Muck and brass

Posted October 17th, 2012 by Lisa. Comments (2).

The best reason I can see, apart from sloth and slatternliness, not to have too tidy a house is that it turns you into a raving obsessive.

After the hell and chaos of a full-on redecorate of our sitting room (including an unscheduled entire new ceiling, as when we removed the nasty polystyrene coving it became apparent that it had been installed to hide the fact that the ceiling was an inch smaller than the actual room, all the way around; and replastering all the walls) which necessitated the middle weirdy living room with no name becoming a repository for all our STUFF, organising became a priority this week. For reasons of both hygiene and mental health. Husband is absent (in China this week, all presidential suites and press conferences) so I have been going at it hell for leather. Or as hell for leather as one can be whilst looking after small children (feeding clothing entertaining feeding (what, again?) putting to bed chauffeuring to random activities etc etc) and completing 7 hours of the most revolting paid work I have seen in some years. I know 7 hours doesn’t sound like much but it was akin to poking one’s eyes with pins, and fitting that around feeding clothing feeding entertaining…etc. I am proud to say cbeebies only covered me for 15 minutes of that 7 hours.

As a result of which I have four rooms, constituting the main public display areas of our house, looking shipshape. Not that any of our house is on display, and those visitors we do have have a distressing penchant for going to the loo which involves a (hazardous) walk through the study, which is not one of the four nice rooms. However, I am going nuts. I mopped the hall floor yesterday but found myself today tutting at the coating of dust it has already accumulated, and considering getting the bucket back out. (I didn’t, don’t be daft. I am still me.) I got Very Cross with the children mucking about with the rug in the sitting room because they were flapping dust and I had swept in there. I got the dustpan out three times in the space of Strictly. There is a pile of magazines on the coffee table in the weird nameless room, and they are troubling me for their homelessness. (My whole family has a magazine habit. They also have hoarding issues: this is not a good combination. We do not need an Archive. We especially do not need an Archive that has nowhere to live but on my nice freshly waxed (oh yes!) coffee table.)

I have always wondered how some women drop their children at school then spend the entire day cleaning. How can they make so much mess? I thought. Surely no house needs to be vacuumed every day? But I can see it. I can understand why: once it is immaculate it takes lots of work to keep it so. I don’t have the stamina to do it myself, but I can sort of see why they might.

Give me a day, and with three small children, two kittens and my parents due to visit (shoes! newspapers! puzzle books with associated pencils! sudoku!) we will be back to normal. Dusty and relaxed. Which is slightly a shame: I am enjoying the show home.

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