Saturday, October 14, 2006

A tidy home...

... is a sign of a wasted life? There are some things about living in France that differ in no way from living anywhere else. One of those is housework; inevitable, laborious, tedious, repetitive.

I am not a fan, in general, of housework, but what I detest the most is tidying the boys' bedroom. Today the state of emergency level was bordering on 'unhealthy' so I sent them in to wage war on the total chaos that raged on the floor. Heaven knows what was lurking in there, with its feet up, watching tele with a cup of cocoa, thinking itself safe from a brutal hoovering. Ha! I think NOT!

The boys made a courageous effort, I must admit. They didn't just push the mess under the bed, chest of drawers and other sundry orifices; they picked things up and chucked them in the nearest handy receptical. When we moved in, I had organised their room beautifully (natch!) with a box for cars, one for figures, one for general toys, one for Brio, one for weapons and so on. Would you believe me if I told you such organisation was still in place? No, I thought not, and you'd be correct. Everything is all over the place, and to really tidy it up, it would all have to be tipped out, and rearranged properly.

I went in there, took one look, went out again and decided to unblock the shower. To do such a ghastly, smelly job instead of tidying the bedroom indicates the task that had still to be undertaken... With the shower all sparkling and clean, crappy French plumbing unblocked, and a general air of cleanliness in there, I confronted the bedroom.

The hoover bag was full, and the boys had already hoovered up a bathrobe belt which was blocking the hoover thus rendering it useless. I sorted that out, got a bin bag and set to work, my temper getting worse by the minute. It now looks presentable in there; nothing more. It needs a blitz that I'm not prepared to spend the time or effort on today, especially as the hard work would be invisible a few days hence.

That is what I hate about housework. The crap returns. Where does it all come from, and why don't whole places disappear in the process of being transferred into peoples' homes? You should see the dust I collected off the stairs after one week's usage. Just one week. What hole now exists having been stamped up the stairs and down again? It's one of life's conundrums.

I always feel I could be doing something more interesting when hoovering, cleaning, unblocking. Life is passing me by as I pick up small cars and weapons, again. Instead of spending Saturday afternoons on housework, I could be improving my mind, visiting places, playing an instrument, cycling with the boys, tennis, reading, writing my book. Anything! I'm one of those people who was born to have a woman that does twice a week. Unfortunately, I was not born with the means. Oops, a celestial cockup there...

I used to have a cleaning lady, in more comfortable times. It was joy, pure joy to walk through the door after she'd been and see the house gleaming, tidy and not how I'd left it.

We all have our secret miracles. That one is mine.


  1. Hi Sarah

    Here's someone from Colin Randall's blog just calling by to say hello. I've decided to take a back seat for a while - things were getting too combative, yet again.

    Nice to see you helping Colin out with the mechanics of Blogspot. Shame he had to delete an entire string, just to be shot of one or two dodgy words or insults. Anyway, you've told him how to delete individual comments. Maybe he won't need to deploy the nuclear option next time....

    I'll tell you what puzzles me, and that's the pitiful cry from Anne Gilbert that she's inadvertently, deleting her own comments. She's been clicking on a dustbin symbol, WYBI ? Leaving aside the somewhat obvious, how come she's seeing a dustbin symbol against her entries ? I'm not. Is it something to do with how one signs up at the start, eg as a responder, or a fully-fledged blogger like yourself.

    Speaking of which, I've got an embryonic plan for my own blog-with-a-difference, that may take a week or two to plan. I may well decide to use Blogspot as well. Like Colin R., I'd know where to come for help ! More about that later.

    Clutter! Tell me about it. When my children were young they seemed to have half of Hamlyns at their disposal - at least the technicolor plastic toy department, and most of it was strewn around the floor when I got home from work. I'm one of those unfortunate folk who cannot unwind or relax if surrounded by a lot of mess. Since complaints in the right quarter had little effect (TMS) I went out and bought a large chest with a hinged and padded lid (doubling as a seat) and christened it the Clutter Box. First thing I did on getting home at night was a quick clearance. It all got tossed in willy nilly - let the little urchins sort it out themselves .....

  2. Hello Colin, nice of you to pop in! I don't know why there are no more dustbins. Perhaps they disappear when you enable comment moderation.

    I'm not a highly proficient blogger, just prolific... but I know where to go for help so I can usually find out the info needed.

    I look forward to reading your blog when it takes off!

  3. Actually, you might not, Sarah. As I said, it's a blog-with-a difference. You see, it's not for the faint-hearted. I can't recall what they call the latest scariest ride at Alton Towers - it was Thunderloop when I took my kids- looked like it had been designed by a Year 9 CDT pupil on the back of an envelope - but what I have in mind is a white-knuckle ride .....

    PS Having great difficlulty in sending this post. Had this trouble before, back on Colin R's blog. Let's try again.

  4. Housework, I shudder at the thought, and yet it is as necessary as it is inevitable. I can't bear living in the middle of a huge mess, so... well, we all know where that leads.

    Good luck on the boys' room. Perhaps they need a few new weapons to battle the real enemy - disorder!

    Cheers, --- Phil

  5. Yeah, it's all summed up, Phil,Sarah, in the Second Law of Thermodynamics:

    "The total entropy, ie disorder, of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value".

    There's another, more succinct way of putting it:

    EntroyP ruLse, Ko ?

  6. Entrophy, huh? So would it look really cool and educated if I told the boys to tidy the entrophy in their thermodynamic bedroom before it reached its maximum value?
    Or, "Your entroyp rulse is hitting max, boys. Get in there and start reducing it... or else!"

    Hmm, I'll have to remember that one.

  7. There's a less erudite alternative, Sarah. It's called blackmail. Y'see, Christmas isn't far off.........

    Or has Santa become more socially-inclusive in these PC times ? Is being a "good boy" now seen as oh so 20th century ?

  8. Some things never change, Colin. The blackmailing of children before Christmas is one of them. Unfortunately, it is a threat which can be overworked, and is difficult to employ with my eldest who says soemthing like, "Okay, so I don't get any presents, I don't care, I'd rather be messy" gives a gallic shrug and waltzes off.

    It's not quite that bad, but he's got room for progress before he hits true adolescent martyrdom. For the moment, they are relatively obedient and recognise that toys get trodden on and broken when left on the floor. Also, it's better to humour mummy just a bit as she's a pain in the butt when in a bad mood...


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