On napping before dinner

Sometimes I feel like a little kid.
Sometimes I don’t care.

Some days can be saved by an hour or so of undivided attention from a duvet.

Today was one of those days.
Having been undividedly attentioned by my duvet I am now ready to get up and make polite conversation over dinner.

πŸ™‚

Thank you duvet! πŸ˜‰

On what I learnt at circus school today

  • Keeping a group of seven 7-12 year old boys together for 2 hours while changing rooms 12 times (circuit training) is a challenge.
  • Keeping your cool even more so πŸ˜‰
  • They are amazingly willing to please, as long as you tell them EXACTLY what you want them to do and why… Ok, so they still don’t always do it, but they’re a whole lot better than if you think they’ll figure it out by themselves (“When this training session is over, I want you ALL to wait for me at this door *points*, so that we can all go to room x – that’s the room next to the kitchen – in one group. If you run off, I’ll have to waste time coming to find you, and then we won’t be able to start on time and that means you get less time juggling/jumping/balancing/etc.” -> “this door?” “where’s the kitchen?” “Soandso’s missing” “hey! come back, you’re supposed to wait for the rest of us!” :)). I only worked this out 20 minutes before the end of the session. I was fed up of chasing them in 7 directions, round them up and herding them back to where they where supposed to be so I had a small headfit told them it wasn’t working and explained what I expected of them when we left the next room.
  • I’m much more likely to cheer on the ones who are struggling, than applaud the ones who can do it first time round (may have to work on that..)
  • Girls are more likely to make fun of my accent.
  • I still can’t juggle.
  • Or use a microphone properly – but I’m learning πŸ™‚
  • But I CAN still twizzle sticks in the air and catch them again (I think they’re called devil sticks? not sure)
  • AND whizz poi about πŸ™‚
  • I can’t follow instructions (and there I was, thinking I was such a great leader-by-example ;)). My group and I had a ‘magic lesson’ involving a piece of rope and the instruction to “do EXACTLY what the magician said/did”… I only figured out why I was stranging myself instead of having the ropes fall off me when he explained it to me. The second or third time.
  • I can survive standing in front of 130 odd kids leading the actions from the action-songs (even if I don’t know the words or half the actions ;)).
  • I can also survive being one of the leading roles in a mini-theatre..
  • My phone can’t play Youtube videos.
  • Making sure 2 tables of 6 small people are kept fed and watered is a lot of work. The benefits are the extra icecream you get to eat πŸ˜‰

So. I think that’s it for the day. I’ll keep you posted.

On crisis cleaning

< or chaos to passable in something like 40 steps >

I Crisis Cleaned as mentioned in my last post. This is “how to make your house presentable in lots of hectic steps” – I’ve grouped them roughly by room/area even though they definitely weren’t done in order. It’s probably not an interesting read (unless you have a good imagination and want to be horrified by how far away I was from having a guest-friendly home), I just wanted to be able to remind my future self how good I can be if/when I get unmotivated:

Balcony – I think starting with the worst and/or most important is generally sensible, especially when you have a deadline to meet. The balcony was therefore top of my list – you can’t barbecue inside, even if you can sit on a sofa in a sea of books and other ‘stuff’.

  • carried plant pots off one balcony, through my house and onto the other one to make space for an unspecified number of barbecue guests, trying not to drip water on the sofa or step on anything with my less than squeaky-clean boots as I went. The floor needed washing anyway, right?
  • swept the dead-plant-debris into a corner. Having dropped several months’ worth of dead flowers straight onto the floor (too lazy to gather them up each time I deadheaded) it was covered in a thinnish layer of dead brown mush.. I’d also torn out the old plants (deadplanting?) in order to put the bulbs in. And seemingly spilled quite a lot of compost in the process…
  • washed balcony – dry sweeping really didn’t help much – by tipping 2 buckets of water out and splooshing it about with the broom
  • washed table and chairs – how does plastic garden furniture get so gross when you’re not watching??
  • scooped all the plant debris and grott out of the drain and into a bag
  • emptied the rejected birdfood and rotting apples into the bag
  • peeled most of a Theraband off the tiles and threw it away – it smelt funny so I put it out there last year.. Apparently they stick to the tiles and disintergrate if you let them

Bedroom – okay, probably shouldn’t feature next on the list of importance, but it’s furthest away and had the least icky floor, so I figured it would save mop-washings… it didn’t really, but it was fairly quick to do.

  • put rug/mat, under-bed-boxes and the washing basket onto the bed
  • took the washing to the bathroom
  • binned tissues
  • piled books/papers/pens onto bedside table
  • mopped floor without sweeping it first. I have one of those rubber brooms. They’re fantastic things – not only do they get into all the groutlines between my floortiles, they also don’t seem to create dustclouds the way ‘normal’ brooms do. And you can use them wet as well – super. What didn’t occur to me until it was too late, was the fact that using the broom to wash the balcony meant I couldn’t use it to sweep my house – they take a while to dry and while they’re wet you can’t really sweep with them, not without making thick wet dust trails anyway.. Doh! I got my mop out and mopped without sweeping first. I’m not sure if I recommend it. It obviously means you don’t have to sweep and wash the same area separately, which saves time. On the other hand, you use at least as much time as you save washing the mop-head because it gets covered in all the things you would normally have swept up first. Swings, roundabouts and learning curves.
  • picked the drawing pins out of the wet gunk and put them somewhere I was unlikely to stand on them
  • once it was dry I put the boxes, basket and rug back and made the bed again.

Kitchen

  • washed up all most of the stuff I don’t trust the dishwasher with
  • threw away bag of mouldy breadbuns. I am against buying too much food only to throw it away when it goes off, but I am also against eating mould even if the ‘best before’ date is still valid. They were the sort you finish baking yourself and I’d bought them in anticipation of my return over New Year when everything would be closed. In future I’ll have to freeze them instead of trusting the bbe date.
  • emptied dishwasher
  • washed cutting boards – I have a stack of them and it’s soooo tempting to take a new one instead of washing the last one πŸ™
  • mixed a new batch of muesli.Β I probably wouldn’t have spent the time mixing it during a crisis clean if it hadn’t meant I suddenly had a whole load more space on my kitchen counter πŸ˜‰ I love crunchy muesli, and I love chocolate muesli, and muesli in general really.. What I don’t love is how much sugar there is in the crunchy and chocolate varieties, and I don’t really need so much chocolate or crunch-per-mouthfull so I mix a box of each with a bag each of finely and coarsely rolled oats into a huge plastic tub. There’s just enough room in there afterwards to shake it up. Makes my day when I have decent muesli for breakfast πŸ™‚
  • washed floor. Twice.

Dining room – I really need to do some ‘decluttering’ in here. It’s basically my ‘storage’ room. And the room I spend most time in. My bedroom’s for sleeping, my sitting room for sitting, my kitchen for cooking and my dining room for everything else. My desk is in there too and the papers, cables, pens, envelopes with random ideas scribbled on them, mice, webcams and other computer paraphernalia multiply and spread out from my computer as if it was being paid to do so… The tops of all the cupboards double up as shelves as does the dining table. My ‘real’ shelves with their carefully balanced shoeboxes are a lifesaver but will soon need some me-input to prevent them collapsing under the weight of their responsibility. My plants drape themselves from any remaining horizontal space and my books block each other from view in double-rows on my bookshelves. The whole effect is more that of a creative scrapyard than anything else. Given that I was working under pressure I could only hope to scrape the surface.

  • rearranged the plant rack; emptying the various plantgraveyards into the bag and making space for the bulbs I still need to plant, as well as most of the empty pots I’ve rescued
  • got rid of the bag of mouldy compost. I have less than no idea how compost goes mouldy but it’s very annoying that it has. It was seed compost. I don’t have a car and I live far enough away from the busstop to make fetching heavy things a nuisance..
  • cleared the table by putting the files back in their cupboard, shuffling all the remaining papers into a pile and all the ‘small stuff’ into a shoebox and plonking them both onto my desk. Wiped it down and dried it. Empty tables are astonishingly motivating – there’s so much potential for putting things on them (for some reason kinetic energy comes to mind; the only thing I still remember about it, is that the higher something goes up, the more energy it gathers to come down with.. Transfer the idea to the table, and the emptier it gets the more space there is for other stuff :))
  • shook out doormat
  • washed the floor

Sitting Room

  • shook out doormat
  • moved all the sofas, plants, tables, stuff aside; washing the floor before moving everything back again. It took 4 or 5 attempts to do the whole floor
  • made the guest-bed look good, or at least useable. I’d stacked my unvarnished picture frames on it. They landed on the table in the dining room. So much for having an empty table.
  • binned the dead plants, took the dead flowers to the kitchen, watered and dusted the leaves on the living ones

Porch – was so good I didn’t need to do anything.

Hall – was still good from Wednesday πŸ™‚

  • emptied my workbag and banished it to a better corner
  • swept up all the leaves and other bigger stuff I’d mopped into a heap (the hall is in the middle of my house) and binned them
  • washed the floor.

Bathroom – I do this last. Something about not wanting to wash the other floors with too many germs I guess. Not that there should even be that many more germs on the bathroom floor than on any of the others seeing as I don’t share with small children or a bloke πŸ˜‰

  • loo and sink were already sparkly thanks to all the swishing and swiping I’ve been doing πŸ™‚
  • picked up all the washing and put it in the basket. I have no idea why I don’t put things in it straight away but there we are. If I’d known I wasn’t going skating I’d’ve put the washing on to wash, I didn’t because it probably wouldn’t’ve been finished before I’d had to leave and since my cousin burned his house down with a duff washing machine I’m not too keen on leaving it running when I go out…
  • put the washing basket in the bath with the bath mat and the dustbin, balanced the scales on top of the washing, and the loo brush on top of the loo
  • washed the floor. Why is it mops don’t stay where you put them? I leant mine against the bath for a moment to move something and it promptly slid down knocking the looroll into the slightly damp bath and almost unbalancing the scales from their perch on top of the washing. When I tried to catch it I bashed the loobrush, thankfully not quite knocking it onto the floor
  • once the floor was dry I put everything back where it belongs
  • wiped the inside of the bath down. It’s amazing how much hair I lose every time I wash! I know I ought to get rid of it each time but sometimes I just don’t…
  • washed the mop out thoroughly and put all my cleaning stuff back in its corner.

So that’s it. Chaos to passable in something like 40 steps. I would like to say I got it all done in 2 1/2 hours but that would be a lie. I cheated and did some more once I’d phoned to say I wasn’t going out.

On being recognised

On the way back from church this morning, I walked past a group of small bundles which I presumed were children. From the identical noses and blonde pigtails – only just about visible under the hats – I decided 2 of them must be the twins from Sunday School. There can’t be that many small blonde twins within walking distance of my church after all. I said hi in a vague ‘good-morning-to-strangers’ kind of way and carried on homewards. The women standing with them ignored me completely, but the kids said (in a stage whisper loud enough for me to hear them several paces away), “That’s the new lady from Sunday School!” This was followed by some kind of mumbling which I assume must have been their reply, whereupon they told them who I was for a second time.

I’ve been in Sunday School exactly twice; 3 weeks ago and a month before that. Way back when I was 4 I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t’ve been able to recognise someone walking past, having only seen them twice. Specially if they were dressed differently and I was playing a game..

Quite liked being recognised tho πŸ˜‰