Thursday, 11 August 2011

I want no holes on my return

One problem has consumed me, of late. It has changed my thinking, affected what I do, driven me half-mad with suspicion. Seeking resolution, I scour internet sites after dark, taking quiet comfort from similar tales of woe.

The children are alarmed. They watch me falling to the floor at a moment's notice. But I must do it. There I can better scrutinise the underside of the upholstery. They see me stop, then climb on furniture to stare at pelmets. They hear me, mid-sentence, pause with a distant stare, to examine -

Well, there is nothing else I can do. I know they are here. They drive me to frenzied activity in bedrooms, wardrobes, cupboards, stairwells, behind curtains. I need two varieties of nozzles under the sofa.

I know it is taking a toll. Whatever their need, mother's not here. I can only hope to spare them the worst, and try not to let myself be discovered, undignified, on hands and knees, scrutinising the back of a chest of drawers. They call me to come and look at their paintings and I groan, because I am on top of the furniture with a pair of rubber gloves. When they need dinner, I am busy, furtively squeezing mops behind radiators. Probably a life with foster parents will be more rewarding than this OCD mother.

But it must be done. I am focused upon it. I must secure my borders. It is true that in the last month I have only seen two of the enemy, flopping lazily about the air as if nothing in the world could harm them. Well I can, and I have a hammer.

I would not ordinarily mention this normal domestic circumstance, because there is very little education in it. Yet it is an achievement of sorts, so in the daily diary it goes. And I think I am winning. I have shook, washed, exposed all to sunlight, scoured, wiped, vacuumed (three times over) and am turning slightly purple thanks to overdoses of oil.

But I have no idea what the children are doing. They are doing godsknowwot. These days they keep their distance from me, in the garden, probably, hiding up trees. I distinctly remember a moment when I banished them from proximity to any fabric, and they made off into the garden in a hurry, maybe in case I removed all their clothes.

Now, I must be off, to slide under their beds with a pointy vacuum cleaner nozzle and peer at their bedboards.

It is the only way, if I am to rid my house of the enemy.

4 comments:

Nora said...

Have you sprinkled moth balls yet? It seems to be something I remember from a distant past. I have no idea how they work either, but it seems like a sensible thing to do.

sharon said...

We have 'pantry moths' here for which there are pheromone baited sticky traps with no nasty chemicals - and they actually work. Perhaps there is something similar for clothes moths. You will have to do the research when back in the UK again.

Assuming you are settled back in the HK schoolhouse and all are still alive and preferably not kicking ;-)

Grit said...

hi nora! mothballs are too stinky horrid. also i read one account in my late-night wanderings of the moths standing about them, using them as assembly points, probably, for social activities.

i will look out sharon, thank you. atm, i'm using lavender oil, sunlight, vacuum, and getting rid of stuff. we arrive hk for the september start. i miss england already.

sharon said...

Ah - I thought you were departing for foreign climes on August 18th. Will you be at the same place once you do fly out?