On the difference between clean and tidy*

– or the mystery box part 2 –

I am not a particularly tidy person. I am learning, and I am getting better, but I’m not there yet.


I can’t deal with dirty.

Unless it’s unavoidable and short-term.

Cake mix on the worktop, compost on the floor, paint on the table. Whatever. It’s all fine at the time I’m working on something.. After I’m done, I want it cleared up. If I’m busy I can ignore it for a while but 3 days on, it’s not good.

I don’t really care too much how chaotic things are, how heaped up, how strewn accross the floor, as long as they’re clean.

I don’t like dust bunnies and piles of animal hair between the things I leave on the floor. I host chaos, but it ought to be clean chaos.

Sure, at some point I’ve had enough of the chaos and sort it all out and put things away. As I get older (and presumably more practised), that point gets progressively closer to tidy.


I’ve just spent an hour (give or take) cleaning out my ‘new’ microwave.

Maybe I’m fussier about other peoples’ dirt than my own, but I don’t really understand how it got into that state.

Okay, microwaving food is liable to spit. I get that. I also get that no-one wants to spend their lives cleaning the inside of their microwave.. but surely there’s some kind of grossness alarm that should go off when the walls, the ceiling, the door and the glass plate are covered in a layer of sticky fat that stays on the sponge once the soap suds have been rinsed out…

Even the plug was grimey. I washed it, as carefully as I could, with a hot, soapy sponge and blowdried it before plugging it in to see if it worked.

It did, and does. And I’m going to to try and keep it clean.


* this is an idea that’s been going round my head for a while now.. it seemed to fit today.

On Mystery Boxes

I returned to work on Monday and was confronted with a large grey-brown box.

Apparently The Colleague got wind of someone throwing it away and decided it would be a good coming-back-to-work present for me.

Today, after sitting and looking at it for 2 and a half days, I got The Other Guy to drive it home and carry it up my stairs for me. Very decent of him considering it took up a good share of his lunch break.

The box is not a cardboard box. Nor is it a plastic box. It is a metal box with a door. The door is mostly seethrough.

Inside the box is a square of thick glass. The glass (and the rest of the inside of the box) is covered in a thick, speckled coating of fat and other unapetisingness.

The outside of the box is less fatty and more dusty and has buttons and a dial, a small plastic-window-which-may-or-may-not-be-a-light and a tail. The tail has 2 prongs.

However. I don’t think the tail belongs to an evil spirit. I think it belongs to my new [old] microwave.

Yup. That’s right, I am the [proud] owner of a very old microwave. The sort without a spinning plate.

I have no idea if it works. I know it’s filthy though.

It has instructions on the door, forbidding it’s use when empty.

There’s no way I’m cooking anything in it before washing it.

And that’s the reason I don’t know if it works.

I really ought to go and clean it.

I could then proceed to find out if it works, and eat the result.

I have survived without a microwave for 2 years. I really missed having one when I moved here, then gradually got used to reheating things on the hob (instead of heating the whole oven). Lasagne soup is one of my favourites ;). I’m not sure I NEED a microwave, but I was thinking the other day about how it would be easier to defrost and reheat stuff in a microwave than in the fridge and on the hob. I like the idea of cooking properly, but I don’t often have the energy to do anything about it. When I do, I make more than I need and then freeze the surplus to be eaten at a later date. In theory this is also an idea I like. In practice, my freezer is gradually filling up with home made ready meals that no-one eats. When I come home at 11 pm (not always, but often) I have about as much interest in defrosting something as I do in cooking from scratch. I eat a lot of muesli. Yes, I could probably organise myself better and take it out of the freezer in the morning before work. But seriously? Who’s that organised? Even if there really are people like that, I’m not one of them… yet. In the meantime, I have a microwave 🙂

On doorkeys

Is it more worrying that I try to use my house key to unlock the workshop, or the workshop key to unlock my front door???

On thought provoking questions

I’ve been clicking through quotes on Facebook.

One that got me was one that simply asked if my 8-year-old-self would be proud of me.

Whether she’d be proud of me or not is fairly irrelevant.. What hit me was the fact that I have absolutely no idea what my 8-year-old-self thought about ANYthing… and that worries me.

On patience

It’s not like I’m never ever patient.. I’m not bad at waiting for busses for instance, or waiting for the stampede to die down when icecream’s being handed out.

I’m a glassblower. Patience is part of the job, you can’t want things to happen NOW; either the glass is hot enough (or cold enough, depending on what you’re trying to do) or it isn’t, you can’t rush it.

I also have an oldish laptop, you have to be pretty patient with it too, especially between turning it on and being able to use it.


As soon as I have to wait for an answer to an email, I become an incredibly impatient person.

Every time my email programm “BING”s, I rush to open the tab like a little kid at Christmas..

..almost invariably it’s a spam mail, or something from the Flylady telling me to make my bed or dust the top of my fridge.

Exciting stuff, but still a total let down.

I’m sure it’s not healthy…


Patience is a virtue they say.

I don’t think it’s one of mine.

On Jelly

I used to love jelly, still do I guess, even if I don’t eat it often any more.

German kids aren’t nearly as keen on it…

I have never seen so much jelly thrown away before in my life.

On Microphones

I managed to speak INTO the microphone for practically the ENTIRE duration of [my parts of] this morning’s theatre skit :).


On pancakes

Some say you have to share bread and wine with people if you want them to remember you..

I reckon making them pancakes comes a pretty close second 🙂