Thursday, December 17, 2009


I love my bathroom. Once it was small, blue and mouldy (it has now been transformed into the lovely laundry in yesterday's post). It didn't matter how much you cleaned it, it was still small, blue and mouldy. So I didn't really clean it very much and it was impossible to tell. Then The Man, with much help from the children, knocked down two tiny rooms and made one giant bathroom. It is big, beautiful, sunny and shiny. I love it immensely, but it stops being shiny very quickly and you can see every speck of dirt, dust and toothpaste on its gleaming surfaces. The price of all this shininess is daily bathroom cleaning, and I have worked out a cunning plan.

The first problem is the acres of tiles with no shower screen. I have little interest in scrubbing grout, so every morning after the last shower I dry the floor and walls with an old towel. Then I polish the basins and mirror. Every night after Posy's bath I dry it with another old towel. So most of the bathroom gets cleaned every day and the grout doesn't go mouldy, which is all good. Then every week I just have to spray and wipe and mop, and I nearly always have some short helpers to make the time just fly...

So today, not so much to do. Emptied out the cupboards and threw stuff out, put stuff away, cleaned the windows, got a tall helper to clean the exhaust fans for me, and all done. Then I contemplated my awfully long list of 'Things To Do' whilst thoughtfully eating a large number of chocolates...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Advent Chickens and the Cleaning Frenzy

It has already been established that Posy's parents are evil. Among the many harrowing examples of our unreasonableness is our refusal to provide her with a pet. We are not very good at pets. Over the years we have buried a number of guinea pigs and a cat, and flushed many unfortunate fish. So for the time being, we are petless. Posy is making up for this clear dereliction in parental duty by inventing a number of imaginary pets which have a maximum of annoyance value. Her nine imaginary kittens, for instance, accompany her everywhere. We have to keep the car door open for long enough for them all to hop in, and trip over the nine dishes of kitten dinner in the hallway. Last week she had a naughty monkey pet which told her to climb all over the furniture. Recently though, she has found a real pet, which she has named 'Dead Margaret'. Dead Margaret is a bumblebee which is, well, no longer living. Dead Margaret lives in half a scallop shell, and likes to come to breakfast and for little rides in the car. She is losing limbs in an alarming manner, and I am keeping an eye out for a replacement Dead Margaret, just in case. Still, pet situation not really satisfactory from anyone's point of view.

So today I was charmed to host two baby chickens for the day, along with their ten year old 'mother'. They all ran about on the sun drenched lawn under the pear tree, looking very fetching, and the children managed to avoid running just where the chickens were, which was a relief. Then the children lay on the couch and read, with the chickens having little naps on the children's bellies, then they all ran around again, then at five o'clock the chickens and their devoted human mother went home. What perfect pets! I will be now be starting the Blueday Pet Daycare Service. All the fun, no trauma, no vet fees.

But hey, pets schmets. It's Advent, which this year is all about cleaning of course, what else? I am taking a room every day, and cleaning everything in it. I always end up in a giant organisational whirlwind at Christmas, planning ahead not being my thing. Well, this year, while I may not be more organised, at least there will be no dust bunnies. Well, that is the plan, anyhow. Plus, my clean queen sister-in-law is coming. She is a darling and my dear friend, and has seen our house in all sorts of states, but I thought clean and tidy would be a nice change for her. If I can't quite pull that off I'll just make sure I have all the ingredients for Margharitas on hand...

So, first the laundry, because it is one of the few renovated rooms in the house, and small, so easy to clean. This is it in the five minutes between having teetering piles of folded washing obliterating the sunlight. The poor African violet didn't flower this year. I don't think it saw enough sunshine.

I actually enjoyed cleaning this room this morning. For nine years my washing machine was parked next to the back door, on a ricketty wooden floor, and I sorted the washing on the couch or the bed, and of course, I always got distracted and the washing ended up strewn about the living room, or relocated to the floor at bed time. It was very trying, and now I have much to be grateful for. A laundry bench, and a door that closes. I cleaned along the tops of the cupboards, took everything out of the cupboards, cleaned them, and put things back in, washed and mopped all the surfaces, and even washed both sides of the window. It was very satisfying. I love the view from the window, of sunlit lawn, with children frolicking (with chickens today), my new hanging baskets which will soon be bursting with lettuces and cherry tomatoes, and lots of sky. We have very nice sky here in Tas. Fabulous clouds. I have never seen nicer clouds.

Tomorrow, the bathroom.