THERE is nothing as bracing as fresh air.

On a windy day the experience is enhanced when you get two for the price of one.

One person close to home has really become a fan.

The long-suffering Mrs Kendall has taken to flinging open all of the doors and windows at any opportunity.

The hint of fug or cooking smells and all of the windows are opened as wide as wide can be.

Now this is fine on one of those warm and breezy days, but on those recent couple of coldies it has caught me on the hop.

Perhaps Mrs K’s sneakiest trick is the late opening.

By that I mean last thing in the evening she goes around the house opening them.

This is OK at the time, perhaps good all night, but when I am kicked into the kitchen to make tea at 6am it’s downright freezing.

Mrs K at this point is snuggled under the duvet so is unaware of the temperatures.

Of course, it then becomes my job to close all of the windows. Two jobs and it’s not even five-past six.

After a day all closed up the house has regained the fug and all is flung open for the cycle to begin again.

This obsession is further displayed with the washing line.

No day is too blustery for a machine load to go out.

One day last weekend we had an unpredicted gale come through, but Mrs Kendall was outside in the storm, pegs in hand, hanging out the washing.

It dried in minutes, but I was not game to go near it in case I was dragged away like a ship in a storm.

I am allowed near the line sometimes, but Mrs K likes to correct the way I have pegged things out.

Apparently I don’t do it the way it should be done.

I should have been more aware of this washing day madness I was facing.

My dearly departed mother-in-law was the master of the line.

Whenever I visited the family home, there was either washing going out, washing going in, or a huge pile of ironing being done, or to be done.

Strange thing was, there were only two people living there.

The love of the line must be hereditary, as Mrs Kendall will fill the line in the blink of an eye.

A bit of cat fur on the duvet, in the machine it goes. The moment anything of mine touches the washing basket, in it goes.

If it’s underwear, Mrs K asks her usual question, “Is this for washing or burning?”

With the end of summer I am starting to dread the cooler days.

Windows flung open come August may be more than I can bear. Maybe I will hibernate.

– Steve Kendall