“Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote…
Thanne longen folk to go on pilgrimages” – or in my case, to do laundry.Yesterday was hot for the first time this year, so I took the opportunity to strip absolutely everything from my bed to wash and air in natural sun and brisk salt wind. My drying rack came out of winter hiding, I gave the whites a good soak in OxyClean (no chlorine bleach on linen, right?), vacuumed the mattress and everything horizontal before reassembling the whole lot and diving in. Aahhhh…..
Pillows are a problem, or maybe I should say I always find pillows an issue. So many kinds, and they are far from standard, which is a good thing because it gives greater choice: not so much the sizes, because the US has brilliant regulations for most things so you avoid the European tangle of bolts with one spec and nuts of another – it’s the fill.
If I start from the other end, what I want in a pillow, I know just what I prefer. I like a bolster to be firm, and exactly as long as a single bed is wide, or half as wide as a double bed. I want the bolster(s) to go precisely from one side of the bed to the other – no droopy-sausage overlap, no gap.The bolster fills the angle between bedhead and mattress, sacrificing itself for the greater good.
I then like a firm reading, sit-up pillow, quaintly called a sham here in the US, as if it is a sorry pretense of a pillow. I think this should be poly or some other synthetic fill for resilience, and it should also be exactly as wide as half the bed. I use king pillows in a 30″ American sham with buttons, just to make sure I have coverage.
The piece de resistance is the soft, light goosedown pillow which is every person’s birthright – queen for a queen bed, king for a king bed. This is the pillow you pummel into compliance, your dear companion in sleep. I use a pillow protector then a pillowcase, so I can wash two layers down, and I freshen the pillow itself outside in the sunshine when I can.
A feather and down or pure goosedown duvet infill is my own idea of heaven, though each is entitled to her preference, it is so personal. Then for me it is smooth linen sheets, rough linen bedskirt, duvet cover, bolster and shams. No twiddly bitsbut endless cups of tea.
For goose down duvets and pillows of excellent quality and value, try Warm Things .