Can washing be a dirty little secret? Photo: Louie Douvis
The day dawns bright and clear. There's blue sky and a maximum of 20 degrees forecast.
Critically, south-westerly winds of about 20km/h are on their way. I feel a glow of anticipation. The conditions are perfect, as promised by the weather bureau.
Perfect for what, you may ask. Sailing? Kite-flying? Paragliding? Please. I have no idea about those activities.
But I do know that I'm loading my washing machine as soon as I've finished typing this article.
It's a dirty little secret of mine that I love doing laundry, particularly on a crisp winter's day when the westerlies are prevailing.
It takes me back to a part of my childhood that is burnished in sepia tones. I know my mother feels less sentimental about the hours she spent scurrying between concrete tubs beneath our house and wrestling with an ancient wringer.
But my memories are primal, sensory ones rooted deeper than rational thought. The high whine and regular thump of the spin cycle. Frothy suds that spun and glistened when blown into the breeze. The warm, sweet smell of the machine's maw as it disgorged its contents into the squeaky washing trolley. Oh! And the crisp flap of sheets in the breeze as they dried on a day like today.
For years, I baulked at the domestic drudgery that housework represented to a feminist uni student who had actually done very little.
As a young journalist I joined the howls of derision in 1997 when Janette Howard revealed how she did the laundry to relax in times of stress.
"Mum used to make soup and clean the silver," she said, months after moving into Kirribilli with the newly elected prime minister.
"I tend to do the washing ... everything has got to be clean and everything has got to be right."
Now I understand. A life lived fully can crease you; time leaves stains that may be hard to shift.
Among it all, the laundry offers soothing simplicity, a manageable cycle of rinse-and-repeat.
So it can be our own dirty little secret. Well, it would be - except that in about 55 minutes, it will all be fresh and clean again.