If you’re a Facebook person you’ll be expecting one of those ‘Went for a brisk twenty mile hike with the sun on our faces and the wind in our ears’ type entries, accompanied by pictures of those lovely sights we’ve been so privileged to see – lucky old us!
Well don’t worry, this is one long moan; start to finish. You can read on.
It has been, outdoors, a really glorious day. Clear blue skies, sunshine, crocuses in full bloom, almost warm for the time of year and just right for a walk in the woods… And, for once, we had nothing to do before this evening.
We must get out for a walk I told G – nice and early, with breakfast eaten and the Saturday ration of the Guardian read. At which point he decided this was actually a good moment to clear out the clogged-up drain hole in the bath.
Which meant hunting for the cunning device we bought a couple of months ago from one of those lads with vast sports bags on their backs, hopeful smiles on their faces and identity cards in their hands, who turn up at our door once a fortnight to tell us they’ve been naughty boys but they’re back on the straight and narrow and just want a chance to show they’re willing to work. (And yes, we smile and listen and root through their bags looking for some item of kitchen ware we haven’t already got three of, just to show what nice people we are and how much we care. Every time. Unless we happen to see them coming and have time to hide.)
So… we have this item. A sort of shaped set of bristles on the end of a twisted wire handle which did actually unblock the kitchen sink about a week after purchase. After which I put it carefully away.
The obvious hiding place was the cupboard under the kitchen sink, which we duly emptied, to discover several dozen old tea towels and J cloths that were too tired and grubby to use but seemed too good to throw away (in case there might one day be a world-wide shortage of cleaning cloths?), nine of those nasty green sponges with one hard side for tough-to-shift dirt, ditto, and several very-nearly-empty pots of various miracle cleaners, left from the time when we had a particularly insistent Kleeneze rep in our area.
At which point I used some of these to clean the shelves and opened one of those ‘Please Fill This Bag With Your Unwanted Clothing or Bric-a-Brac’ bags that come through the letter box on a twice-weekly basis, to use as an overflow rubbish bin.
But no drain-unblocking device appeared…
It must be, G decided, upstairs and opened the cupboard under the bathroom sink.
Which contained seven grubby and unwanted sponge-bags, a couple of dozen packs of shampoo from hotels we couldn’t even remember having stayed in, nine sun creams, sprays or shields, all well out of date, several types of insect repellent, ditto, a whole lot more of those old tea-towels, J cloths and sponges, twenty nine used toothbrushes and a half packet of tampons.
‘Why?’ he wanted to know, waving them at me, knowing that I am, mercifully, well past that stage.
‘Well we might have a visitor….’
‘Surely they didn’t always look like that did they? How desperate would the visitor have to be to use one of these?’
Well yes. Very. Who knew tampons deteriorated?
My rubbish bag was very nearly full by now – although I left out the twenty nine old toothbrushes because there must surely be a use for them. (And I know there is. They are brilliant for getting into those hard-to-reach spaces or cleaning grout between tiles. But twenty nine of them?! With the total – because we have a terrifying dental hygienist at our surgery – rising monthly!)
I arranged them, colour-co-ordinated, in a circle and sent the picture to the children asking their advice. ‘It’s Art’, my daughter said. ‘Sell it to the Tate.’ And if my name was Damien Hurst they might well buy it but as it’s not…
And we still haven’t found the drain-unblocker. (Although, to his credit, G has managed to unblock the drain, as it were, manually.)
It’s still sunny outside and happy families are trekking back from the local lakes in one direction or the woods in the other but it’s too late for us and what have I got to show as the achievements of this glorious day?
One bag bulging with rubbish and two immaculate cupboards.
And I’m sorry but I count that as a complete waste time. It’s not as if I’m running a cafe or a hotel and am going to be inspected. None of our guests would ever dare peer into a closed cupboard in our house. And I bet I’ll need a few dozen unclean J cloths any day soon…
And I still have the problem of what to do with twenty nine old toothbrushes.