9 Mar 2011

Hestia and ......the butterfly effect

The Great Wave......
Tartarus is coming home soon and the house is like Beirut, minus the cracked plasterwork burned out cars.  I have been beavering away here, doing that parTICularly tricky sort of cleaning that looks just good enough to pass for How Tidy The House Has Been  All The Time In Your Absence, but not SO good that he rumbles that I've been up until 3am trying to knock the place into shape.

I had a glass of water beside my bed and I decided to take it downstairs as part of the Big Tidy.  Truthfully, it was the remnants of my new favourite tipple, a whisky and ginger ale.  I'd forgotten to drink it, I'd become so engrossed in Hilary Mantel's novel 'Beyond Black'.  More of that in another post though.

I had an armful of washing, but picked up the glass with its considerable amber contents anyway. Walking into the hall I promptly dropped a small boy's striped sock.  As I bent over to pick it up, the contents of the glass splashed onto the (recently washed, let me tell you) upper landing.

In my new capacity as Someone Who Does Not Swear, Even When There Is No One Else In The House I gave a loud sigh and went looking in the bathroom for a cloth.

Whilst rootling around at the back of the cupboard for something more absorbent than a sanitary towel, I came across some old bottles of perfume and began to sniff away at them; I hunkered down on the bathroom floor, long-forgotten bubbles of Hestia personal history floating to the surface with every breath.

Inspired, I decided to write a blog post and spent a happy hour writing about some old perfume loves (which was my post the other day).

After I'd zapped off the blog, I got caught up in re-reading old posts of mine and giggling away to myself.  I suspect that's REALLY bad form; to find your own writing amusing. Like thinking your own farts don't smell quite as bad as anyone else's.  Or something equally ridiculous.

But when you've forgotten what you've written, it must be forgivable to let rip with the odd snort of laughter, yes? Maybe? P'raps not.

Something tugged at the untucked corner of my sad little duvet mind.....what was I doing before I settled down to write the blog and piddle mindlessly about on Facebook? BUGGER ME!!!! The whisky and ginger ale!!!!!!

Yes, I lapsed.  The swearing was back.  But limited to inside my head.  And on this blog, obviously. And sometimes at my music lesson.

I flew out into the hall with the cloth and started mopping up the spilled (now slightly sticky) drink.  I noted that it had run across the floor and between the spindles of the banister...and over the side.  With a mounting sense of doom, I peered over the edge to see that it had indeed dripped down to create a well-soaked-in stain on the stair runner carpet, a goodly distance beneath me.

Reader, that stair carpet cost more than the house (not really, but you get my drift).  More swearing.

A bucket of hot soapy water was obtained from the kitchen and some earnest rubbing (and a modicum of prayer) ensured that the stain was eventually removed.  But now the rest of the step looked a bit tatty around the newly cleaned area (it was near the foot of the stairs, part of the constellation of increasingly grubby stairs that Sonshine uses to great theatrical effect when he comes in from school by sprawling all over them and telling me what a TERRIBLE day he's had at the hands of the dreaded Mrs D).

I cleaned the whole step.

I carried the bucket of grey, soapy water back to the kitchen, intending to tip it down the sink.

Instead, I didn't tip it down the sink, I tripped over my abandoned gardening boots and tipped the water absolutely fucking EVERYWHERE.  It mainly hit the IKEA table which caused the water to tsunami itself in a massive splatter up the walls, the ceiling, the window, the front of the oven....and the long-suffering carpet tiles.

Honestly, I stood for a good 10 minutes listening to the water dripping onto the work surfaces and floor, wondering which area needed tackling first.  In the end,  I decided to do what any good Domestic Goddess would do.  I pulled on my jacket and boots and went shopping. 

*please note:  I returned with no lovely floaty silky things as I had hoped.  Just a massive pair of flesh-toned control knickers*

The kitchen looked remarkably....ok.  Although I may have to artificially resuscitate a couple of carpet tiles before hubby gets home.

Hours of mess from one little dropped sock.


  1. You are hilarious! That's exactly the kind of thing I do. Housework is utter crap, best avoided. xxx

  2. Oh you poor dear. All that work for nothing. If Tartarus is coming home after a long time away, won't he have eyes only for (in no particular order):

    His Dinner

    He won't probably see much about the house. Maybe it's guilt making you do the cleaning?

    Funny post though.

  3. May I swear for you? OK then,


    I gutted, and I mean gutted our kitchen on Sunday. It was spotless. AND THEN I took a loaf of bread of the top shelf of the cupboard, where it lives with the other breakfast things. But the loaf of bread brought with it the porridge oats, and the whole bloody packet spilled out.

    We were about to have dinner, so I sorted out the stuff on the counter and sort of pushed all the stuff on the floor till it was in one wee pile. Which Dave then walked through.

    If he says anything, you tell him to do it himself!

  4. It's a well known truth that men don't notice clean or dirty (or so I thought until I saw "I love you" etched into the dust on the study window sill). Seriously though wont he just by dying for some home cooking and a good seeing to?

  5. Mrs P - that made me burst out laughing. Tartarus would have etched 'dust me'!

    LM - isn't it GALLING to spend ages making it look ok for one poxy little thing to go wrong and the whole place looks like a shit-heap again?

    TSB and Mrs P - The days of a 'seeing to' are long behind me. I live the life of not only a household goddess but practically a Vestal too. All very sad, but there you go, that's life :-D

    Vix - As EVERY leave looms large, I vow to buy in a lady's services for the week before he comes home (cleaning!). I never remember. But to tell you the truth, I feel so washed out with my monthlies (which came today - what JOY!) and piss poor weather here that I just can't be fagged doing any more.

    Ali x

  6. It must be contagious. I spilt bits of chicken oxo all over the place from a crumbled and torn cube and then managed to burn dinner (haven't done that in ages). Consoling myself with Boursin on digestives.

  7. OMG Tartarus must be MG's long lost brother, MG once wrote DIRTY on the cooker hood, I ask you! When MG worked in Paris during the week, I gave him glowing reports of how much I had achieved in the house, all lies, as of course, I was doing everything except housework, come Friday panic set in and I would cram a weeks worth of housework into a few hours (and this dusty old farmhouse is massive) MG is picky, he always notices the things you don't want him to see, Every Friday evening, the romance went out of the window as he eyed me and uttered the words "what, exactly have you been doing all week"?

  8. I learnt from that one years ago and empty all glasses down the bathroom sink before I attempt to go downstairs, usually with a basket full of washing and some now, empty glasses amongst the dirty socks!

  9. Oh Ali .. that sounds so like a day I would have .. as you know Facebook has been where I am have and am hiding at the moment .. along with all my own accidents .. love your posts .. xx

  10. My other half wouldn't know what a mop was if it jumped up and smacked her in the kisser. She didn't get the tidy or housework gene, so like many other things these days, I do it myself.
    Thanks for the laugh Ali, You always crack me up.

  11. aaah hilarious..... I too missed out on the cleaning gene, occasionally even I can't handle my kitchen sqalour and grab a j-cloth only to smear rather than clean surfaces.......this evening I grabbed some red wine vinegar which had somehow lost it's top, splashed it into my delicious dressing only to discover it was full of thousands of little tiny specs...... in my shock-horror to discard the dead-fly-vinagrette I spilt it over crowded work top!! I wiped the worst of it but I know there are puddles lurking behind the blender, the toaster, the ever-sticky bottles of oil......

  12. when Number Two son brought his first girlfriend home we noticed,after she'd departed never to be seen again, that she'd written "XX was here" in the dust on his shelves.

    Mah! She'd never have fit in with us.

  13. Di - We have much more pressing things to do with out time other than housework, do we not? Got any more lampwork beads made? :-)

    YaH - oh God, yes, the horror of shifting something...or worse, not being ABLE to shift it because it is stuck fast in some long evaporated sticky thing. As long as it doesn't happen when my mother is visiting, I should be ok....

    Legend - see, we CREATIVE women aren't much fussed with cleaning. What's the point in doing something that will only need redoing from now until the end of time? S'what I ask myself anyway :-)

    Ruby - I am not even going to BEGIN to comment on the 24 hours you've had! Step AWAY from the Absolut ;-)

    Mrs Fab - I have an ensuite! I could have DONE that. I just wasn't thinking. Like usual.

    Dash - JESUS H CRHIST!!! The cooker hood!!! I have not cleaned it. THAT's my give away area that I live like an Italian strumpet for 6 weeks when he's away. You could fry chips in the build up on my cooker hood. *mental note to clean it FIRST thing tomorrow*

    Ania - you didn't feed your family digestives and Boursin for dinner, did you?!

    You've all cheered me up wonderfully. I've got lots of tidying to do but SURPRISE!!!! My monthlies have arrived and I'm off to bed with a hotty. Water bottle, sadly. Not Hugh Jackman.

    Ali xxxx

  14. I was thinking about Quentin Crisp's comment about dust, and something about letting it pile up like snowdrifts, and I just HAD to google housework quotes. Some faves...

    "Don't cook. Don't clean. No man will ever make love to a woman because she waxed the linoleum - "My God, the floor's immaculate. Lie down, you hot bitch." ~Joan Rivers

    "Housework, if it is done right, can kill you." ~John Skow

    "You don't get anything clean without getting something else dirty." ~Cecil Baxter

    "My idea of superwoman is someone who scrubs her own floors." ~Bette Midler

    ..ok. I'll stop now ;)

  15. Dear Ali, that was really funny. I once spilt a tray of coffee up the hall. I can still see splashes of it.

    I'm with Fanny and Bette Midler. Why scrub your own floors? Just get the house blitzed just before he comes home.

    You need me to come and life laundry the place! Don't panic I haven't been to Scotland for years! xx

  16. Christina - I'd be a nervous wreck if you came and life laundry-ed me! Tarterus tries, from time to time, and I end up sitting on the edge of the bed moping and feeling dreadful!

    Fannie Pinkleton - I love your quotes. Especially the Joan Rivers one. Maybe that's where I'm going wrong?!

    Thank you for stopping by to comment. appreciate it!

    Ali x

  17. Oh Ali you really do crack me. I snorted when I read the bit about the soapy water going all over the kitchen. It's exactly the sort of thing I'd do.

    The Joan Rivers quote is genius. I find housework an utter bore. You spend hours at it and two minutes of people actually living in the house and it's a tip again!

    ps - not bad form at all to find your own writing funny! This is one place I know will always make me smile so I'm glad it has the same effect on you.

  18. Dear Alison, You did exactly the right thing walking out on the chaos! I would too. Clearly the gods were directing you not to clean. I always find it extraordinary how some things, no matter how hard one tries, continually turn to shit. This often happens when I am most stressed - I turn the pastry for the tart onto the floor and it disintegrates or I get toothpaste on my blouse.

    I am embarrassed to say that I am a bloggee and not a blogger. However, I do read very appreciatively! Lindaxxx

  19. Hi my dear-poor you!! Housework is definitely one of my things I do when I absolutely have to, it really is needs must in my house, lol!! You did the right course of action though!! x


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