I have sore wrists this morning. No it’s not RSI borne of conjugal prowess, it’s because I’ve been cleaning.
Me, the Matriarch of Muck, has morphed into the Queen of Clean! My Englishman was so astonished he couldn’t contain himself.
“What on earth are you going to do with those?” he asked as I fronted wearing a pair of Marigolds and brandishing a toothbrush and a fluffy cloth. His arched eyebrow suggested perhaps I had something a little hot and saucy in mind.
He was thinking bedroom, I was thinking dirty stove.
Why the cleaning frenzy? Well, my fab friends from New Zealand are in town and they wanted to see us. At home, or ‘at the hovel’ as we call it. I almost died. How on earth could I get four years’ worth of cleaning done in one day? Sure, I have three kids, but you’d be surprised how quickly they retreated to their bedrooms to catch up on study, once I confronted them with the concept of cleaning.
“Er, sorry Mum, but I have to get this project done on the Steglosaurus.”
Why? He’s been dead for over two thousand years. Quite possibly buried under our lounge floor, if the smell is any indication.
But I didn’t have a moment to waste on arguing with teenagers, I had life-changing work to do. And indeed after 5 solid hours of scrubbing, washing and wiping, my fingernails had disappeared and my daily makeup was more inspiration à la Mr Muscle than Garnier.
I can now reveal to you, Vegemitevix’s super cleaning secrets….
1) Shaving foam makes quick work of removing stains (animal, human, or mineral) from carpet. A dash of Lynx Excite doesn’t just make angels fall, and it is amusing what it does to female cats.
2) Salt and water is more powerful than the hardiest oven cleaner. Of course for optimum clean you’ll need a stick of gelignite.
3) Children and cleaning are mutually exclusive terms. Fact. The best way to get kids to swot for exams or finish course work is to threaten them with loading the dishwasher.
4) Marketers and Engineers will never see eye to eye on what constitutes good cleaning. I was focussed on the AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) principle, my Englishman the Engineer was focussed on the physics behind why the dishwasher was not spitting out spotless dishes. (He should have asked me; it’s because it was manufactured before the wheel was invented!)
5) It is surely more effective to vacuum the dog than the house.
Of course, as is usual in times of great stress (and cleaning) there were a few cross words, and one such argument centred around the correct usage of this item.
I was brought up to believe that this item was a tool for cleaning the grime off the bath, but my Englishman is adamant that it is a device for cleaning the muck of his manly body. Of course, I used said item for the purpose I considered it was made, just before my Englishman used it for buffing his bod.
Uh oh. Nothing’s better for the pores than a good lather with a layer of fat, body oil and fluids, and congealed shower scum.
In the end however the house was kind of clean, my Englishman had found his happy face, and the teenagers managed to move from their laptops to welcome our guests. All was going well until Mr Guest made his way to the loo, and was just about to open the downstairs’ loo door when I caught him with a shriek.
DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR!
I scrambled to the disaster zone – that is the room in which we stuffed everything out of the way – and pressed my body between it and him, blurting out breathlessly..
“The bathroom’s upstairs at the end of the hall”.
Yes, I know, I was directing him to the bathroom that is not yet finished, but at least it has moved on from the crime-scene bathroom status of last year, in that we have a working shower and a working loo. What’s more he would be ok as long as he didn’t look up at the mouldy ceiling, or tried to turn the light on. All things considered the upstairs bathroom is more an environment conducive to a quiet sit, than the downstairs loo. After all, it’s rather difficult to effectively ablute with an ironing board falling on your head!
We had a great night, consumed a fair amount of vino, stinky cheese and loin of pork (not long-pork, I did a head-count) and our guests were happily none-the-wiser that we live in anything less than godly cleanliness.