In theory, I should be doing ‘my’ Deep Cleaning until the ice-cream season starts again. This is terribly bad news, obviously; the spectre of maid’s caps, scouring pads and red raw hands, not to mention the possibility of a spot check from the health and safety inspectorate, makes me go cross-eyed.
But I have made a start with the War on Wires. Although everyone in the family (except me) is besotted by digital devices large and small (MY PHONE’S GOT AN INVISIBLE SCRATCH! WAAAAH!), when it comes to unravelling the knot of wires and cables backstage that connects these electronic beauties to the power supply, interest falls off pretty sharpish. Nobody knows what plug belongs to what so when you need to plug in the hoover, chances are you’ll unplug something really important, like a football match set to record or an ipod being charged, and be told off big time for fouling up someone’s leisure plans by your stupid plug selection, when you should have just unplugged something trivial like the fridge, to do your silly hoovering. Cut a long and boring story short (except I just told you it) the job of separating and twirling dusty cables into nice neat little spools falls to me, and is one of the enjoyable and satisfying jobs that I have accomplished this week, and would have missed out on entirely if my family members were not such lazy gits.
I have also performed the annual dusting ceremony of Maddy’s birthday presents from age seven onwards that she hasn’t opened but won’t give away – I’m sure she’ll notice and say ‘thank you for dusting my presents again’. And it doesn’t end there - I have faced the DVDs-into–their-correct-cases job. Looking at it from the children’s point of view, you get so tired sitting down watching a film that you can’t put a DVD back in its box then, and in the morning, even if your Mum reminds you, you’re so busy. It’s tough.
But this was not Deep Cleaning and I knew it…so I headed for the kitchen window frames with the cream cleaner when Lo! - brown globs were found evenly-spaced along the window recess. My heart missed a beat; an ice-cream maker cannot have globs! Jesus, is it a leak from the flat roof above, forming putrescent stalactites inside the kitchen? Or has an insect vomited upside down at regular intervals? Infestation?? I sprang up onto the sink’s edge to take a closer look; the globs were sticky…hmm…With enormous relief I identified syrup that had condensed from all the sugary steam that billows about when I’m making ice-cream. I could just wipe it off – hurrah! – which I did with gusto, causing myself to wobble scarily on the sink’s edge. I had to clutch the ceiling, else I’d have fallen, and in doing so left a very obvious hand-print on the ceiling. Hells bells – there was syrup all over the ceiling! Now I was in deep; the more I wiped, the more smeary and smudgy and dirty the ceiling looked; I’d have to wash or even paint the entire ceiling, just because I’d touched it.
I trailed off to the cellar to find a rock-hard brush and try to guess whether the syrup-coloured ceiling was once magnolia, twisted barley, hint of noodle or lank linen. Housework sucks.