Yesterday_1

You will be pleased to hear that I have received some hatemail. Oh yes.  Now,  I think, I can consider myself a housekeeping celebrity and revel in the fact that I am "a fake, intent on singlehandedly destroying a century of feminism".

And not only that:

"It would be impossible to do all that you describe in a day and it is very wrong to go on perpetuating these lies to vulnerable women…"

Really? Gosh I thought my readers were a strong, real, fiesty lot. But apparently not…

"What you are doing is compromising the mental health of thousands of women who had come to accept that they could not have it all, and making them feel like failures because they aren’t fragrancing their knickers with lavender. Please stop. Own up to the fact that you are in reality a figment of your own imagination and give up perpetuating the myth that women in the 1950’s were happy."

Well somebody (who I have never heard of and shall remain nameless- mostly because any reply to their email box bounces back) has got their knickers in a right old twist haven’t they?

Now I could, if I was in the mood, launch yet another line of defence against the very idea that BrocanteHome is about tying women to the kitchen sink or making them feel like inferior frilly aproned versions of their Mothers. But the truth is that this argument is getting old. It has been debated everywhere from here to Timbucktoo and it is dull and frankly irrelevant to women intelligent enough to understand that keeping house does not turn you into a slave to patriarchism. I’m not even going to go there.

Instead I am going to tell you what I did yesterday. So you can compare your lives to mine and see that I am not only real, but just like you. Grace in homemaking is a choice we don’t have to make, but on the road to contentment it is neither servile, nor when it is undertaken, an insult to feminism.

Click below to read about my day. But please be careful to  guard your mental health.

I woke up at 6.45 and lay awake listening to Finley cough and trying to decide whether it was the kind of cough that would keep him off nursery.  Creeping out of bed, so as not to wake Mark, I went downstairs, lit some candles in the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee, which I drank whilst browsing through last months Vogue.

Mark came down about 7.30 carrying a puffy, bleary eyed Finley and it was obvious by looking at him, he wasn’t going anywhere and the morning of blogging I had planned was out of the window. So I flitted around the kitchen, preparing breakfast, emptying the dishwasher and loading the tumble dryer, while Mark rang the nursery and the Doctor, and then I  went and snuggled with my babba as he drank his milk.  Mark came down showered and ready for breakfast and we all sat down together and ate. Then I cleared the table, while Mark washed and dressed Finley, then I loaded the dishwasher, switched on my housekeeping music and started my very quick version of my morning routine, before nipping upstairs to get showered, dressed and check my emails before Mark left for work and I folded the towels out of the dryer and bundled a very miserable Finley into the car to go and see the Doctor.

Waited in the doctors for a billion years, while Finley played with some blocks and I made a list of prescription foods for his Celiacs. Saw the doctor who said Finley’s chest was clear and happily didn’t prescribe anti-biotics. Then we drove to my Mum’s house so Finley could have a cuddle with his  Nana and GanGan, where I drank their delicious coffee and Finley ran riot before collapsing with exhaustion.

Said goodbye and drove to a  little local  row of shops, where  I dropped in Finleys  prescription at the chemist, and our sheets and duvet covers to the ironing shop (I iron everything but.), then selected some daffodils and  some potted paper whites at the  flower shop, before buying  a newspaper and a bar of chocolate for Finn at the newsagents…

Drove home and chopped the last of  last weeks organic veg into a pan of chicken stock  for broth, then cut up  some apples for an apple crumble I would later burn.  Force fed Finley some medicine for his temperature, then took him up for a sleep, while I changed the flowers in the living room, hand washed my floaty nightie,  went out and brushed the yard,  and then polished the  reclaimed pine table in the dining room with my  own lavender  beeswax. Took delivery of the organic veg box and rang the farm to pay, before  spending a happy half hour blogging until I heard Finley kind of whimpering and choking. So I woke him up, stripped him down because he was baking and made him a cup of juice, and myself a cup of jasmine tea, we drank watching Bob the Builder, while the soup bubbled  away on the hob.

Did a quick  27 fling boogie, then poured two bowls of scrumptious soup, and sat down to eat it and watch Finley pour it everywhere. Cleaned  him up. Cleaned the kitchen surface and re-laid the table for tea, then settled a now very poorly looking child on the sofa with a cold drink and a blanket, while  I sat next to him and cast on a new knitting project  (garter stitch baby blanket in the glory  that is Rowans cotton braid). Managed fifteen rows, before Finley started to feel a bit livelier and demanded a "Thomas" story. Told many, many Thomas stories. Made us both some hot chocolate, lit the candles as it grew dark, and pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon with a child on my lap, while I did my best to read a book over his shoulder…

Went into the kitchen to make a shepherds pie. Popped it into the oven and nipped upstairs to make Finleys room cosy for the night (dimmed the lights, pulled back his bed, plugged in his vapouriser, tucked eucalyptus soaked cotton wool balls into his radiator and spent ten minutes searching for Mummy Bear without whom there would be no bed for anyone…).Then into the bathroom to warm it up for bath time, get towels warmed on the radiator, and everything we needed for bath time out. Then served tea on a tray to my poorly babba, before sitting down to eat myself, scandalously in front of  "Neighbours" which is just about my favorite soap…

Tried once again to force feed Finley some medicine, only to have him spit it out all over me, so up we both went for a bath. Splashed a little less dementedly then usual then dressed Finley all snugly and myself in clean jamas, before going into the kitchen to get Finleys milk. Came back to find Finley flat out asleep on the floor, but woke him anyway  to have his milk, because I had had to mix his medicine into it.  Snuggled for half an hour with a very sleepy baby, before  carrying him up to bed, and doing a silent dance of joy that he was finally there and my evening could begin…

Went downstairs to begin my evening routine. Then upstairs to get our room ready for the night. Then because I was already bathed, I did an hour of heavenly blogging before going downstairs to watch Anthea Turners "Perfect HouseWife" with a cup of chamomile, taking notes for Brocantehome. Then I started knitting again, keeping one eye on "Hotel Babylon" on BBC One, and one eye on the clock, as I waited for Mark to come in at ten…

When he finally arrived home after  a very long day, I poured him  a glass of wine, and force fed  him some burnt  apple crumble, before going  to put  the kitchen to sleep , while Mark  watched the  sports headlines. Then we both went to bed, calling in to tuck Finley up, then getting into bed ourselves , where  Mark fell promptly asleep and I read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open…

And that’s it.  A very normal day. I’m not performing miracles, I just have my time arranged so that there is plenty of time to do the things I enjoy. I  read, knit, cook from scratch, blog, bath, look after a sick baby and still stay sane.  And if that compromises your mental health, or if I am indeed a "disgrace to Betty Friedans memory" then I am sorry, but I’m sure you will understand when I say it’s "tough".