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    CHICCHANTAL   29,249
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Sunday, December 02, 2012

Ah, the delicate art of putting things off. I wrote the book. Or rather, I will when I get around to it.

Take my housework.

Off my hands. Please.

No no no, I've been good today really. I started off intending to do a Lucy on the kitchen. Doing a Lucy is a phrase known only to me and one of my colleagues. It refers to a character called Lucy Eyelesbarrow in Agatha Christies '4.50 from Paddington'. Lucy is a sort of super-housekeeper, the kind of person you get in when the staff have all walked out and you yourself can't boil water.

I have never been in the position of having staff to walk out or being able to afford a Lucy or even a Mrs Mopp. I boil my own water (using an electric kettle that knows when to switch itself off. I understand these things are rare in the States. How on earth do you manage? Please don't tell me you don't drink tea. That's impossible. EVERYONE drinks tea.)

I've lost the thread a bit. Where was I? Oh yes, planning to do a Lucy on the kitchen. If I 'do a Lucy' it means I'm doing it all myself.

Didn't happen. No, not because I put it off but because the rest of my flat was so minging doing a Lucy on the kitchen would actually have been a luxury.

Here, for those of you for whom the phrase 'too much information' is redundant, is what I did this morning, pre-disaster. More on the disaster in a moment, but to titillate your minds, there's a cat involved.

Of course.

Where was . . . oh, the list. Of what I did:

- take sheets off bed and shove in washing machine. Remember, belatedly, to switch WM on
- sort pile of dry washing and put away what doesn't need ironing (most of it, in my book)
- lug ironing pile into sitting room and switch on iron. At this point large cat leaves. He hates the noise the iron makes, the rattle of coathangers and the creak of the ironing board
- do ironing. Prove to self that I can still iron six shirts in half an hour, if I'm not too fussy about the shoulders and believe me darlings, I'm not
- then do last night's washing up. And the night before's
- clean kitchen sink, draining board, dish rack, washing up bowl, windowsill. There'll be a blue moon tonight
- tidy junk out of sitting room. Express surprise to self at amount of junk. Didn't realise I even owned this much, and yet here it all is, in the sitting room
- dust sitting room and realise it is some time since I did this. Really quite a long time
- take washing out of washing machine, hang it outside. The washing that has been out overnight is crisp. This is not because it is dry, but because it has frozen. Heave sigh
- put more washing in washing machine. I've got a backlog, owing to the amount of rain we've had
- sit down to sew up moth-hole in cashmere jumper and replace buttons that have come off tonight's duvet cover. The buttons have needed doing for at least four years so today's a big day
- observe large cat, who has returned and is sitting on sofa looking . . . . ah

ah. Aha.

Looking AS THOUGH HE HAS BEEN IN A FIGHT. He has tufts of fur sticking up and mutinous expression on his face.

Go into CATastrophe mode.

Lock cat flap, observing as do so that it is mucky. Collar cat, who swears. Put cat on sitting room table. Fetch bowl of hot water and salt from kitchen, cotton wool from bedroom. Carry these into sitting room. Collar cat, who swears, from kitchen. Carry cat into sitting room. Put cat on sitting room table. Add salt to bowl of water and stir. Collar cat, who swears, from bathroom. Carry cat into sitting room. Put cat on sitting room table.

Start feeling cat all over. Remove loose tufts of fur. After about ten minutes, during which cat gets increasingly testy, find bloody bit. Bathe with salt water which has now gone cold. Cat yowls. Tell cat shutupit'syourownfault. Take fresh bit of cotton wool. Bathe again. Continue till cotton wool is used up and cat has turned into alien.

Unhand cat, who takes off at Mach 3 for the kitchen. And much good may it do him, the catflap is still locked.

Enter kitchen and decide to clean catflap (covered in layer of catsnot and catfur). Squirt with lemon-flavoured kitchen cleaner. Straighten up to get brush to scrub catflap with and in the 10 seconds that back is turned the bloody cat shoves his nose in the lemon scented foam in the attempt to get through the locked catflap.

Collar cat, who swears. Carry cat into sitting room. Put cat on sitting room table. Wash cat's nose. Shut cat in sitting room, return to kitchen, finish cleaning catflap, open catflap, open sitting room door, watch cat's dust disappear on the horizon.

Sit down in ladylike manner and complete interrupted mending.

Vacuum floors, wash floors, and decide . . .


PS: the cat is back, and sleeping it all off


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
BLUEJEAN99 12/4/2012 1:56AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ILIKETOZUMBA 12/3/2012 11:48PM

    Lord have mercy, you had a busy day! And a highly entertaining one to read about. :) LOL I will say that despite being American, I do in fact drink tea...but I'm afraid I only use tea bags and just heat a mug of water in the microwave for 2-3 minutes in order to steep the tea. I definitely don't own any sort of kettle at all! Would that be frowned upon by our dear Anglo-friends?

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LAHUDSONCHEF 12/3/2012 10:32PM

    I've been singing one line (revised) of a song all day after reading this post this morning... Remember "Anticipation"?

-na-ay-shun is making me late!"

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ROCKYCPA 12/3/2012 10:13PM

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

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FROMNDTOGA 12/3/2012 9:41PM

Love your posts! Makes my day. clm

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NEWMOM20121 12/3/2012 9:13PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HEARTS116 12/3/2012 8:15PM

    emoticon Great blog!

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FRANCES-AGAPE 12/3/2012 7:52PM

    emoticon emoticon
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Dear, I just emoticon
how you make the most mundane
or horrible things sound FUN !

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Your life is just one, big ADVENTURE !

And your attitude is the BEST !

Have a Terrific Tuesday

emoticon emoticon
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PCASEY7 12/3/2012 7:51PM

    Good blog!

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REGILIEH 12/3/2012 7:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon I love the cat swearing! I'm surprised you didn't wash it's mouth out with soap. You have worn me out just reading about all the work you did! I must go lie down and rest! emoticon

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REFFIE1 12/3/2012 7:30PM

    Here in Canada we do have electric kettles with automatic shutoff when ready. I know this to be a fact since I am a proud owner of such kettle. Maybe, we have fancier tea paraphernalia because we are still part of the British Commonwealth. As you heard from some other comments below we have great tea and biscuits here. One unusual thing our ice tea comes pre-sweetened but in the U.S. I have found they serve it unsweetened. Maybe it is sweet down in the Southern states. Your cat is sassy like mine! Both have cattitude. emoticon

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ONLYTEMPORARY 12/3/2012 7:17PM


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DIANNEMT 12/3/2012 7:07PM

    Poor cat....

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LTMURPHY7 12/3/2012 7:05PM


Keep that up & no one will know you

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JOANNHUNT 12/3/2012 6:52PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LAURIETAIT 12/3/2012 6:52PM

    lol How many calories does a Cat-astrophe burn?

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SJKENT1 12/3/2012 6:42PM

    We are certainly in a similar lifestyle

I adore Agatha Christie - read the books, watch the Mystery Movies on TV. Know about Lucy. Great reference.

Have 2 cats - indoor babies who are getting too old to do much scuffling anymore.

Procrastination? hmmm... yes

Getting distracted from the primary goal of the day? hmmm... yes

You are a great light of joy today for me!

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MARYJEANSL 12/3/2012 6:26PM

  I want to reassure you - I do drink tea. A lot of tea. Tons and tons of it. But I am definitely an anomaly in the States. And no, I don't have an electric kettle. I have a whistling tea kettle whose whistle is so gosh-darn irritating that I would get out of the bath if necessary (never happened - but who knows? - it might) to shut the blasted thing off. I picked up the tea habit while living in Toronto - lots of milk and sugar. I've given up the real sugar, though.

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    I love Agatha Christie, I do own an electric kettle that turns itself off and I love tea. Although I often buy up a bunch when we visit Canada. Better selection of tea and very nice biscuits.

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ALIDOSHA 12/3/2012 5:29PM

    Thanks for the well told story which I really enjoied! emoticon

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MILLIE5522 12/3/2012 4:51PM

    emoticon Oh to be a fly on the wall in your house!

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BRENDAGAIL9 12/3/2012 4:28PM

    You are so funny. You should really write a book. As for ironing, I only iron when I sew because half of sewing is ironing. I don't sew very often these days. I did buy material to make a new ironing board cover about a year ago. I am a really good procrastinator. LoL

Cats? I love cats and always had one or two until my husband had a massive stroke six years ago and I had to move so had to give away the dogs and cats. Apartment living requires pet deposits and I never had enough money.

Keep blogging!

Brenda USA

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MSPATOOTY 12/3/2012 4:09PM

    Lucy and Ethel, the Wonder Cats, send their best wishes to your cat. emoticon

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CLAYARTIST 12/3/2012 3:48PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JESSICABOOTY 12/3/2012 2:51PM

    I am siding with the cat on this one. Hysterical, it's a wonder the little beastie didn't draw blood which would have landed on your laundry. I get wobbly eyes just following you around. You don't by any chance have a recording device strapped to your body so you can just walk and talk at the same time? Keep writing so the gray days will seem a little bit sunnier.

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MAMAOWLS 12/3/2012 1:54PM

    Fun stuff keep up the good blogs. emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 12/3/2012 1:28PM

  You always make my day.......... emoticon

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1MANKNEY 12/3/2012 1:17PM

    I love to Procrastinate. I just don't do it often enough. However, I have found that if you put off the mending long enough, you just might shrink out of your clothes and not have to do it at all. That suits me just fine!

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NEWCHINELO 12/3/2012 12:40PM


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LIVELYGIRL2 12/3/2012 12:38PM

  I do believe you makethe average , boring, tedious, jobs sound interesting. Part of it is;
1. your delightful sense of humor
2. your unique ( to us ) language you use to explain ( british )
3. use of " lucyisms " / phrases that have particular significance or meaning to illustrate the point

and of course your family member, the cat. Cats are spunky and goofy, at times, and so particular, plus funny. Or is it in the way , we interact with their attics?

Pretty funny and I'm sure( both annoying and endearing stuff ). LOL !!!

It doesn't seem that you get bored for very long.... emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 12/3/2012 12:01PM

    I already wrote the book on procrastination, sorry. My Mom says I am queen of procrastination. I can't have animals, allergic, plus that landlord might want to take them to the park and drown them in the pond. A stray cat had kittens in her garage and that is what she wanted to do with the kittens. I took care of them until my niece took them with the Mom.

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LAHUDSONCHEF 12/3/2012 11:10AM

    I love the story of your day! If I ever manage to get back to England again, I want to come visit you! And if you're ever in the States, you'll meet at least a couple Anglophiles down New Orleans way. :) (And yes, we drink tea! Only, my electric kettle fried out recently...need another one - it was just big enough to fill my brown betty.)


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SHOAPIE 12/3/2012 10:09AM


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DJSHIP46 12/3/2012 9:57AM

    How exciting... heat my tea water in the microwave, almost as good as a self-timing kettle. I do miss the excitement of having a cat (I will have one again someday), but for now I'll have to make do with cuddly puppies that are nearly as fiesty. Thanks for sharing!!!

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MOMMY445 12/3/2012 9:32AM

    you make me laugh every day! you have a wonderful sense of humor! have a fabulous day!

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GOOSIEMOON 12/3/2012 9:26AM


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    Great blog! Oh cats, don't we just love them?

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TURNINGTABLES21 12/3/2012 8:47AM

  Cats - such an ungrateful lot. LOL

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NILLAPEPSI 12/3/2012 8:45AM

    You can come do a Lucy on my house any day!! emoticon Poor kitty!!

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PENOWOK 12/3/2012 8:34AM

    You are so funny!! Poor kitty...

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MIMIDOT 12/3/2012 8:34AM

    What a day your had! (what a laugh I had) I so enjoy your blogs! Thanks for sharing.

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DNRAE1 12/3/2012 8:31AM

    LOL I want a Mrs. Mopp for Christmas. I am also a Procrastinator (did you notice the capital P?), so do try to do small bits here and there so it doesn't require a forklift effort.

Your poor cat who doesn't know how good he's got it!!! lol emoticon

Congratulations on all you managed to accomplish. Great job!!! emoticon

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GREENVALLEYS 12/3/2012 8:23AM

    I enjoyed your blog. I must tell you that this days they do sell electric kettles everywhere the ones with instant sutoff,I had several over the years, Hubby drinks tea and I enjoy instant coffee. 

Comment edited on: 12/3/2012 8:40:00 AM

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GABY1948 12/3/2012 7:50AM

    I can totally relate to the "Lucy" part. My son always told all his friends that his mom was like living with "I love Lucy"...and he was RIGHT. Can relate about the cats too...but we have always had collies...8" hair on some.

Have a GREAT week...I love your blogs!

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KIPPER15 12/3/2012 7:31AM

    emoticon Gotta love the cats. I make "tea" in the microwave, at all like my Irish Grandma used to do it with her teapot, cozy and loose leaf tea. Her's always tasted great too.

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JANEMARIE77 12/3/2012 7:29AM

    cats no more need be said

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634MEG 12/3/2012 7:22AM


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BESSHAILE 12/3/2012 7:07AM

    sounds like an aerobic workout to me

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WILSON1926 12/3/2012 5:50AM

    Good blog....thanks for writing it

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TRYINGHARD54 12/3/2012 5:44AM

    Iron ??? lol great blog

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