Thursday, 12 April 2012


Last night I went with a friend to clean her rental cottage in a village close to where we live.  Anyone who knows me well would probably die laughing gently smirk to themselves at the thought of me helping to clean anything. 

Cleaning and me are unhappy bedfellows. 
I will be entirely up front - I really, really, really don't like cleaning my house.  Or my car.
In fact -  I hate cleaning.  I will do anything to put it off,  and even the things I do which are supposed to help me clean hinder me. 

A regular method of mine is to gee myself along by blasting out a load of show tunes on Spotify once all my cleaning materials are lined up on the kitchen table. 

All my cleaning materials are lined up on the kitchen table while I stand, throwing meaningful glances at my imagined audience, belting out anything and everything from Charlie Girl to Les Miserables.
I enjoy it, so all is not lost - but nothing gets cleaned. 

Don't get me wrong, I love it when the homestead is clean (for the several minutes it lasts before everyone gets home).  And I wouldn't want you to think we had cockroaches or a thriving rodent community. I do clean - just not very regularly, or very thoroughly it seems.

After reading a couple of blog posts lately I was left entirely slack-jawed.  Some people's cleaning routines include wall-mopping and bi-weekly skirting board wiping! 
I am in awe of them.  Entirely.  These things just wouldn't have occurred to me.   

I realised I was a bit slack - but had no idea I was positively prolapsed.

These startling revelations made me think I should shake myself up a bit.  How dreadful that my family were living in this sordid state.  Oh me, oh my.

I beat myself up quite a bit, actually.

But, eventually, the little voice in the back of my mind grew until it was howling,


A broom . . . apparently

Meanwhile, back at The Byre (my friend's delightful rental). . .

After we'd scrubbed sinks and bathrooms, and changed beds and towels, we made a drink and chatted for the rest of the evening. 

As this whole cleaning methods/acceptable frequency debate was still raging in my head I asked my friend how often she cleaned at home.  (Just one of the reasons I love this friend is for her honesty.)  And, bless her sweet socks, she told me she doesn't always do 'a clean' once a week.  (Although I must add that The Byre is regularly and thoroughly cleaned to a sparkle.)

Indeed, her Top Tip was to have someone come to stay once a month so you are at least forced to do a thorough clean then.  Marvellous.

I was grateful for her candour and decided on the spot that I should embrace who I am and 'own it' - as the entertaining ladies on Real Housewives of New York City are wont to endorse.

My house is presentable most of the time, none of us is harbouring a dread disease or suffering any malady brought on by dust or lack of bleaching. 

It's okay. 

I checked - the kids had no idea what I was talking about and the Best Beloved is more concerned about my general happiness than he ever would be by dust bunnies. 

So, there it is and all about it.  I give myself permission to clean when I think it's necessary - and perhaps even the day after that if I'm feeling particularly bold.

And I guess I want to expose myself (as it were) on the World Wide Net in the hope that someone, somewhere - who may similarly be chastising themselves for their perceived slovenliness -might find my words and think,

'I am not alone.  There is another who is a bit lax in the whole housework department.  I shall sleep easy tonight'.

And, isn't it funny how cleaning somewhere with a friend isn't a chore?
(I feel like there should be some sort of theme music playing now as the credits roll).

* * * * * * * * *

The night was pitch black by the time we left The Byre and all the clouds that had gathered during the day had cleared.  We stood for a moment and gazed up at the stars - so many more than we can see in our light-polluted town - and were quiet with wonder.

Thousands and thousands and thousands of shining stars all around us,
and I thought....

....I'm glad I don't have to clean them.


  1. Are you crazy lady? Have you not read my posts or YOU ARE NORMAL! :) Everyone's the same dude, the one's that claim they aren't are either LYING my friend or they don't sleep at all. And your mate is so right. Remember when you're visiting your friends, they have visitors (YOU!). Their house doesn't normally look like that, it looks like yours and mine most of the time. I too, have a generally clean house but I also don't get time for big or 'proper' cleans hardly ever. God knows what's behind my cupboards or under the beds :) But that's why the Spring Clean was invented by housewives long, long ago who knew that at least once a year, they had to give their house a proper clean because they never have time the rest of the year. And I say, involve the family. It's everyone's mess, why should one person be left to clean when it's obviously a full time job? Have a Spring Clean Day and get Hubby and kids invovled. I can dream ... I tidy every day, I do dishes and hoover/sweep the carpets and floors, pick up toys and do laundry. And yes, I mop my bathroom walls but that's because I have floor to ceiling tiles, little boys who's aim isn't always perfect and mopping them is the quickest and easiest way to clean them. And let's get this into perspective, I've lived in this house for over a year now and I've just mopped the walls for the third time since being here. Hardly a regular, scheduled cleaning. I don't have any kind of a routine or schedule to my cleaning to be honest! I just do what I can, as quick as I can and try not to beat myself up for the stuff I don't get done. Which is lots.
    You are not alone. There are plenty of us lax in the whole housework department. Sleep easy tonight my friend, you are one of the normal ones :) xxxx

    1. Ain't she great? Don't think I've ever been called 'normal' before. Thanks WF xxxx