Tag Archives: Cleaning

Topic #1: Cleaning

28 May
A toilet with the potentially dangerous arrang...

A toilet with the potentially dangerous arrangement of the seat being up (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Expecting visitors, I cleaned like I meant it last week.

That’s right, you heard me: my house is clean.

It feels weird.

That’s that topic covered.


An idle thought

I once saw a safety advert which said that mixing cleaning chemicals in a toilet can lead to explosions.

I wondered this: if I put neat bleach in the toilet, forget it’s there, and then do a wee, will I set light to my bottom?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life

18 Sep

Yesterday, I showed you my house, prepared for Pseu’s visit:

Below is my house on Monday morning (and every morning) before the great clean up that takes a huge chunk of my day; at least six minutes.  What a waste of blogging time.

If a cushion falls in the front room, does anyone care?

The house often asks me, If you clean me, do I not get messy all over again? And I have to answer, Yes.

I wouldn’t say we look like this every single day, because we don’t.  We only almost always look like this every single day.  The distinction is important.

Especially when I’m arguing with the Hub.

In everyday life, no one can hear you clean.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands

23 May

I told you about my spring cleaning project; it was inspired by dirty hands. 

The long, dark winter that masqueraded as spring had its uses – no sun to shine through my grubby windows, exposing this:




I looked around to see if it was a lone intruder but sadly, I discovered that we are mucky pups in this house.  Fingerprints abound; dust raises the skirting boards two inches; clutter, clutter and more clutter (or, to give them their real names, the husband and sons).  Something had to be done.  I made a list.

So far, my fair hands have tidied out the upstairs double cupboard; re-arranged and cleaned a bookcase; washed a picture, a mirror, an ugly wooden mask that reminds me of the Hub (what?  He bought it, that’s all.  Stop inserting your own jokes); scrubbed the upstairs hall’s bannisters, skirting boards, plugs, light switches, long mirror and all seven doors, frames and the top bits that I can’t reach without ladders so they get cleaned only before painting, i.e. once in fifteen years (it’s not that I’m lazy; it’s just that I can’t afford to pay anyone to do it for me).

I’ll be honest – as well as the tops of the frames, I never the wash doors, either, unless it’s (again) before painting (bitter experience of watching unwashed, newly-painted doors flake like the Hub’s dandruff) or after vomiting children.  No, I don’t vomit the children; the children vomit on my doors.  Stop writing my post for me; I don’t do cleaning but I do do this.

I realised I set a dreadful example to my children when Spud and I had the following conversation:

Spud:  What are you doing?

Me:  Washing your door.

Spud [utterly baffled]:  Why?

I have to hand it to him – he has a point.


The Hub

‘s ugly mask.


101/1001 (Week 60)

18 May


It’s been seven weeks since the first anniversary of this challenge.  I’ve done some things. 

Have the courage to play the drums in church.

I finally played drums in church; not with sticks, with hands.  I don’t know what the drums are called but they are fun to pound.  When the children were absent and the call came out for volunteer drummers, I sprinted over the top of the pews before I had a chance to chicken out like last time.

Two Sabar drums from Senegal. On the left a Mb...

They are similar to the ones in the above picture.  I kneeled in front of a congregation of old ladies and bashed away at those drums as if I was a toddler, and it was one of the best times I’ve ever had in church.  Can’t say the same for the old ladies because if the rhythm is gonna get me, it was taking a day off that Sunday.

Blog 1111 times (1017/1111)

No surprise to learn that I over-achieved on that one. 

Find another 64 challenges for the list. (32/64)

I have a new one*:

Do a REAL spring clean.

This may not sound like much of a task but if you’ve been around this blog for a while you know relations between me and the dust bunnies are frosty.  The house is cluttered and the bunnies breed like, well, rabbits.  I have compiled a list of tasks for each room and I intend to trail a blaze to dirt and dust over a month, starting on Monday. 

Blame the sun: it came out one afternoon last week and showed me where the dirt was.  Not pretty; and I say that as someone who doesn’t see dust.  It’s like my brain has a blind spot; I just don’t notice it.  I think it goes back to my teens, when it was my job to dust the whole house every Saturday morning – a job I hated.


Dust bunnies

Dust bunnies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Do you have a housework task that you hate, because it was your job when you were young and wanted to be prowling shopping malls with your mates instead of choking à la Pigpen in Peanuts?

*I did have two new ones but, by the time I finished writing about the first, I forgot what the second was.  Perhaps my second new task should be to pin a pen and paper to my sleeve.

I still need another 32 tasks for my list.  Any suggestions?  They can’t need money to complete, because I don’t have any.  Other than that, go crazy.

I also need help with this one: Find 26 unfamiliar words, one for each letter of the alphabet; then use them in a post a day for 26 days. (Words: 22/26).  I’ve been stuck on 22 words for months now.  I need new words for the letters J, U, X and Y.  The more obscure, the better.

Expose myself to twenty new experiences (9/20)

I’ve had three new experiences in the past seven weeks.  The first came about by accident: I was a welcomer at church.  I have never done this in all my years of attending church.  Someone put me on the rota by accident and I just happened to see it so I turned up early, smiled a lot, and had fun.  Welcomers also carry around the collection plate, another thing I’ve never done.  I count them as one task, however, because I’m not a cheat, especially to myself.

The second new experience was to help deliver a writing workshop, instead of attend one.  My writing group – Stockport Writers – gets free use of a room at the art gallery every month, which means we don’t have to charge people to attend.  As a thank you, we ran a workshop last week for new writers.  We had a good turn out and, although I was nervous at first, by the end it was just like chairing one of our meetings, but with two other people.

Great fun, and it helped prepare me for another workshop I’m co-delivering (i.e. Welcome-thanks for coming-listen to Pam do all the real talking-thanks for coming-bye) next week, in aid of the church website.  Though we could probably cancel it now, with all the great ideas you’ve already given me.

The third new experience was plastering and plumbing and other DIY tasks.  I will write about it in another post when the photos have arrived.

Finally, it occurs to me that I might need to change the wording of that last task; exposing myself is not to be recommended in this weather; just ask the soon-to-be-dust dust bunnies…



Joke 250

29 Nov

One afternoon a man came home from work to find total mayhem in his house.  His three children were outside, still in their P.J.s, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers thrown all about the front yard.  The door to his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess.

A lamp had been knocked over, and a throw rug was wadded against one wall.  In the front room the TV was blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.  In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand lay piled up by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and other piles of clothes, looking for his wife.  He was worried that she might be ill, or worse.

He found her lounging in the bedroom, still in her pajamas, reading a novel.

She smiled, looked up at him and asked how his day went.  He looked at her bewildered and asked, “What happened here today?”

She smiled and answered, “You know every day when you come home from work and ask me what in the world did I do all day?”

“Yes,” he replied reluctantly.

She answered, “Well, today I didn’t do it.”

Joke 166

6 Sep

Some house cleaning thoughts for you:

  1. It is time to clean out the refrigerator when something closes the door from the inside.
  2. Keep the house clean enough for healthy, dirty enough for happy.
  3. Never make fried chicken in the nude.
  4. Do not engage in unarmed combat with a dust bunny big enough to choke the vacuum cleaner.
  5. If it walks out of your refrigerator, let it go…if it comes back to you, it’s yours; if it doesn’t, well, thank goodness for that.
  6. Only clean the bits you can see.
  7. You make the beds, you do the dishes, and six months later you have to start all over again.
  8. If guys were suppose to hang clothes up, door knobs would be bigger.
  9. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.
  10. Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.
  11. I’m not going to vacuum until James Dyson invents one you can ride on.
  12. Take a tip from Zsa Zsa Gabor who once said, ‘I am a marvellous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.’
  13. Cobwebs artfully draped over lampshades reduce the glare from the bulb, thereby creating a romantic atmosphere. If your husband points out that the light fixtures need dusting, simply look affronted and exclaim, ‘What? And spoil the mood?’
  14. When writing your name in the dust on the table, omit the date.
  15. If your dust really is out of control, simply place a showy urn on the coffee table and insist, ‘THIS is where Grandma wanted us to scatter her ashes….’

A Breather

5 May

House washed; dogs washed; me washed.  Hub’s gone to fetch the visitors from the station.  I have ten minutes to spare and this prompt just arrived:

Pick something you don’t like, and choose to accept it.

I pick my nose.


Sorry, I’m high on cleaning fluids.


5 May

Today’s pretty date, and how many things I’ll be doing per second, minute and hour in order to get the house straight for house guests arriving this afternoon.  I really shouldn’t leave things to the last minute.

I’ll be back tomorrow to reply to your comments and visit your blogs (I hope they’re clean).

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Dust To Dust

21 Apr
Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust ...

Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

I have a busy weekend ahead: a visitor today; two more either tomorrow or Saturday; and another couple on Easter Monday.  That’s wonderful; I love receiving visitors.

Here’s the downside…dust.  I have to dust.  I have to show them that the stuff I write in my blog is a fabrication and I am, in fact, a tireless and dedicated housewife. 

The truth, of course, is that I am a tired and intoxicated housewife.  You don’t get to be this funny* without a little dust, a little alcohol and a whole lot of stumbling around in the mind, wondering where you put the duster because you’re pretty sure you bought one once.

A mathematical diagram to explain my dilemma:





dust 😦


If I was any good at maths, the dust would be higher than the visitors in this diagram – or is that social sciences?  Social ineptitude?  Sorry* housework, probably.

Of course, if I was really good at maths, I’d be earning a living from it and paying someone else to dust.  Wish I’d paid attention in class now.  I knew something didn’t add up.


*My adjective of choice; the Hub might have a slightly different one.

Flippin’ ‘Eck

18 Mar

It’s a half day at Spud’s school and it’s my turn to host the leftovers who don’t want to go home: four strapping teenagers and Spud and no food in the house…guess it’s pancake time.  Or shopping time.

Hooray for flour, eggs and milk.  Boo to having to clean the house before lunch.


Shower Power

23 Feb
Rib shower at the Cartier Mansion in Ludington...

Image via Wikipedia

How long do you think you could go without a shower?

It depends on the shower.  I went for weeks without a shower while the bathroom was re-fitted.  I can go at least every other day now it’s back; it’s not like I ever get dirty cleaning the house, is it?  I could move to Antarctica: on base there, you are only allowed to take two, two-minute showers a week.

  • April showers: I can manage from May to March without breaking a sweat.
  • Meteor showers: I’d like to see one, but from a distance; so I would have to say ‘indefinitely’.
  • Showers of blessings: I’d like them all the time.
  • Cold showers: too tired to ever need one.
  • My family (usually referred to scornfully by me as ‘that shower!’): not at all; somebody has to go out for the Maltesers.

Napoleon once wrote to Mrs Napoleon, ‘I’ll be home in a week – don’t bathe till I get there.’  That’s my kind of man.

A Housewife’s Work Is Never Done; That Must Be Why We Don’t Get Paid

14 Feb
1957 - Ouch!

Image by clotho98 via Flickr

If you could go back in time and have a 5 minute conversation with yourself ten years ago, what would you say?

‘Don’t wait to get a degree before applying for jobs.  Trust me: it will only help if you’re already in work.  And think again before eating every Malteser on the planet: a billion past the lips means inches on the hips…heart disease…diabetes…a crane hoist.’

Why is it only work if it’s paid?  Cooking and cleaning and tidying and child care and child minding and child ferrying about from school to club to friends’ to doctor/dentist/hospital, the decorating, the shopping, the clearing out, the nursing, the ironing, all of it: why is it ‘work’ if I pay someone else to do it; but not if I do it myself?  The twenty years I’ve spent looking after my family and all the volunteer work, is not really ‘work’ because I never thought to ask for payment.  Silly me.

According to a study in 2008, I should be on £30,000 a year for my ‘nine-hour days’ (nine hours – I wish).  Okay, I might not quite make the regulation 71 minutes of cleaning and tidying – or even 7.1 minutes, if I’m honest – and if a chambermaid takes fourteen minutes to make a bed then I should be on a bonus for my 1.4 minutes per bed (mine; the kids make their own); but I should be good for at least £25,000.

I don’t mind that I don’t get paid for it (that’s why God gave me kisses from my children, after all); I mind that it’s not considered work.

It doesn’t matter anyway, because I don’t need a degree for the job I really want: this one, advertised on the Arts Council’s website.  Imagine the look of consternation on the face of everyone who ever asked me what I do for a living, and I could reply: Freelance Didgeridoo Artist.

If I’m going to make that happen I’d better get back to my carpentry; the roof extension won’t build itself.

Is My Marriage Going To Last? Let’s Ask The Washing Machine

11 Feb

Haven’t washing machines come a long way?  First there were rivers and rocks.  Then came washboards and buckets and mangles – my Nan had those; as well as a roof maiden.  I remember them in her kitchen. 

Next came the twin-tub washing machine to make a woman’s life easier (it was always a woman): I’m sure my Mum liked nothing better after a full working week and her two part-time jobs, to stand on a Saturday afternoon in our kitchen and schlep pile after pile of dirty clothes into one drum for washing; schlep them out of that drum into a basket while she washed the next lot of clothes in the same water (always wash cleanest to dirtiest); and the next; and the next.  Or maybe she used the sink and rinsed them in there by hand; before schlepping them into the second drum for spinning; finally, she would schlep the whole soggy pile into the garden to dry, or on to the radiators as it usually wasn’t; and then start all over again.

My mother didn’t complain because it beat using a washboard; and my Dad would help with the lifting if he wasn’t working.

I remember the day we got our first automatic washing machine and a tumble dryer.  Once installed and in use, we all sat on chairs in front of the washer and admired it as it spun round and round and round and…you get the idea.  Dad, my brother and I soon got bored and cleared off, but Mum sat for ages.  I have always thought it was because she never got when a joke stopped being amusing, but as I write this it suddenly occurs to me that it was probably her first sit-down in months and she was making the most of it.

My parents sold the appliances when we emigrated to South Africa, and I remember they got £50 for the tumble dryer and bought my brother a grey leather jacket with it.

When the Hub and I married way back in the last century (1985) we had no money and we were given a twenty-two-year-old twin tub washing machine by the parents of his best man.  We honeymooned for a week in Cape Town and flew back on a Monday night, arriving home at around three in the morning.  I woke up in the late afternoon to find the Hub slaving over the ancient washer and our dirty clothes all clean and drying on the line.  When a man does that on the first proper day of marriage and brings you breakfast in bed as well, you know you’ve got a good ‘un. 

We gave away the twin-tub when we moved to Jo’burg, and the last I heard it was still working.


This post was inspired by my reply to a comment from nrhatch on My Dream Vacation and Viewfromtheside’s Blog’s Weekend Theme prompt, invention.  Pop across there if you want to see variations on the theme.


And finally….

You all enjoyed the searches so much, I thought you might like this one from today:

cartoon talking toasts that are funny

And you think I’m nuts.

Merry Christmas Eve

24 Dec

Apologies for the intermittent nature of my posts this week; you know what it’s like in the run-up to Christmas: shopping, visits out, glasses of wine to drink, visits to us, glasses of wine to drink, turkey defrost calcualtions to maik, glashes of wine to drink, visits to the ductor, washes of gline, preshunts to exshange, clashes of wane to dunk, whine….


The Hub made apple and meat pies yesterday.  Um, let me rephrase that: the Hub made two apple pies and two meat pies and one apple & mango pie, and fifteen large sausage rolls with proper sausages (it should have been sixteen but I stole a sausage when he wasn’t looking).  The Hub was in bed for six o’clock.  He over-estimated his energy level and the time it would take to bake.  Never mind: the CFS might do for him but at least we’ll eat well.

We will have one of the meat pies for tonight’s dinner.  We didn’t have it last night because I had prepared chicken stoup in my slow cooker.  Chicken stoup is what I call it because I’m not certain if it was stew or soup.  Whatever: it tasted good; who cares what it looked like?


You will notice the absence of photos on my blog today: I was going to post a picture of the Incredible Bearded Baby but the computer had a hissy fit and refused to play with me.  When the Hub wakes up, I’ll kick him downstairs to come and sort it out.

The prompt for this week’s We Write Poems was to say what you want.  I want to have some serious writing time, but that’s not happening this week, so here’s a senryu I got as a result of two spare minutes in the bathroom:


What I Want

I want my husband
to be well again.  I want
him to play football

with his children.  I
want our lives back: say what you
want, I don’t aim low.


But that was too grim so I had fun instead:


You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Beauty Queen: I want world peace

Megalomaniac: I want the world, piece by piece


I had planned to write a load more (Old-Fashioned Pudding: I want pease) but I had baking to supervise (i.e. clean up after) so I’ll come back to it in the New Year.


If you want to know in seventeen syllables who will rule the world after a nuclear holocaust, go to my other blog.


Sorry if this post is somewhat downbeat for the season, but today is the tenth anniversary of my darling Dad’s death.  He was 64 and lung cancer brought on by lifelong smoking killed him.

He was a funny man, always joking.  I miss him.  I would post a photo if this stupid computer wasn’t sulking.


That’s enough gloom for today.  Our plans are: a lot of cleaning (me, delegating to Spud); a lot of cooking (turkey & gammon are sizzling in the oven right now); a visit to the cemetery followed by a walk (me, husband, dogs, youngest son); a lot of nail-biting (me: will Tory Boy’s train get through in time?); and a glash or tree of Bick’s Fuzz.

Merry Christmas to you all, or any other holiday you might be celebrating.

Thank you for making my blogging year a successful one!


I’m Frightened

13 Nov
The Sixth Sense

Image via Wikipedia

In order not to spoil the tone of today’s post, I will advertise that there is a new poem on my sapoems blog here, instead of at the bottom like I usually do.  Shameless self-promotion is rigorously advised if I want to up my hits.


Now that I have a new kitchen and bathroom, something terrible is happening…I have learned to notice dirt.  When the equipment was antiquated, cracked, damaged, yellowed, stained, it was easy not to see dirt.  Now it is sparkling and twinkling and fresh and I have to clean it all the time if I want it to stay that way.

Last night, for example, as I was brushing my teeth, I noticed that the bathroom window sill needs wiping again.  That’s the third time in as many weeks; I don’t think I cleaned the old window sill that many times in thirteen years.

The first thing I did this morning, after a wee and a prayer and fussing the dogs and a cup of tea and checking my emails and writing the other blog post and another cup of tea and thinking about breakfast, was to clean it. 

I don’t know what’s wrong with me and I don’t like it.  I’m going to have to call in Bruce Willis because, like Haley Joel Osment in ‘The Sixth Sense’, I see dust bunnies….






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