An elephant in the washing machine and other inconsequential chatter

I wonder if anyone else in the world has ever uttered he sentence, “Do you know anything about this elephant in the washing machine?” Thinking it was a large grey towel (I do have large grey towels so it wasn’t such a stupid thought) I pulled the article from the drum assuming that Daughter had put some washing on. As I pulled  so I noticed that the ‘towel’ had tusks and a trunk. Husband replied that it had been in Daughter’s car boot for four months and needed a wash (as though an elephant in the car boot was perfectly normal even if finding one in the washing machine wasn’t). Daughter was out so I moved the elephant to  the tumble dryer, and then later into the airing cupboard. He scrubbed up marvellously and felt very soft and cuddly. It transpires that prior to his incarceration in the boot of the car, he spent a couple of years living on top of a wardrobe, poor thing. He will now be passed on to a little girl who is sure to love him.

I searched the town – Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl,  Home Bargains and Iceland but couldn’t find amaretti biscuits, an essential component of Mary Berry’s Pear and almond trifle. This is husband’s annual food contribution to our Christmas dinner and whilst 40-odd years experience makes me a competent improviser, he follows recipes to the letter. I met my friend (of almost 40 years standing) for coffee at a country pub close to Bromsgrove this morning  and decided to brave the town centre in search of the elusive ingredient. Waitrose was a last resort.  We had discussed the possibility of making amaretti and I do have the ingredients but hooray, I found one lonely bag on the shelf. Next year I shall remember to buy them earlier.

The aforementioned country pub, which is reached via some very muddy lanes, looked very festive and it was lovely to meet up but my car (previously sparkling with it’s very recent wax and polish which cost me £10) now looks as though its been used for rallying. What a waste of money!

All the Christmas food shopping is now done. I was going to wait until tomorrow to get the fresh veg but decided that today would be fine. That gives me a whole free day tomorrow. There is some housework to do, a small amount of ironing and a Christmas cake to decorate. I shall then sit with a highlighter and mark all the TV programmes I’d like to see over the next week. I inevitably forget once I’ve noted what will be on so this, I hope, will be foolproof.

When I arrived home this was waiting for me – a gift from my aunt and uncle. I do love to have fresh flowers in the fireplace.






  1. My car is sitting in the rain, so it’s getting a good wash. Why is it raining when it’s warm and we are supposed to be frolicking on beaches, here in New Zealand. Because it always rains at Christmas. That’s why. Have a lovely Christmas Eloise.


  2. I was about to yell our (in a manner of speaking … i.e. as a comment!) that you would find amaretti biscuits in Waitrose. They’ve changed the packet slightly as we couldn’t find them a few weeks ago, but then they were pointed out to us – they’d changed their place on the shelves and changed the bag slightly, no wonder we coudln’t find them. I buy those all the time, I love just a couple with coffee, and they keep for ages if you fold the bag over and clip it (I use clothes pegs, not very sightly but they do the job!) I love them crumbled into trifle, it’s how i make trifle. Trifle sponges split and filled with raspberry jam, then the amaretti biscuits crumbled, then a good dousing with port (not sherry in our case, I prefer port, it’s smoother) or Madeira, then some raspberries, and then a little jelly to help it set but not firm – but the alcohol ensures that it doesn’t set too firm – and later the custard and then whipped cream. Total magic! I don’t know whether Mary Berry does it like this, but I do know that a traditional trifle doesn’t have jelly in it, it shouldn’t be ‘solid’, but just soft.
    I love the Elephant in the Washing Machine saga. Oh, I’d love to see a photo of him/her!
    I also highlight TV progs in the Radio Times … that’s another thing. We used to have this ordered at our local newsagent’s shop, but Sir thought it was expensive and a waste of money so I agreed to let him cancel it. I didn’t, however, say that I’d stop buying it. He will have to get up earlier in the day to catch me out!
    Margaret P


    • Good old Waitrose! The thing is that I buy them fairly often too. I can get them in Tesco and in Home Bargains readily but not this week! I’va asked daughter to send me a picture of the elephant as I meant to take one beg ore she took him away, but forgot. She did send one but its on Whatsapp and I don’t know how to get it off there! I am a new Whatsapp-er.
      We started using amaretto in the trifle a couple of years ago and it’s very good. Haha, it’s a clever move to let a husband THINK that he’s won!


  3. I would also be a bit puzzled at an elephant in the washing machine!
    Washing cars is totally pointless in my part of Suffolk. I have to travel 2 miles on muddy lanes whichever way I go


    • It’s probably pointless anywhere at this time of year, but I hadn’t cleaned the car since I bought it in April. I hang my head in shame!


  4. The flowers are beautiful, Eloise and it sounds like you’re all set for Christmas now.
    The elephant in the washing machine made me chuckle. Since Lily arrived I find myself coming out with all sorts of sentences I never thought possible. X


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