Friday, 22 January 2016

In Praise of House Carers

Sometimes, when challenged with another  dollop of animal product , The Professor will bellow out a lusty  " I'm sick of living in this midden"
It's only recently when I found out that a midden is a " pile of kitchen waste"
I've been scrubbing and cleaning for three solid hours now and still, I don't feel as though I've made a dent.
20 individual pet feet, a rain sodden village, a real and sooty fire and a small cottage all seem to conspire against a home which could spring out of the pages of " Homes and Gardens" .
I've just cleaned the fluff from under our bed and found a mummified mouse amid the debris.
Yeah, like I said, the entrants of "Hello" Magazine don't have these problems.

The low point of all this elbow grease occurred just as I was scrubbing away a rather tenacious " mark" from the toilet bowl. Winnie, who was keeping me company as I worked was suddenly caught short and peed like a horse on the toilet pedestal mat soaking both my knees.
I had to forgive her, as she is presently suffering from " in season frequency"
Yes, we do indeed have a toilet pedestal mat! How very 1970!

Where does the fluff under the bed actually come from ?
And the dirty hairs under the bathroom radiator pipes?
Why do the windows constantly look dirty even though I've just cleaned them
And WHY HAS ALBERT WALKED OVER THE COOKER TOP  WITH SHITTY FEET YET AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! 20 MINUTES AFTER I'VE JUST DONE IT?

I was wiping down the paintwork in the living room where William rubs him itchy bum when the postman knocked on the window. He waved a package cheerfully at me and as I opened the window
he chirped up with an irritating " a woman's work is never done " comment
Anyhow the package was in fact an original painting by Jill Chandler!
I've put it on show after polishing the dust clouds from the living room side table.


I've just written this in a twenty minute coffee break 
Sat at the kitchen table.
And from this vantage point
I can see two peas, an old fork, a mass of fluff and a crust of bread down the side of the cooker
Hey ho


94 comments:

  1. It's all the animals' fault. Sometimes I wonder why we put up with them, but then they do something utterly charming or goofy that reminds me.

    It's alright John, just one bite at a time. Chris' eyebrows will surely do their Roger Moore bit when they see the improvement.

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  2. The low angle of winter light is a bugger for showing up dust and cat hairs - I respond by drawing the curtains for three months. I'm thinking of training the house spiders to dust - after all they should be responsible for cleaning up their own cobwebs.

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    1. At last a genius comments

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  3. I hate noisy washing machines and vacuum cleaners. 2016 and they can't make noiseless house appliances.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps you need a dumb housekeeper who does everything by hand

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  4. Well, the Prof lives in the midden too so he can always help... I housewife away on the inside of the house, but my husband has his own chores to do too!!

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    1. I do all chores.... He works full time...i only work part time x

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  5. John - a midden might have the meaning you say in Wales, where you live. Up here in Yorkshire, where they always did call a spade a shovel, a midden has only one thing on it. S***! It was usually to be found at the rear of those outside toilets with scrubbed wooden seats, where everything just fell on to the ground out the back and was covered every Saturday morning by somebody's Dad with the week's ashes from the fire.

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    1. Patricia! You almost wrote shit then x

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  6. 20 mins.....what audacity !

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  7. So glad to hear I am not the only one with these issues!

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  8. oh my....most times I feel like using a shovel would be better than a broom!

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  9. When you have the pleasures of pets and family, you also have the pitfalls. Just sayin

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    1. Okok i'll shut my goddam mouth

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  10. We know you are a grafter John even if there isn't always something to show for it! Just keep your toilet bowl and food preparation surfaces clean and don't stress about the rest!

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  11. Lovely painting though. Lines up very close to the original photo on the page. Yes the house is cleaner after losing my dog, but somehow feels empty.

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    1. Thank god my photos dont have spell o vision

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  12. What a wonderful painting ! It took a minute for me to see what the dark part was :) what a nice gift .
    I find more of my own hair on the floor than the cats. I guess I am in my shedding season. or something.

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  13. I know the feeling oh so well. Some nights I just close the curtains early, lights the candles and the fire and hunker down ... if I can't see the mess it's not there.

    I love the painting, it's a very good likeness and looks lovely displayed in your almost cleaned cottage.

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  14. There is a solution, but I know you don't want to hear it John!

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  15. beautiful painting. Housework, little and often saves the hard work.

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    Replies
    1. Great advice
      It doesnt work

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  16. Aaaah, love the painting - it's Winnie and Albert !

    We'd rather have our dogs, and the hairs, (one moults for Europe all year round) than come home to an empty house. The worst thing is the slobber on the kitchen floor - no sooner do I clean up than it's back again.

    The fluff under the bed is put there by the evil fairies, John. They wait until you've vacuumed and it looks immaculate, then they steal in, and when you're not looking, leave some more. Well, that's my excuse - got nothing to do with not vacuuming under there very often !
    Actually we have divan beds, and there isn't more than an inch between the bottom of the beds and the floor, so no way to get underneath.

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    Replies
    1. Winnie can get under ours so there is enough space for 100 kilos of shit

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  17. Oh this makes me feel better. Back in the UK: one dog, husband out to work for at least ten hours a day, quick dust and vacuum through and all was done. Those were the days! Lovely having three dogs, not so nice is the mud they drag in from the farmyard. Nice having husband home all the time. Not so nice is the amount of mess he makes just to make a cup of tea! But he never says a word about how clean / unclean the house is, so I never, ever, nag him about his untidiness. I just simmer inside instead! Vx

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    1. Thank you vera, your reply made me feel so much better x

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  18. When we lived in town, and didn't have dogs, I kept a kitchen floor you could eat your dinner off....we laugh about it now....

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    1. Eat your dinner off our floor and i'll book you a bed on itu

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  19. It sounds like Jill needs to send artwork for every nook and cranny of your house. At least you clean up for photo opportunites. And here I am complaining about fur, footprints, and litterbox trails from two cats!

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    Replies
    1. She may get commissions

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  20. Tidy houses make me nervous. We live in an open plan bungalow and the dog hair tumble-weed drifts through the house in quite a poetic way hehe. As Yoda would say "House slut I am".

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    1. House slag too I am

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    2. Quite right too! has anybody on their deathbed ever said they wish they had spent more time cleaning? Unless of course they were killed by the noxious fumes from the layers of decaying rubbish that filled their home.

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  21. There's no end to housework and the more coffee breaks you take the more guilt you'll find. Beautiful painting.

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  22. I understand that a huge proportion of household dust is composed of dead skins cells that have flaked off the various flakes who live there. Perhaps this is the origin of "That's me all over."

    As for pet detritus, when the professional cleaners finished cleaning our house so we could hand it over to the the new owner, they told me it had taken longer than they expected because there was so much cat hair stuck to the walls and so on. And I thought we had cleaned up fairly well before the cleaning people got there!

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  23. my mother never did housework - if someone was visiting she would either say 'we are in the process of moving so the place is a mess' or spray furniture polish into the air and pretend she was just in the middle of cleaning. I turned out to become obsessed with housework and absolutely love it - shame I dont live near you!

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    Replies
    1. I had an old girlfriend that did hat when she was employed as a house cleaner.......
      Cctv caught her out

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  24. Oh boy you have made me laugh today!! Quite lustily in fact - and only because I can relate. 3 dogs (extra large, large and medium) and now 3 cats and we are well understood in the language of mud, dirt and dog or cat hair. I love the painting - gorgeous!

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    1. Thank goodness someone who understands

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  25. I have only 1 pet. I long haired, lovable and active border collie, Reximus Maximus Aurelius III (Rex). I vacuum, sweep and dust and 15 minutes later there are huge gobs of black Rex hair everywhere! I believe there are bad fairies and elves who pull clumps of fur from poor Rex (or store extra in the hall closet) and spread it around when no one is looking. Dust is inevitable; the Sycamore outside saves it until the doors open and tosses it in.

    Hand the Prof a broom and tell him to have a good time while you take the pups for a mud collecting tour.

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  26. "Yes, we do indeed have a toilet pedestal mat!" - so do I!

    and yes, unfortunately, housework is NEVER done. :(

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  27. hahahahah......welcome to my world!! Only I've trained my animals NOT to walk on tables, counters and cookers. (spray bottle of water)

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    1. Winnie has problems walking on tables...thank god

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  28. Ah, the painting of Albert and Winnie is stunning. Great gift when you'd been slogging. I had to spray Shadow (Arabic cat) with home-made toilet freshener last night as he backed up against our toilet pedestal. We have a toilet mat and I'd have to wash it out even at that late hour so that Grant doesn't squeal about the cat pee smell. Yet I'd never be without our five cats and two dogs - ever. xx

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    Replies
    1. Home made toilet freshener?
      Do explain

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    2. Half dettol/savlon and half tap water in a spray bottle. Smells so much better than flowery sprays and of course, I'm not using an aerosol. Works a charm!

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  29. I am trying to just make peace with a certain level of filth. Some days it works. Other days it doesn't and I generally deal with that by going away for a few hours. By the time I get home, I am just so grateful to be here that I don't care about the dirt and dust and clutter as much. And then, if I have a drink, it all starts to look a bit charming.
    Am I in complete denial?
    Yes. Yes I am.

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    Replies
    1. Its a 24 hour battle here
      And
      I'm loosing

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  30. You are definitely the "designated hausfrau" in the relationship. Did you have any say in that decision or does John just assume you will do all of the cleaning because he has no intention of lifting a finger? Since You both have "outside the house" jobs, why not share the "inside the house" jobs? What about the cooking? Bed-making? Does it all fall on you? Why don't you two (a dual-income household) hire someone to come in an do the cleaning?

    Don't mind me. You hit a nerve.

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    1. I do the housework as i only work one shift at the hospital per week......thats the deal

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  31. Lovely painting just wonderful.
    Cleaning is a pain and with so many footie prints everywhere what is one to do. That is why I have tile floors and not to much stuff around.
    But then that is what makes your cottage a home !
    I still think homes should comes with drains that we could just hose the floors down.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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    1. That is my dream too - drains in the floors! I also wish that upholstered furniture could be put into the washer and dryer when it starts to smell "doggy".

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    2. That is my dream too - drains in the floors! I also wish that upholstered furniture could be put into the washer and dryer when it starts to smell "doggy".

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  32. The fluff under the bed is called, 'Slut's Wool'.

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    1. Dobby the House-Elf would be a bit tricky. You could knit him a sock!

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    2. Slut's wool...that will amuse the Prof

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  33. This blog reminded me of a bar in a university town near where I lived in sort of central Pennsylvania. As we walked down an alley past the bar on our way to church, the doors would be wide open and the owner would be hosing everything down. OMIGOSH...the smell! Now, that's dirty!

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    1. Thank you.......I think

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  34. I thought the accumulation of grunge sounded pretty awful til you reminded us of the 20!! Little feet you must clean up after! I'm on the third washing of white slip covers since Christmas and I only have the one dog. Btw "the prof" could certainly pitch in a bit. It s his house too.
    set the vacuum by his chair and tell him to get busy!

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    1. Yeah, i want people to cut me some slack

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    2. White slipcovers? WHITE??

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  35. All home keepers seem to have these days. It takes constant vigilance to keep up with that many trackers. Having said all that my dust bunnies are having a party today because the sun shines.

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  36. You should get yourself a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner. It will clean the fluff under the bed, and Albert can ride on it too. Well the cats on You Tube seem to enjoy the rides. Greetings Maria x

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    1. Does it pick up slut wool ? ( see above)

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    2. No, only Albert. Xx

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    3. If i could put acushion on it, he'd love it

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    4. Roomba + dog diarrhoea or cat vomit + no-one home means very very bad things happen!

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  37. When I was growing up we always had someone to clean (live-in until we kids were in school, then daily, then weekly) and someone to do the ironing. It seemed to happen when no one was looking, so I never knew one had to. When I was first married and living in Kent, I was surprised at how dusty the house was and assumed the English air was dirty. I still don't like cleaning, but I hate it when the surfaces are dirty.

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    1. We had a cleaning lady in sheffield.......she was a heaven sent mail order bride

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  38. i always think you do a marvellous job.
    I find housework dispiriting and unending and taken for granted so it is always always a struggle.

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    1. You are a queen amongst bloggers

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  39. Perhaps your activities with the two wee lasses could include lessons in housework? Free labour there!

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    Replies
    1. Good idea! I'll buy girl sized dusters tomorrow

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  40. From where do those dust bunnies come?? I just hope they are not breeding under there.

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    Replies
    1. One day my home will be clean

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  41. i just want to invent self cleaning houses. Wet weather and animals = a mess!!!!

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  42. This post was just lovely. And you and your sister were pretty cute, too.

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  43. What a sweet picture!

    I'll see your peas, fork, fluff and bread crust down the side of the cooker and raise you a pen, several french fries and more cat hair than you can shake a stick at. The only way I can get in there is with a yardstick, and it only happens a couple of times a year!

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  44. P. S. I've heard it said that housework is like putting beads on a string with no knot on the end. That's pretty much true, especially if one has children or animals.

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  45. For all you do for so many and have an outside job too....you're just fine. I still have many outside babies and only a 15 year old cat in the house now. What I wouldn't give to have the furbabies I've lost back in the house. A spotless house can't snuggle with you!

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  46. Before you consider a rumba or similar you should probably watch this!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY1u_T328rw

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  47. What an interesting painting. Great gift. How did you not smell the decaying mouse under the bed? They smell like shit. My ex-husband screamed at me that we lived in piss and shit because of the dogs. Not true. We lived in piss and shit because of him.

    Love,
    Janie

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  48. It's all the pet hair. In the year in between Collette and Callie, I was simply amazed at how little hoovering I had to do. Not that I actually keep up with it. As you would say, "hey ho."

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  49. Lovely work, Jill, well done!

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  50. I used to be a cleaning lady and kept my own home super clean too. Now that I have a computer and a cat, I only notice the dust and fluff when I start tripping over the dust bunnies. Windows only get washed when I can't see out.

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  51. I feel your pain! Three shedding dogs, one of them 16 and incontinent... a blacks slate kitchen floor I like to call "The Black Hole of Calcutta", an ancient blind cockatiel who somehow manages to shit in AND out of the cage, and my dear husband who looks surprised when I curse about cleaning around the toilet- ...Yers, my Pet-free friends cannot understand why I spend so much time apologizing for the state of my house. But I wouldn't trade it for a sterile existence.

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  52. You live in a house full of life and love, life and love are not clean and pretty, they are warm and fuzzy.

    My X told me maids have to be hired, not married - you could work an extra half shift a week and hire someone in once a week for a deep clean.

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  53. My cats have their own weekly load of laundry (towels, chair covers, etc.). I've an assortment of rug and upholstery cleaning/deodorizing products with which I saturate the "hot spots". And I sponge the windows where wet noses are applied while bird watching. Guests who are themselves pet people nod in approval; guests who are not, sniff...

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  54. i read this post about and hour and a half ago but couldn't comment just yet. You see, I began to feel guilty about dust and carpets. I got the vacuum in the kitchen to suck the dust bunnies to a more manageable amount. I then proceeded in the living room to vacuum up cat furr from the seniors. Tiger big boy is overweight as I and needs help wiping himself. He looks at me like I've violated him though. I take off the lid to the cat box so he can get in to do his business. If I'm not around I'm left a lovely poo gift. It doesn't bother me so much anymore John. I adore my cats as my adult son, Walker the gamer does. I keep the dishes clean and kitchen tidy. I just don't clean like I use to. I'm a Granny now and life has slowed down abit. Your a charming, caregiver I see this so much in you. Making others comfortable is what you do. Love your family, do what you can and maybe the Professor will turn a blind eye now and again. Ha!

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  55. For what it's worth, it's not just you. I feel like I work all the time here and I never get anywhere. This time of year is especially hard with all the mud, isn't it? I have Olga prints everywhere.

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  56. Our dear little rescue poodle went to God two weeks ago. I do miss her, however I don't miss the smell of a fresh turd in the morning.

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  57. The annoying thing about dust and fluff is the way it distributes itself all over the house. If only it was considerate enough to collect in a single place, then I could just scoop it up and that would be that.

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