As chance would have it, I actually referred to my most challenging task yesterday. I refer, of course, to the weekly routine of changing the bed linen.
The process can be broken down into four parts, the middle two of which – stripping off the old sheets and pillowcases and putting on the new ones – are pretty straightforward. But it’s the beginning and the end where the problems lie.
The first thing to do is to select the fresh set of bedding. Now, you may think that that’s the easy part. It probably should be and almost certainly would be if the task fell to anybody with the smallest iota of competence. Which rules me out.
The difficulty arises for me in finding and selecting the appropriate number of pillowcases. We are blessed with an extra king-sized bed, the (first) downside of which is that it requires a total of eight pillows to ensure that there are no gaps for a sleeping head to get trapped in.
That in itself is not the problem, however – we have got loads of pillowcases. The sting in the tail is that I need to assemble a set of three different sizes of said pillowcases: one for the run-of-the-mill feather pillows, one for the memory foam ones and one for the smaller pillows that go in the middle to ensure that there’s an unbroken and unbreachable wall of pillows between us and the bedhead.
There is no such thing as a set of matching bedding that includes eight pillowcases, so there always has to be a bit of mixing and matching. We’ve got sets with matching sheets and pillowcases, sets with matching duvet covers (of which more anon) and pillowcases. None of them, though, offer a single one-stop solution.
It’s also relevant to point out here that all our bedding is stored in a tin trunk in the bedroom. Two-thirds of this is given over to sheets and duvet covers, while the pillowcases occupy the rest. In a single pile. Consequently, I have to take out the complete collection and search through it for the right combination of sizes and styles.
For some reason, I find this incredibly difficult to get right first time. I always seem to end up with one too many or one too few. Either eventuality necessitates getting down on my hands and knees to reopen the trunk. And with the state of my back.
But the pillowcase problem is as nothing compared to the looming menace of the duvet cover. This is a long-standing problem and I actually wrote an extended rant about all the way back in 2014. Rather than me repeat it, you can read all about it here. The post was entitled ‘Keyhole surgery’, so you get the picture.
And please don’t tell me that there are lots of Youtube how-to videos on this subject. Believe me, I know.