Friday, 23 July 2010

Tidy tidy tidy

It is dawning on me, this idea, that the family will live some place else for a while.

I had the thought that I must clean up the house I leave behind.

I did think, Don't bother. Then I would simply exit the front door. Easy. But then I thought, if I did that, bad things will happen.

1) The debris, presently piled floor to ceiling, will rot and fester and stink. After three days, the neighbours will call the police. They will break in to look for the decomposing bodies I surely have stashed under the floorboards. To date, they are one rat, five mice, 2,456 spiders, and one gas man. The discovery of the corpses, and how we actually live, will be shaming, and I will be disgraced in polite society forever.

2) People might come and stay while we are away. People like Aunty Dee. I would like my house to be nice for her. I like to imagine that she is not a quiet and retiring, slightly deaf spinster with a career built in social work, but that she will use our house to host a swinger party for her work colleagues. I would like to imagine that all her office chums will admire how I have artfully arranged my colour-coordinated sofa cushions and thoughtfully offered a selection of tinned fruit.

3) While we are away, anyone who comes into our house will call in a plumber. This is almost a certainty. A plumber, an electrician, a glazier, a gardener, another gas man. They will all need to come and repair the damage I have left. It is true, isn't it, that other people notice what you do not.

For example, I can live with the tap. I have learned how to deal with the problem. Admittedly, my first solution was not good. I shoved a rubber bung up the dribbling end and upturned a cup on the turny bit. This was my DIY household maintenance. The bung solution was not good. I flooded the ceiling void, short circuited the electrics, and caused several hundred pounds of damage. Of course I look on the bright side. The tap stopped dripping in the short term. About ten minutes of short term, before the explosion.

Now, me and the tap get along. But someone else will come and fear the tap exploding, and think Something must be done! When the plumber arrives, I think it would be good for them to get at the mains water tap without having to remove the body of the gas man.

4) Dig says that how you present something is how it will be treated.

For example, you might take your car to the garage. But you forget it is full of crap! Like a selection of pasta in the passenger footwell, empty drinks cartons, banana skins, soiled trousers, and swimming costumes. The stuff you carry if you have kids. But when the garage mechanic sees this mobile skip, he will not bother putting down that brown paper in the driver's side. No. He will simply invite all his mates to come and sit in your treasured vehicle, wipe their boots over the stained upholstery, discard their chip wrappers, and treat the glove box like a spittoon. He is safe in the knowledge that you will not be able to tell. And he is right.

I heed Dig's caution. I will leave my house nice so that it is treated with love by the police, crumply swingers, and plumber come to mend the exploding tap.

5) I would like to come back to a nice house! This is the most important thought I have had. When I step back home after hours of torture by kid and aeroplane, I would like the house to be here, welcoming, safe, and clean. So that is how I must leave it.

Consequently I have so far removed one bottle of two-year old coriander from the fridge, and reorganised the Spanish peseta coin collection.


Nora said...

Oh poor Grit, I see that this is going to be a difficult job. You should call in some professionals. Don't give yourself a nervous breakdown.

Rachel M. said...

I'd be tempted to walk away and deal with it all a year later!

sharon said...

You have my sympathy. For our big move we just sold our house but then, we never intend to return!

However it is a great opportunity to off-load the extraneous . . . .

A Modern Mother said...

Yes, clean the house before you go. So where are you going, guess I need to figure that OK.

Mud in the City said...

OOoh - heading to Asia? there's a bolt hole here should you need it. (and I won't tell the gritlets where you are...)

kellyi said...

Guess what....we may be spending a year away from home too because of husbands work, and I keep looking at the house and thinking about what I should do but not actually doing it.

Green V-Neck said...

Well, we all have to start somewhere, don't we? Good for you, getting started!

MadameSmokinGun said...

OMG - The Fear.

The Fear of the Unknown.

What lies beneath.

One's Own House......