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House Proud - And Not

14/08/2014 16:50 | Updated 22 May 2015

Fits and Starts

I don't know about you, but my ability to do, and enthusiasm for housework, ebbs and flows almost as often as the wind changes. Some days I am Liverpool's answer to Martha Stewart and on other others you may as well pour a pan of chip-fat on my head and call me Waynetta Slob.

That's for all the lazy, good for nothing, good, I am at doing anything more than than pulling on something gruesome in dusky pink velour and screeching the equivalent of "I'm having a faggggggggggg....!!" whenever my biscuit nibbling, blog prowling endeavours are interfered with.

Once upon a time I worried about my Jekyll and Hyde attitude to keeping house, but now with the infinite wisdom that comes with a grey hair sprouting out of one's chin, I have come to the conclusion that we are what we are, and we serve heart and home best when we don't beat ourselves up about it, but rather accept, that like almost everything else in our lives, there are good times and bad times and it is truly best to just go with the flow...

This means that sometimes entire weeks are lost to sitting in the garden pretending the house doesn't exist. Sometimes I am fascinated by my own self and spend hours when I should be doing laundry, bending myself in wacky positions on an olive green yoga mat, seeing just how dark I can charcoal my eyes, and splattering the kitchen with juices whizzed up in a blender without a lid. Often I find myself both besieged and besotted by BrocanteHome, existing inside my polka dotted bubble and totally oblivious to the dirt and dishes accumulating in my wake.

Other days I sacrifice housework for the joy that is sitting in a coffee shop with a friend I haven't seen for six whole months where nothing else matters beyond sorting out the world and our respective blogs like I did yesterday with the lovely Rachael from Tales From the Village...

Then there are the days when I wake up outraged by the state of my very own little nation and steam roll my way through the chaos with quiet determination to put things straight again. The days when I invite people other than Mum and Dad, Kath or Mark into the house and find myself overcome with the kind of pride that will not allow the general public to see the pile of shoes usually gathered next to the blanket box in which they actually live, the madness that is Finley's bedroom, or chocolate hand-prints on the cream walls and go into housekeeping overdrive, screeching and panicking and worrying that someone will out me on the internet as a secret slob!

And then there are the days when I am my best self: the housekeeper I am here, she who knows what matters to her authentic self, and how satisfying it is when her efforts pay dividends to all who care to dwell in this here little terraced cottage...

This is also a matter that ebbs and flows according to the seasons: I am MUCH tidier and more inspired in Autumn and Spring than I ever am in Summer and Winter. Immaculate when there is a seasonal celebration in the offing and not so much so during school holidays when my head tells me that following Finley around picking up after him for seven long weeks is only likely to send us both mental, and my energy would be better reserved for baking cakes, cheering him on when he throws himself off scooter ramps and pretending I'm absolutely fascinated by the mystery that remains Pokemon...

And there there is the monthly cyclical changes in attitude to housekeeping I surely can't be the only one too experience? The week after my period I am the Domestic Goddess personified: dreaming up new housekeeping schemes, creating vignettes that charm the pants off all who enter through the front door, remembering to give my son vitamins, and practically kissing the walls of my house because I love it so...

And then I get a bit tired and a bit frustrated and I get to thinking that there must be more to life than housework and by the beginning of the fourth week I am positively around the bend and living in a relative, pig-sty and hating myself for my innate slovenliness.

So thank heavens then, that a darling set of hormones comes charging in to ravage my body and trick me into thinking that there might just be another baby on the way and if I don't nest now I never will, so I putter around serenely for a day or two, only stopping to hiss at those who will not support my effort with similar dedication to keeping hearth and home, nor quite sense the urgency of the impending delivery – before going back to getting the house straight for a monthly event highly unlikely to deliver a little bundle of pink or blue!

Darn me and my erratic soul! But it is what it is, and as I sit here stroking my lady beard, I have decided that the best thing we can do is to both anticipate the good times and give up fearing the bad ones. To tell ourselves that we will be a better housekeeper tomorrow, that people very rarely choke on dust, and that in the end our homes exist to facilitate all the other aspects of our being beyond the neat freak we are all harbouring inside, to one degree or the next.

Tomorrow is, after all, another day and frankly, Dear Rhett, today I just don't give a damn...

Alison is queen of housekeeping, lover of Russell Brand and single Mummy to one adorable, curly topped nine year old...

Blogs at: BrocanteHome

Twitter: @brocantehome

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