We’re the type of household that gets sacked by cleaners. You’d think that, working from home, I’d have all the time in the world to keep the house immaculate. When the children were babies, people used to comment about how lovely it must be to sit and work at home whilst the darlings played happily by themselves, slept on command, gurgled contentedly in their moses basket next to the desk and didn’t start screaming the moment the phone rang. They went to a childminder.
These days, I dream of waking up one morning to find that not only have I turned into a tidy, well organised person but that the children have suddenly become helpful – “Let me do that, Mum” – and that GPD has figured out the purpose of the toilet brush. But, as the first anniverary of last year’s cancer diagnosis approaches, I find myself having to admit that I have recovered from recent traumas rather better than my oven. Broken ankle? You try cleaning an oven with your leg in plaster. Hysterectomy? That central line of staples really didn’t help. Chemotherapy? OK, you get the idea. I have tried to restore order, but have had to recognise that there are some jobs noone else is going to do for you. Not unless you pay them large amounts of money, that is.
Which is why I finally cracked and there is, at this very moment, a Man with a Van cleaning my oven. He’s cleaning my oven and I’m typing a blog post. Hmm. He’s promised to restore it to near-showroom condition. Aaah! Do I feel guilty at my inadequacy as a houskeeper? Only a bit. I figure it’s a matter of priorities. We could keep the house much tidier/cleaner/hygienic (delete as you feel appropriate) but then we wouldn’t be able to spend all our evenings and weekends rushing round all those extra-mural activities. I really would rather swim to Fidra than do the ironing.
So I will regard it as a small contribution towards the support of small business during these times of financial uncertainty. I will buy some decent oven cleaner. And I’ll report back.
Postscript: It’s now gleaming and I’m hoping I can cook without setting off the smoke alarm. 3 hours they said. It took almost 5 (not too sure I should admit that). I may post pics. Of course, the challenge now is to keep it that way! So I’ve told the kids I’m giving up cooking…
Photo credit: therealneurox