Tag Archives: Cleaning

5.5.11

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:

VISITORS 🙂

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dust 😦

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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.

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*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.

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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.

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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….

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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?

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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:

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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.

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But that was too grim so I had fun instead:

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Beauty Queen: I want world peace

Megalomaniac: I want the world, piece by piece

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

 

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