Sunday, 18 October 2009

Home Sweet Home

Firstly, an update on SPIDERWATCH.
One week on and I report my findings as follows:
CONKERS, SCHMONKERS! Now I've got a basket full of conkers in the bathroom, AND a houseful of leg-wealthy friends.
Any other spider-scaring tips are now being considered.

In other news, it has been a weekend of extreme domesticity.

I know what you're thinking; ironing with a safety harness? Bungee hoovering? Parachute laundry? No, this was on a considerably more dare devil theme ... Home improvements.

My parents came to stay and arrived with a list of jobs and a power drill, and we've been flat out. Mirrors and pictures have been hung, shelves have been reinforced, electrical sockets have been installed, light fittings have been removed, and wall paper has been stripped. I'm thinking of having a secret tunnel installed from my house to Homebase. It's all good stuff. It all needs doing, and I'm not good at galvanising myself without some encouragement, so I'm grateful that they both throw themselves at tasks with what can only be described as "gay abandon".

However. I have walked out of rooms and walked back in ten minutes later to find them altered in some way. I have had opinions that I haven't asked for and haven't had opinions that I have asked for. I've been told I should get things I don't want and shouldn't get things, I do want. Things I like have been rubbished.

I held my tongue. It's the best way. The truth is that it doesn't really matter to me whether there is a blind at the back kitchen window or not and it doesn't matter whether the mirror is central over the radiator. What I mind is feeling like a visitor in my own home.

That sounds terribly churlish, doesn't it? It would be grossly ungrateful to shout "stop weeding my garden. It's my bloody garden and they're my bloody weeds". It would be counter-productive to stand at the top of the stairs screeching "I'm thirty fucking two! When will you consider me old enough to make my own decisions?". I know this, and that's why I don't say anything about these gripes and irritations. I smile and mutter my pleases and thank yous, and I say "I think that's straight" even when I know it's not, and "yes that looks better" even when it doesn't.

Mine is but to keep the peace.

Because, however much they drive me to the edge, I am enormously grateful for the help they have given me. I don't just mean now, but always. They taught me to walk, cycle and drive. They drove me to nursery, school, university, and to my first flat in the murky depths of north London. They came to school nativities, concerts, prize giving, graduation and my professional diploma ceremony. They are my most constant thing. Not everyone can say that, and I try very hard not to take the stability that they have given me for granted.

So it doesn't seem much pay off to hold my breath, count to ten, and wait until they've left to cry a few tears of frustration, does it?


  1. Ooh I don't know, you're a far better daughter than me obviously. My parents are putting in an application to adopt you. You don't mind do you? Takes the pressure off me a bit.

  2. Mousetraps! It turns out I'd forgotten about a mousetrap I had set (and discovered it on Friday). Yes, it did have a rather decimated (?)mouse (wondered what the smell was a while back!), but it had also caught quite a few spiders. Hhhmmmmm. I don't like dealing with these things though I must say!

    PS. speak out to your parents, they will love you for it!!


  3. I know exactly what you mean. Hard to tell parents to bugger off when all they are is helpful. (Although sometimes it is not the help you wanted)

    Just you wait till you get in-laws. Then you´ll have more people with their well meanng advice.

  4. If you want any more mothers you can have mine.

  5. MH - aw, that's nice. Will yours demand to know in October what we'll be having for pudding on Christmas day?

    A - Thanks for the tip! I'll keep it in mind ...

    MissB - There's MORE?! Lordy lord!

    MLS - Thanks. But no ...


  6. How about some kind of trade in? You can have both my mother (currently bed-bound with vertigo, unable to even get to the bathroom) and mother-in-law (who can't stand me) in exchange for either one of your practical useful parents.

    And in return for the kind favour I will come round with a mug and a piece of card. Or a flip flop. They always work for me.


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