town, would come home to find a giant ice sculpture in the wood shed bearing an uncanny resemblance to my good self.

I was in the wood shed getting wood for the log burner which would eventually yield that warm, toastiness that makes us all feel good. And, if I'm honest, I was hoping that same feeling might persuade Mrs P to allow me a takeaway curry for tea.

It was while I was collecting the wood that a shaft of light from the heavens hit me like a thunderbolt from above.

I didn't hear angels. The guy down the road was using a chainsaw so they were probably drowned out but if they hadn't been I'm sure they would have said something like "Hey, you plonker. There's sunlight here, enough breeze. Why don't you move the clothesline?"

Got to hand it to those angels. It was something of an inspired idea. The shaft of light was a bit of sunlight coming into the far end of the woodshed and the breeze was a result of its well thought out location by my predecessor here.


It was big too – lest you think I'm a bit weird sticking a clothesline up in the woodshed. Its the size of a carport, open at one end. With a bit of moving stuff around I could make room for the clothesline, under cover, with a bit of sun and some breeze. Any clothes stuck up there would be dry in minutes.

And there'd be no need for Mrs P, her Sherpas and yaks, to brave the treacherous Stepping Stones of Danger over the deadly Sea of Gloopy Mud. Brilliant.

So, with Mrs P out, I figured it would be a nice surprise if I got the backyard disaster sorted by the time she got home.

Naturally, without much thought for the likely mess or the task involved, I am a bloke after all, I got stuck straight in.

The planned roaring fire was completely forgotten for the next couple of hours as I traipsed backward and forward measuring, moving and lifting. I'd have to say there was also a bit of slipping, sliding and falling too, particularly in the muddy environs.

Eventually, looking like I was the exhausted, beaten finalist in the World Mud Wrestling Championships, the job was done.

The wood was shifted to one end of the woodshed, the clothesline was now nicely in place at the other end and the slippery, green pavers were neatly stacked elsewhere until I could get back to them.

Sure, the muddy yard resembled a war zone but no matter. I wouldn't have to go near it again until the weather improved. With a bit of luck I will have won Lotto by then and can just leave it for the next owner.

And my timing was spot on. Just as I'd finished Mrs P pulled up the driveway round the front so I wandered round to greet her.

Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to tell her I'd nearly killed myself doing it but I'd sorted everything out. Taking the washing basket out to the clothesline would now be the simplest thing in the world, an experience to treasure for eternity.

"I've bought a clothes dryer," she blurted out excitedly. "They will deliver it on Monday. You're all muddy. What have you been doing? I hope you've got that fire going, I'm freezing".

■ Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to .