I refuse to believe that it’s old age but rather being un-used to the recent improvement in weather and the resultant rise in temperature that caused me this morning to put a string of beads into the washing machine along with the bed linen. I’d been bringing the beads to the kitchen to get the little gadget that I use when I want to shorten beads temporarily. A few minutes later I couldn’t find the beads and when re-tracing my steps didn’t locate them either I thought I might have put them in with the washing load. Sure enough, when the washing cycle was coming to an end, I heard the telltale sound of something clanking against the drum. Fortunately, the beads survived their ordeal. It’s not a method I’d recommend for cleaning jewellery and it probably wouldn’t do the washing machine much good either but the beads do look fresher and brighter after their environmentally friendly low temperature wash!