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Getting Clean Away with It

I was always a little disappointed that I did not have my own lost bank note story. This is the kind of happy tale that people have to relate when, perhaps as winter approaches, they reach inside the pocket of that coat that has slept the summer in the wardrobe. Instead of finding a sticky sweet or a tissue, they close their hands on a crisp, long forgotten ten pound note. A moment of pure delight goes through them; it is a gift from the universe to be cherished and quickly squandered on beer to celebrate. Or go towards that top in H&M you had your eye on.

I have never found a forgotten note in my clothing.

I have washed, twice, my iPod nano however, most recently last month. It came out of the cargo pocket of my trousers clean and fragrant as I reluctantly looked for it too late, its cold metal shape falling into my hands with dread inevitability. But do not despair. Although it takes more than the precedent three days, the iPod has managed resurrection twice now. It takes about four days to dry out enough that the computer will recognise it exists and another week before it decides that it is no longer corrupt – well, understandable, consorting with water must be one of the worst self destructive crimes among electronic device society (apart from declaring that silicone heaven does not exist, ah, had to get the Red Dwarf reference in there, sorry). But after that week and half, the thing seems largely unscathed. Maybe it has some cat related component. Although I am really not sure I would risk it a third time. So I will just have to check the contents of my trousers better.

But the washing of devices and the finding of long lost treasure in clothes did combine for me this weekend quite delightfully.

Back in November my laptop hard disk died a death suddenly and, no, my total system backup was not at all up to date. That did not seem too bad initially – I had backed up most of what I considered important onto a decent sized USB.

But could I find it? No. It was nowhere to be found. After a few weeks of tearing everywhere I could think of apart I had to admit defeat and begin the painful task of coming to terms with loss of some things forever, and worse, the reconstruction of the rest.

Months later, the pain had receded and I had forgotten all about it. You can probably see where this is going. We went walking in Dorset at the weekend with our usual group of friends and, the weather being suitable, out came my favourite walking shorts.

These shorts have lots of pockets, many of which are rarely visited.

I found a nice pheasant feather out n the walk and decided to put it in an empty pocket, for safe keeping.

The pocket was not empty. It contained an USB stick. That USB stick I spent so much time looking for.

I have absolutely no idea why it was there, and was well aware that it must have gone through a wash cycle at least once – possibly more times. But I was just happy, I’ll be honest, to have the mystery solved of where it had strayed to.

Emboldened with my miraculous and seemingly indestructible iPod experiences I had high hopes that the files may have survived, and glory be, they have. Nothing vital of course; I’ve lived without them for six months or so. But some useful stuff, some nostalgic stuff and like the ten pound note, not really all that important in the greater scheme of things; but all the nicer because it was something I’d forgotten about and accepted as lost forever.

Now, I’m just going to check the pockets of everything the wardrobe. Just in case.

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