Posts Tagged ‘dirty


Things you should know before you spring clean (number one, don’t bother)

By nature, I am a tidy, clean person whose delicate sensibilities are assaulted by dirt, clutter or mess.

I, like William Morris, the famous designer of gaudy wallpaper much loved by the colour-blind and terminally smug, believe that nothing should be in one’s house which is neither useful nor beautiful. Sadly, by transposing this mantra to the contents of my house, not much would be left. The kids would scrape through on the latter clause, perhaps, but I’m not sure I’d meet either of the criteria.

No one else in my house is either clean or tidy. They are slatternly, filthy and strew their detritus over impossibly large surface areas. I know it’s fashionable to say that children should get dirty/lick germs off the floor/surf on landfill sites etc, but in fairness, the people who say this kind of trite nonsense aren’t standing by the washing machine offering to do my laundry. I’m all for a bit of dirt. Just not a huge amount of dirt. Especially if it’s trodden into my bed and discovered at 2am when I’m half-cut and unable to remember my own name, let alone how to operate a vacuum cleaner.

All my lofty ideas about dressing my children in natural fibres so their innocent skin could breathe without being hampered by a layer of chemicals went out of the window when I realised that they were both far too toxic to wear anything hewn from hessian or hemp.  Five minutes in linen and  my children will look as if they’ve just crawled out of a skip, even if you’ve kept them in a hermetically-sealed, empty Perspex box since the moment they got changed.

But still I persevere. And so, it comes to pass that it is time to ‘deep cleanse’ the house, a job that should by rights involve the chemical incident unit from the local fire station, a battalion of obsessive compulsive cleaners and an exorcist, but which in reality involves me with a rag and some Mr Muscle.

I think its healthy for the children to get really dirty. Oh yeah? This is their bathroom in 15 years time. After theyve cleaned it

"I think it's healthy for the children to get really dirty." Oh yeah? This is their bathroom in 15 years time. After they've cleaned it

In the true spirit of one who procrastinates about procrastinating, I have devised a handy 10 point list to help all of you out there who are contemplating a spring clean in the near future. By reading it, you are wasting precious scrubbing time. Read it twice. Read it until it’s summer and therefore illegal to spring clean in all civilised parts of the world.

1)    The custom of an annual spring clean began more than 3,500 years ago when an ancient Jewish tradition involved thoroughly cleansing the home in anticipation of the spring-time holiday of Passover. The idea was to remove any leavened foodstuffs (generally breadcrumbs) from the house – ‘bedikat chametz’ involved searching for crumbs by candlelight. In the olden days, this passed as entertainment.

2)    In Britain, the practice was adopted in springtime because, after dusting, the high winds of March would blow away any debris. Or blow it around the house, one or the other.

3)    You know that you are mentally prepared for the mammoth task of cleaning your house from top to bottom when you can answer ‘yes’ to the following question: “Can I cope with whatever horrors might be lurking behind the fridge?” Only the hardcore make it past this particular deal-breaker, fewer still cope with pulling the oven out to have a look at what’s underneath (I believe I may have struck oil behind mine. Other options are too distressing to contemplate). 

4)    Typing ‘spring cleaning’ into Google throws up around 277,000 entries – proof, if ever it were needed, that people will do absolutely anything to avoid getting out the dusters and the window cleaner, including building their own spring cleaning tips websites.

5)    Using ‘fun’ spring cleaning products, like leopardskin-patterned dustpan and brush sets or a hilarious pair of rubber gloves with fake ermine cuffs, will not make the actual task any less miserable, sadly. It will just make it a miserable task you are completing while looking like a total twat.

6)    You don’t have to use industrial amounts of chemicals to clean your house – you can use vinegar for most jobs, instead. Then, in addition to being clean, your house will smell like a pickling factory, a fish and chip shop or a particularly rancid tramp.

Ive cleaned the toilet. I want you to make a real effort not to ever use it again.

"I've cleaned the toilet. I want you to make a real effort to never use it again."

7)    Always clean from top to bottom. If you live in a bungalow or a flat, consider yourself completely exempt from spring cleaning due to circumstances completely out of your control.

8)    Snow White famously spring-cleaned the dwarves’ cottage with the help of her forest friends. Your family pets are highly unlikely to offer anything but a hindrance and are very possibly the reason you need to spring clean in the first place.

9)    If you simply can’t motivate yourself to spring clean, make a point of seeing the positive side of living in impenetrable filth. Those cobwebs are a ready-made Halloween decoration, and if you spray them with a little glitter they’ll look a treat at Christmas.

10) Ardent spring cleaners won’t just stop when the house is sparkling. With the merest encouragement they will also start zealously spring cleaning their finances, their relationship and their entire lives. These people must be avoided at all costs unless you are amongst their number or enjoy feeling deeply insecure, worthless and desperate.

 Thus far, I have cleaned out one drawer, and I am utterly exhausted. Next stop: dusting the Tequila bottle.


A talking vibrator – every shade of wrong in the sex toy rainbow

One Valentine’s Day, a friend of mine was given a ‘Talk To Me’ vibrator by a paramour keen to demonstrate his sexual liberation. As all ladies are aware, nothing says: “I love you” like being palmed off with a piece of plastic and then being expected to go away and make it work ourselves. You might as well just give us a dustpan and brush or a washing up brush and be done with it.

The vibrator had a heart-shaped controller with record and play facilities meaning it could be pre-programmed with a message that would play at seminal (so the wrong word) moments to “heighten the excitement”. Or cause you to make an ultimately very shaming phone call to the police, one of the two.

For those without any imagination whatsoever, the vibrator’s manufacturers made the following suggestions for appropriate phrases you could record for your loved one, such as “I love you baby” or “ooh honey, you look so hot”.

More terrifying than childbirth

More terrifying than childbirth

However, as figures reveal that most women buy their own vibrators, there’s more than an outside possibility that the only voice you could persuade to leave racy messages on a sex toy is your own, and when I last checked, leaving yourself dirty voicemail was as socially acceptable as wearing a hollowed-out baby seal as a hat.

I suppose, though, that for authenticity’s sake, you could record yourself saying out loud the things you might be thinking if you were with a flesh and blood partner: “have you put the bins out?” or “did I remember to tell you that your mother called? She’s checked herself into rehab again”.

Or maybe you could record your favourite celebrity from the television. Noel Edmonds on Deal or No Deal, perhaps (cockney rhyming slang joke: “It’s the banker!”) or maybe the music from CrimeWatch to perk yourself up a bit.

You could try and teach yourself a foreign language. Or remind yourself to pick up the dry cleaning – we women are adept at multi-tasking, I see no reason why we can’t make our orgasms really WORK for us.

By the way, the message left for my friend (and yes, it was a friend. Or was it a friend of a friend? Or was it a dream? I must move away from the photocopier) got somewhat lost in translation.

Rather muffled while in use, she thought it said: “I’d love a cup of tea” when in fact it said something about loving her cu…I’ll leave it there. I have young children and every time I curse a fairy dies. Or something.

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