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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

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    what's an iron emoticon emoticon
    1965 days ago
    1965 days ago
    You accomplished alot in one day plus took care of the cat! Ironing isn't my thing either. I do it as little as possible. Glad kitty made it home.
    1965 days ago
  • NCSUE0514
    1965 days ago
    I LIKE starting the day off smiling. Thank you for your delightful blog!
    1965 days ago
    Not many Americans drink tea. A lot of Americans think they drink tea. Not many Americans know what tea is. I'll. explain about Americans, tea, and dead-mouse-on-a-string tomorrow, if I get around to it.
    1965 days ago
  • EABL81
    You are either a very brave, or very foolish, woman. Cats and water DO NOT mix well. I have the scars to prove it.

    Er, what's an iron?

    1965 days ago
    Hysterical, you are so funny.

    I'd like to say it isn't so, but I don't drink tea nor do I have a tea kettle.

    Doesn't Kitty have a partner and where was he/she while injured kitty was being repaired?
    1965 days ago

    You were definitely Doing Lucy..what a busy day. But looks like you had accomplished so much. At least your cat is happy. Have a wonderful week !!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1965 days ago
    There are electric tea kettles here in the states, but they look much like a regular tea kettle just with an electric cord attached. There is a fancy model that is clear, and taller, sort of like a coffee pot only it's definitely to be used for boiling water for tea. I don't know if any of them have an automatic shut off feature. We're backwards that way. And I've not seen anything like what was to be had in the dormitory at Hilde & Bede: a water heater/dispenser that was wall mounted and heated the water up at supersonic speed. it was wonderful! *sigh* I do like my current tea kettle though. It's made of chemists glass, so its perfectly clear, the entire thing. I have a gas stove, so it heats up quickly. Cats... our furry children defintiely know how to push our buttons. Mine must go to the vets tomorrow for teeth cleaning, a possible tooth extraction, and tummy shaving (mats). Getting her into the carrier is the hardest part. The second hardest part is listening to her cry "Whhhyyyyy???" all the way to the vet. I hope your sweet puss is okay.
    1965 days ago
    Oh My, what a DAY!

    Yes, I live in the USA and have an electric kettle and drink tea. Oh, *had* an electric kettle. My lovely, temperature controlled, auto-shut-off Cuisinart kettle died. None of the darn stores local have one, so I must mail order it online. It pains me to boil my water on the stove. I can no longer put the water on to boil, then go take a leisurely shower. Now, I have to remember the water is on to boil and keep going to the stove so it doesn't boil over. (Sigh). I will be so happy when my replacement kettle arrives.
    1965 days ago
    1965 days ago
    1965 days ago
  • COUPONS0216
    WOW! Very productive day! I am glad your furbaby is ok!
    1965 days ago
    Cat nap...I need one after the my chores were done. Moved tree trunks against my wreck fence so pooch wont get out then laundry. My arms are killing me.
    1966 days ago
    Now that you have experienced the joys of cat maintenance you may have a bit of empathy for the term "Indoor cat". emoticon
    1966 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    Congratulation on getting your house cleaned and beating back your procrastination, too. I super cleaned house right before Thanksgiving. If I were Phyllis Diller that would mean I wouldn't have to do it for another four to six months. It's not procrastination if you schedule it, is it? I was hoping I could teach my grandson (he's four) to clean house, but no joy there. Although, he will take out the garbage for me.

    I put water for tea in the microwave! I used to put my teapot on the stove, but this is so much easier and my husband can't ruin another teapot by leaving it to heat on the stove until it's dry! I suppose I could get an electric teapot, but that would just be one more thing to clutter up my already cluttered kitchen counters.

    That cat looks none the worse for wear! Poor thing has had a tough day though, what with the ironing and then a fight and then having to put up with the indignity of being taken care of!
    1966 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1966 days ago
    I'm taking off work tomorrow to Lucy the supplies I've brought in for wrapping gifts and working on crafts. Sorry about the cat...never heard about salt water...
    Have a calmer day....I need a 'nothing to do' ever so often! Keep Sparkin'!!
    1966 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    If you leave out the cat, you'd have one of my typical Lucy days. But they don't come too often... emoticon
    1966 days ago
  • JULIA1154
    I keep asking for a Mrs. Mopp for Christmas but she never materializes :( I'm in awe of how much you accomplished in a single day, particularly given the cat's efforts to sidetrack you repeatedly. Well done indeed.

    By the way, my cat LOVES ironing - if I'm lucky, he'll curl up on the far end of the ironing board and watch it all in the mirror in front of us. If I'm unlucky, he'll play on the floor in front of the board, getting tangled in the tablecloths, etc. It certainly livens the task.
    1966 days ago
    Loved this emoticon cats rock
    1966 days ago
    Aren't cats great?!?!? One of my females has the dainty name of Eve. But within days I told Paul that it's a shame she' female: we're she a male, we could change her name to Pistol Pete!
    So glad you finished your tasks and could still write with great aplomb.
    1966 days ago
    Procrastination --- is an art form. I am working on perfecting score.
    1966 days ago
    You are an awesome cat mom!
    1966 days ago
    Bertie and Megan take the hissing of the steam iron as a personal insult! I'm not sure what they think it's saying to them! My family always called a good bottoming up, 'doing a queen mother' but the ideas the same. I sat on my backside for the day and envied you the bacon sarnie!
    1966 days ago
    Good Lord woman! You accomplished alot today.

    My favorite part: "The washing that has been out overnight is crisp. This is not because it is dry, but because it has frozen. Heave sigh" emoticon
    1966 days ago
    1966 days ago
    Sheesh it must be contagious I got the bug and did my bedroom and must have collected enough cat fur to build a new cat...
    1966 days ago
    Too funny! A couple of days ago I had to relay my 4 cats in pairs to the vet for their annual exams and shots. One of them would be feral if I didn't keep them in the house all the time. Shadowspawn (he's solid black, and Shadowmis just too cliche) is always the hardest one to catch. He was out in the cat cage - stared with huge eyes as I wrestled the door open - then escaped into the house via the cat flap in the window just as I reached for him. Tried to drag him from under the dresser. No joy. He escaped to the bedroom. Somehow, I caught a leg and dragged him out. Stuffed him into the carrier. Only minor bleeding from the scratches on my arms. Poor kitty. Done for this year!
    1966 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    Wow, that was quite the day! Hope the rest of the weekend got better. Your cat sounds like quite a hand full! emoticon
    1966 days ago
    Hope your kitty is okay! I too hate housework and wish I could afford someone to come over twice a week to clean for me ;)
    1966 days ago
  • DALID414
    I've learned that I hate housework, but I hate having a marathon of housework to do even MORE! So a little here and there is not so bad emoticon
    1966 days ago
    Whew! You sure kept busy. I join the chorus: Poor Kitty. Back when I had a couple of cats that were allowed outdoors, they were forever getting into fights with the neighboring cats.....we lived in a tough cat neighborhood. Finally, when one of mine came back with a huge hole in his throat and we had to pay the extra expense of a Saturday night Vet visit, I put my foot down and the darlings didn't get to go outside any more. Kitty? Oh, he lived to be 18 yr old. : )

    I drink tons of iced tea (unsweet), but also love hot tea. I'm afraid I can't stand a noisy kettle, so I heat an individual cup in the microwave. But tea's a luxury I afford myself during the day and evening. In the morning my DH brews a pot of coffee.

    I loved your description of dealing with your cat.
    1966 days ago
    How do you do it?! Make me laugh every day I read your blog! I love it! emoticon
    1966 days ago
    Poor kitty.

    I make tea by running a water cycle through a coffee machine (Keurig in the US, Tassimo here because apparently Keurig is too advanced) to get it hot enough for tea. So no mucking about with kettle at all.
    1966 days ago
    that poor kitty !! you wore me out with all the housework lol and as American well I prefer coffee but I have a cup of Cranberry tea every night if that counts .. Enjoy the rest of your day emoticon
    1966 days ago
    I do know what you mean about the cat! lol
    1966 days ago
    LOL poor poor puddy tat!
    1966 days ago
    I hope you celebrated all that exercise with a good cuppa
    1966 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Better than having to deal with an abscess though. Going to work will be a coddle in contrast!
    1966 days ago
    emoticon That was rather a productive day! In spite of a feline who seems to be in a CAT-egory of his own.

    An electric kettle that shuts itself off I'd heard of, but no, not a tea drinker at all. Minging, however, I had to look up.
    1966 days ago
    LOL! I could use a Lucy here! Poor kitty....
    1966 days ago
    Lol! Poor kitty. And I can say that I am the proud owner of a kettle that shuts itself off. Though I live in Canada, not the US. :)
    1966 days ago
    Sounds like plenty of housework for one day! (What about kitchen, though? emoticon )
    1966 days ago
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