As friends from previous visits can testify, this is unheard of. Especially as the lawn needs mowing, kilometres of tatty edges need strimming and the gravel driveway needs a good, down on hands and knees weeding. But it is also pouring with rain. Has been most of the day.
Probably my fault.
Last year our friends stayed in June and spent most of the time inside playing card games and doing jigsaws because the weather was so lousy. So when we talked about this year's visit: "Come in September" I said "It's always lovely in September."
That, and the fact that I've made a shady outside pergola for them, complete with gently wafting curtains, where they can sit in comfort, sheltered from the blistering heat of the noon-day sun, enjoying a good wine and a tasty meal. The dripping curtains, sodden piles of leaves hiding in corners around the pot plants and puddles of water in the plastic seats of the chairs look decidedly uninviting, but there's little I can do about it at the moment as the rain has set in for the rest of the day.
Hence the sheet ironing. At least I can make the inside of the cottage as welcoming as possible.
They arrive late this evening. When did Flybe make that unhelpful commercial decision? They hasten to say that all they will want to do is sleep. "But you must have at least something for supper, you'll be hungry." I insist, at the time envisaging the table under the pergola laid with candles and an inviting warm quiche and salad to tempt them. I think it will have to be hot soup, in the kitchen.
The rain has eased a little. So back to the next set of pillow cases and duvet. This is quite a novel experience. Hope they are not too tired to notice.
PS. And what do those weasel words "minimum iron" mean? One either irons, or one doesn't. How does one iron "minimally"?