Let’s hope it’s a clean one.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot?

Happy new year 2015It’s time to start a bright and shiny new year.

Not only have the Christmas decorations already been back in the attic for days, but with the Hootenany celebrities packed away until next September (or whenever it is the BBC record the New Year’s Eve show), and the Champaign corks retrieved from under the furniture, it is now that we can sweep away the old, in some cases literally.

Out with the auld.

Traditionally, the new year is a time for brushing away the cobwebs of the old year, discarding the debris of old habits and clearing up the mess after the Auld Lang Syne.
And this year, I feel that I am in the perfect position to do so after spending what feels like the longest holiday ever, mostly doing housework. Spending time at home is quite an eyeopener into the world of keeping the house tidy, and at times during the last fortnight it felt as if I was vacuuming just because the motor on the vacuum was nearly cool from the last time. There is a rule in our house whereby we only clean for three reasons: someone is coming, someone has been or Rachel says the housework needs doing.

Don’t think I am complaining, because I love having a tidy house. If it were not for Rachel’s tireless efforts throughout the year, ours would be far from the condition that it is maintained, and as much as I like things to be clean, I am not too good at keeping it that way.

Part of the reason for this, is that I am so easily sidetracked. Even if I do get up with the intention of doing some housework I inevitably end up doing something completely unrelated to cleaning. Rachel, however, is completely the opposite. It doesn’t matter what exciting events may be planned she will instantly get sidetracked with the housework. It is as if she is addicted to it and can’t function until she has had her fix of cleaning products. Give her a line of cream cleaner and she is in heaven. Mix it with a waft of multi-surface spray, and she is as happy as a pig in shit. Or rather, a pig without any shit and a clean sparkly sty.

Addicted to that brush.

This obsession with housework is surprisingly powerful, and is usually the first thought on her mind in any situation. I am convinced that if I came home and told her to pack a bag, because Michael Bublé had invited us to tea, her first comment would not be “Oh my God, what should I wear?” but rather, “But when will I get my housework done?” It is equally strange when we get back from any time away. I always think that there has been no one in the house to make a mess, so it will be just as it was when we left it. Rachel’s attitude is that no one has been there to do any housework, so the whole house will need cleaning from top to bottom.

Imagine that?

Some people think they should do some cleaning because it hasn’t been done for six weeks, or because it is that time of year, or just because everything is buried under a blanket of fluff and dust. This is not the case in our house. The sign that the housework needs doing in our house is that the sun is up and Rachel is awake. As much as she has superhuman abilities and much of what she does amazes me, I am sure that her sense of dust-o-vision is often a figment of her imagination. She regularly tells me that the bathroom is disgusting or that the whole house is filthy, and yet, more often than not, I am buggered if I can see what she is seeing. That said, there are signs that it is a hereditary condition, because her daughter has a similar trait and says exactly the same thing. Strangely, Rachel will assure her that her house is spotless and that there is nothing to fret about. This is my one piece of evidence that suggests they are both imagining the whole thing and making up dust as an excuse to get the vacuum out.

Happy new year.

So, be it figuratively or literally, I hope you manage to clear away the crap and discover a bright shiny 2015.

And if you should happen to visit, please ring the doorbell repeatedly. I may take a while, but I should eventually hear you when I have finished vacuuming.