I must begin with a warning. If you are delicate of stomach, or sensitive about matters scatological, look away now.
Likewise, if you are the kind of housekeeper who can be dropped in on at any time and never found wanting, you will probably not find much to identify with in this post.
If on the other hand, you, like me, think that dust is God’s way of marking the passage of time, stick with me, for I have a tale to unfold.
It all started with the Excel running out.
For many years now, I have been using cleaning product made by an Australian company called Tri Nature. I discovered them when I was working for a group that promoted environmentally-friendly technology. This isn’t an ad for them, so I won’t go into raptures about the stuff, except to say that it ticks all of my boxes: it’s Australian, environmentally sensitive, plant-based (organic, wherever possible), safe for babies and dogs, it doesn’t make me itch or sneeze and most importantly, it works.
This last is particularly important when you understand that, as a housekeeper, I am more of your slash and burn merchant than your little engine that could. I know that little and often is an effective way of keeping the place nice. But… and I know this may shock the diligent among you, so I hope you have taken my advice and looked away… I don’t really care.
I could, I imagine, clear away the cobwebs on a daily or weekly basis. But how, then, would the spiders catch the teeny flies that escape from the frog tank? It seems simpler to just name the spiders and pretend they’re part of some greater pet ecosystem. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t need to pretend it – they are, whether I think about it or not! I just choose to see it as a conscious embracing of the wonders of nature, rather than a symptom of my lazy-arse home care habits.
(No doubt, you will be thinking at this point that if I had spent the time it took to write about the cobwebs cleaning them, the problem would no longer exist. You’re quite right, of course. But then the spiders would be homeless and I would have no post. So it would seem I am part of the household eco-system as well. It’s a triumph of nature.)
However, there is an exception to the ‘when you can’t tell what the sideboard is made of, it’s time to dust’ school of housekeeping, and that’s in the kitchen and toilet. I don’t mind mess, in fact I cause most of it, but I am a bit of a stickler for hygiene. Where things enter and leave the family bodies, I like the surfaces to be clean.
Which is where the Excel comes in. It’s a cleaner made especially for bathrooms and toilets and I normally keep a little bottle of it on top of every toilet in the house (both of them, lest you think I’m living in some kind of mansion bristling with ablutory facilities). It does a wonderful job of cleaning and it has a distinctive smell, which, since I have been using it so long, has come to represent ‘clean toilet’ to me, in much the way that eucalyptus or tea tree means ‘disinfected’ to the Australian olfactory senses.
And recently I ran out.
Now, if Tri Nature were available at the supermarket, this would have been no problem. But sadly, it isn’t. It’s only available from distributors. And the problem is that I am my own distributor. (Short story was, I liked it so much, I joined the company.) Which meant that I needed to put an order in to get more Excel. But I wasn’t ready to put an order in. I needed to stocktake and check up with my few customers and so on. I had stories to write and things to do. I could make do with other products, surely?
So I did. For weeks, I managed. I put up with it, because it seemed silly to rush the ordering process because I was pining for a smell.
But it wasn’t the same. The other products did the job but not with the same ease or elan (cleaning products can so have elan). And they didn’t smell right! It was a small thing, but nonetheless a palpable sadness, every time I went to the loo.
But no privation lasts for ever. I finally got around to putting the order in and yesterday, it arrived. I refilled my little bottles from the big ones. I ceremonially put them back on top of the cisterns and cleaned the toilets. With a smile on my dial.
And now I am happy again.
Yes I am that weird, apparently and all over a smell!
What about you? Are there any ridiculous joys in your life? Any domestic product that your life is not complete without? Do tell!
And while I’m here, a small skite and promo for the Australian readers. The Destiny Romance books are featured again in the latest Australia Post catalogue and this time my cover is pictured! Squee! And because, on the interwebs, it’s pics or it didn’t happen, herewith is proof! They are advertised as available till June 9, so if you haven’t got a copy yet, now is the time!