Monday, 30 November 2009

The rest is silence


Yesterday the firemen phoned back and set up an appointment for 3.15 today. Perfect timing; home time for both girls so no chance whatsoever of me forgetting to be at home. Always useful.

A domestically busy day today - new cleaner, so a couple of hours of frantic tidying so she could see the floors I needed her to mop, and find the toilets beyond the towels. As I gathered up the tattered remains of a Charlie and Lola magazine, and stuffed it behind the toaster, I found myself surveying the kitchen scene and thinking, with a sense of satisfaction "that's not too bad". Which begs the question, at what point did "it isn't terrible" become the housekeeping standard to which I aspire?

A phone call, and I went to meet our newest cleaner at the bus stop. Having left a nicely pleasantly scented not terrible house behind me, it was somewhat disappointing to step back into a house reeking with the acrid odour of feline urine. Gotcha's got the hang of things now, but Grolly prefers to look at the litter tray and pee elsewhere whilst staring closely at it - presumably to check it doesn't move, I'm not quite sure on the finer points of her logic.

I cleaned the wee, apologised to the cleaner, and introduced her to the delights of our cleaning cupboard. Last month's cleaner requested a new mop and endless disposable wipes. This new cleaner prefers our old dusters and the more natural cleaning fluids in our range. If we keep swapping cleaners at this rate, and if they keep requesting alternative cleaning products, it is entirely possible that by the New Year I'll be building a shed just to store the supplies. I suppose we could leave the supplies in the house and move into the shed; there'd be less to clean and it would probably be very clean. Apart from the spiders.

The cleaner settled in, and spent the next hour scrubbing the bathroom. I have shiny taps! And the next hour polishing my stove - I have shiny hobs too! And then she ran out of time, and I have a crumb-ridden floor and a dust-strewn hall, but I have a gleaming and glistening bathtub and so I don't actually care.

Meanwhile I spent her hours making a start on cardigan number two. Two hours, two inches. This could take a while.

Next stop Waitrose; spaghetti and supplies for the Guides. A failed quest for some black food colouring; hopefully plain chocolate will be an acceptable alternative. Driving home listening to an unbearably poignant episode of the Archers, and then unload the shopping and admire the clean and fresh smells emanating from the bathroom.

Very clean and fresh smelling, and a clear hour before the girls get home from school. I could knit another inch, I could check emails, or I could climb into the bath and make the most of it. Readers; I took a bath.

And a very nice one it was too, and I soaked and I soaped and I scrubbed, and I shampooed my hair, and just as I was completely covered head to toe in bubbles, there was a mighty hammering on the door, and then the doorbell rang several times. Not the postman; I'd had a parcel earlier. Not the chemist; we only put the prescription request in on Saturday. Too early for the end of school, and we haven't ordered pizza. So, I dragged on my dressing gown and squeezed out the worst of the soap, and poked half my head around the front door.

To be greeted by two firemen.

"Sorry we're a little early" apologised the first, offering to go away and come back another day. As he spoke, the alarm warbled it's CHIRP, and I hastily invited them both in.

"What the @!$@£$%^ did you do to your hair?" asked the second, which didn't earn him many brownie points. Pointing them towards the noisy alarm, I fled to the bathroom where I threw on the only clothes in the room; my Guiders' Uniform. No matter; it's Guides tonight. I don't usually put the uniform on until just before I leave, but it's got to be better than a dressing gown. Oh, and I rinse the shampoo out too.

The two firemen disassemble the first smoke alarm, but fail to stop it chirping. I ask them about the 3rd one (the 1st having done the same thing six months ago), and they decide to change that one for me too, and leave me, hoping that we don't need to meet again for another ten years. Neither of them can meet me in the eye at this point; I suspect it's not just the dodgy smoke alarms they're having difficulty with at this point.

But, they close the door leaving me with two new smoke alarms. And the rest IS silence. Beautiful, blissful, restful silence. For around ten minutes until the girls get home from school, the cats start fighting, the washing machine dings, a feed pump beeps, and life resumes its normal chaotic beat. But a beat no longer measured by the smoke alarm chirping every sixtyseven seconds. I can live with that.



Tina said...

LOL it had to happen really didn't it? If it were an episode of a soap you would have guessed it by the time the cleaner finished sparkling the bath!

So sorry your restful bath was so rudely interupted but can totally understand your need to let them in anyway.

Doorless said...

Ugh! Never fails. Just when you think you can just relax someone comes and makes other plans. I am glad you no longer need to listen to the alarm. Too bad they are not wired to the station so they have to listen!

Tia said...

Hmm I like that plan! They did have to listen for a while - even once they'd taken it down it was still chip chip cheeping away, and they couldn't hear the one they were setting up instead properly. They seemed to find it rather annoying; I must admit to having been pleased by that! Eventually they had to cut the wires as they really couldn't make it stop.

I'm told there was a design flaw with that particular one. We now have three new ones and all of them really should last ten years now. Of course, if they do, there's no chance whatsoever I'll remember where I put the paperwork with the contact numbers in by the time they do start cheeping at me.

I'll cross that bridge when I come to it though. And maybe toss the alarm in the water underneath it!


MOM2_4 said...

OH Tia! Sorry your bath was interrupted, but very glad you have a quiet house.

Hugs & Prayers! Laura


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