Domestic goddesses, avert your eyes.
You may see I've attempted to clean the laminate with a wet wipe.
I've always been rubbish at biology, chemistry, or any kind of science. Mostly, domestic science.
In home economics the girls made beautiful butterfly cakes with delicate wings. Mine were more like Quasimodo.
Splattered tools, cake mixture in my hair and nails, and how did Homepride's Fred manage to get footprints on the floor? Smug little shit.
Born this way
I was terminally messy.
The teacher asked a prefect to show me how to keep a tidy school bag.
But the pencil shavings, Hubba Bubba wrappers and mouldy peanut butter sandwiches left them rocking back and forth in the library.
My bedroom was an explosion of ski jackets, Rimmel and Just 17. Would Nick Kamen put up with this mess when we got married?
When my husband and I moved in together it was - in Hart to Hart terms - murder. Complete opposites. I was forced to confront my untidiness, because he has OCD.
He lined up his combs in size order, had a whole drawer designated to batteries and folded his clothes into neat piles, like a Benetton employee.
He was fastidious. My slovenly ways disturbed him. So we had a rule. I made the mess and he cleared it up. The routine worked, until we had kids.
Desperate house strife
In my professional capacity I knew what was expected. I was trained to sit on my backside all day and gossip with colleagues.
As a housewife, I’m all at sea.
I'm not experienced in manual labour.
Labour in vain
But I pretend that I’m house proud.
After the boys were born, I was in a panic about the health visitor’s visit. I plumped cushions, found doilies and even bought Boasters (the biscuits, not the round plastic things you rest hot cups on). However, she seemed oblivious to my efforts; especially when two babies projectile vomited into her handbag.
Playdough, arts and craft, dominated the early years. Mr N would get home and it would resemble the scene in Psychoville when Dawn French's character (a crazy Midwife who believes her Tiny Tears is a real baby) upsets her obsessively tidy husband in an arts and crafts frenzy.
(View from 6 min 14 to 15.01)
Because I have a defective tidy gene, it takes me twice as long to make the house presentable.
When we go on holiday I spend a day cleaning so that the neighbours don't crack on that I am actually a slobbish teenager masquerading as a middle aged mother.
If a friend gives an impromptu visit, it sends me into a tiz and I pretend I'm not in, or go to extremes and the whole house stinks of Mr Muscle.
If I did these chores as I went along, and didn’t make a mess in the first place, then I wouldn’t have to spend half my life tidying.
I make life hard for myself. But just as my husband can't help hoovering the big vac with a mini Henry desk vac, I can't help leaving all the lids loose on the jars.
Even when I spend hours tidying it never looks immaculate like the houses in magazines. Thank God for drawers.
I'm less Flash and more hot flush. I prefer to do the quickest, slap dash job possible.
Sorry Kim and Aggie, but there's no lemon juice or vinegar in this house. Just gin.
I don't think I will ever be accused of being a Stepford wife. Maybe a stepoverit wife.
Did I accidentally have sextuplets? Why is there so much laundry?
Even with my masterclass in recycling school uniform (rule: if it can be picked off, it can be re-worn). Delicates, woollens, lights, dark. Or you could just get a Colour Grab from Poundland and pray for the best.
My friend's soft, fluffy Lenor scented towels....I'll stick a bit of Febreeze on our sandpaper ones.
Clothes ironed, starched and folded away in drawers. I need a degree in origami to figure that out.
I can stack the airer until it’s creaking under the weight, and leave clothes on the line through sun, rain, snow and sun again, until they are bone dry and we’ve entered a new season.
Mrs won’t be Beeton
Viz top tips: 'Run a length of string through an Edam cheese. Hey presto! A delightful aromatic candle which will fill your home with the smell of burning cheese'.
I’ve developed various shortcuts to make jobs less tedious.
Balancing plates: Many were shocked watching the Wife Swap where one Fairy Liquid hating woman served up meals on paper plates. Not I. This woman is a genius!
Sew boring: My sewing looks like I’ve stitched up Frankenstein’s monster. Thank God for my mother, Super Glue and staples.
De-pressing: I’ve been known to iron with my GHDs and dry my not so smalls with a hairdryer. I don’t microwave-dry undies anymore. Not since the underwire in my Wonderbra started a minor kitchen fire.
“Do you iron the creases in school trousers?” my friend asked. “What creases? Intentional creases? I buy non iron uniform,” I replied. Apparently this still needs ironing, though. Whatever!
All washed up: My husband washes up, because he is frightened I will use the dishwasher and this will cost money. Or, that he will once again open it to find a stash of festering dishes that I had accidentally mislaid.
Vacuous: I'll ‘fess up that I did the shake and forgot the vac. Mr N thought I had a bad case of dandruff.
One bang and the stain’s still there: I watched a programme on American au pairs who simply sprayed Pledge onto light bulbs to make the room smell nice; giving the illusion they’ve been busy, instead of shagging Chad. Inspired, I sprayed Windolene, but it just looked like Chad had got excited all over the bays.
Sorry, Anthea. Housework’s boring. I have far more pressing issues, like shopping.