Friday, 1 February 2013

the imperfect housewife

It was raining this morning when I woke up, but that was fine.  It was forecast to rain, and I was planning on doing the cleaning anyway.  I started with the kitchen, which I always do anti-clockwise, starting to the left of the Aga.  This might not be the best plan, since it means doing the Aga at the end, by which time I am thoroughly fed up with cleaning.  On the other hand, cleaning the Aga is one of those jobs that is capable of expanding to fill the time available, so maybe it is best to leave it until last.

I thought the kitchen couldn't be too bad, since I had a quick wipe round the other day, including the Aga, because the man who services the boiler was coming.  He is always delightfully cheerful, his charges are remarkably low, and the boiler so far has not broken down under his ministrations, so it seemed only polite to hoover up the cat fluff and wash the kitchen floor in honour of his visit.

The sinks took a bit of doing.  In fact, they still aren't very shiny.  I blame this on the fact that our water is laden with minerals that have a special affiliation for steel.  I scrubbed away with a green scourer and quantities of bicarbonate of soda and Mr Muscle, but couldn't face getting the limescale remover out.  I'm sure it's a scientifically proven fact that chemical cleaning products are bad for you.

After lunch I took a break from cleaning and nipped over to the beekeepers' Membership Secretary's house so that she could countersign a couple of cheques before she disappears on holiday for a fortnight.  I come across societies that circumvent their requirement to have two signatures on cheques by the co-signatory signing several blank cheques at a time, for the treasurer to use as required, but that makes me uncomfortable.  It would be more honest just to tell the membership that you want to go over to one signature only, if you're going to do that.

Though I say I nipped over, it would be more accurate to say that I drove over very carefully, since yesterday I discovered the front near side tyre on my car had gone flat.  I fear it was a casualty of the numerous potholes that have sprung up in recent weeks.  The Systems Administrator fitted the spare for me, and I must order a replacement, but am now driving ultra-cautiously, and slowing right down each time I see a potentially pothole-concealing puddle.  I realise that this is typical behaviour in the aftermath of an accident, as documented by LTC Rolt in Red For Danger (which everyone should read.  Its messages go far beyond the history of railway safety) and that as the weeks and months go by I will get gradually less careful of my tyres, until I find I've spoiled another.

The Membership Secretary gave me a cup of tea, and by the time I got home the SA had washed the kitchen floor, which was kind, since I was expecting to do that when I got back.  The remaining stretch of kitchen, which included a set of wall cupboards with glazed doors as well as the Aga, seemed to remain obstinately sticky with odd bits of cat fur attached despite a lot of scrubbing.  The SA, seeing me wiping furiously at the cupboard doors which had collected thin and apparently ineradicable lines of grease around each window, said reassuringly that it was only family, and went to wash the downstairs cloakroom, though I promised that was on my list of things to do, once I'd finished the Aga.

I wouldn't win any prizes for housekeeping, but console myself with the thought that a perfectly clean and tidy house is a sign of a wasted life.  We are scrupulous about the important things, and have never given ourselves food poisoning in thirty years.  The last time I had that was after lunch at the Savoy.

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