The Reluctant Housekeeper

Serendipidy is 100 days old – I have written 100 posts. Yes I know some of them have been lacking in substance but you try thinking of what to write when absolutely nothing happens in your life. I have become so boring that I am even putting myself to sleep – during the day!

I remember day 1 thinking how will I cope? At that point I was all alone except for Izzi and Mo. I had never lived on my own before. Shared flats, lived in communes, with boyfriends, husband but never entirely on my own. It was a novel experience and quite liberating when I realised – yes, I can do this. It was peaceful – quiet and I really enjoyed the month home alone.

So I set myself tasks and schedules with great gusto. Every morning there would be a to be a to do list – a daily, mid and longer- term wish list. I was going to have the cleanest, tidiest, most organised house in North London. I would know where everything was – no more hunting around for hours looking for ……

I have to report I failed – failed miserably.

Apart from the one drawer which I tackled almost immediately no other cupboard or drawer has been sorted. Windows have not been cleaned, floors not polished, curtains not washed, clothes not sorted, filing cabinet not even opened – that’s because I have lost the key! And embarrassingly after the one flurry of sheet ironing, that will teach me to brag, beds are now adorned with un-ironed crinkled sheets. Emails, which I promised to delete and file are now standing at 59,802. I have tried a few times to start going through them, but it is just too boring and there are far more interesting things to watch on Netflix. And yes I broke that promise too about not watching Netlix before 6 pm.

The contents of the loft which sat for weeks in the hallway has now all been repacked away and put back into the loft. I did have a buyer for the capidomonte and a few other items -but when it came to be sending them off, I had a change of heart. “What,” I could hear my mother saying, “you are sending it all off to some stranger in the north.” It is all now the boy’s legacy.

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Clearly like my mother, I am not cut out to be a housekeeper.You would think growing up with an anxious messy mum I would have rebelled and gone the other way. Look some people are neat and some people are just not. Unfortunately, I am not and moreover I was married to an equally messy person. Actually I know he is not here to defend himself but I think he beat me on mess and indeed his mum beat my mother on untidiness. So you can see we didn’t stand a chance.

Inside me is a minimalist being hold captive – I want those organised drawers. But maybe I was just born messy and I have a genetic messy component or a visual-spatial disorder. I know that everything has a place but I just don’t always know where these places are. Believe me, there are some days when I wish I were living on the other side of the neatness divide. Being messy may save you straightening-up time, but it costs you looking time. And I am getting awfully fed up with my constant lament of ‘has anybody seen?’

And of course there are people at the other end of the spectrum. The ones who who make their beds before they have got out of them, who live in pristine clutter free homes, who iron their underwear and have colour coded knicker drawers. Yes I really do know someone who has colour coded her clothes
~ but I am not mentioning any names here as — what was I doing looking in her cupboards.

But there have been some successes too. The house at the bottom of the garden has been demolished and a veritable Shangri La has been created decked out with Cotswold stones – which Mo promptly thought was her new giant toilet – a gazebo, hammock, wood burner, table and chairs. The new central heating system will be installed next week, the roof and damp issues are in the process of being investigated, my tooth has been extracted and a crown about to be fitted. The Will has been signed, Power of Attorney still awaiting signature. Can’t quite accept that one day I might not be able to make my own decisions! I have perfected the art of food shopping on line and I am no longer bottom of the league in Bridge.

I am unsure what the next 100 posts will bring but I am hoping that it might see me into the other side of this pandemic.

“Let’s be careful out there”

Author: ladyserendipidy

Journalist, event planner, mother, animal lover, not very good bridge or scrabble player, hopeless housekeeper, ex social worker, radio producer, tv executive, hater of almost all insects especially the eight legged ones. And if I am ever allowed out of my house, intrepid traveler.

4 thoughts on “The Reluctant Housekeeper”

  1. For all your self-laceration, you’ve gotten a lot more done than I have. I pat myself on the back for just getting up and getting dressed, which I don’t always attain. And you’ve got a gorgeous gazebo, etc.


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