Housekeeper’s Diary

32

More and more now, there is clarity in my head. New ideas I would never have considered before. A realisation that there is very little set in stone and that we can be who we so very much need to be if only we would dig ourselves out of the kind of rut we have lined so cosily in satin eiderdowns and nostalgia for who we once were.

I am clearing space. Utterly focused on saying damn you to clutter in all forms: the fears and the food, the books I trip over and the long-held beliefs. The commitments I have long been unable to make but have kept on holding myself to regardless, the mini-addictions to preposterous things like umm… raspberry ruffles (oh how I love you raspberry coconut sweet!), the routines I have convinced myself life will fall down without, the strain, the worry, the over-complicating of what could be simple things. All of it being packed in black bin-bags and stuffed down into the wheelie bin of life.

And it feels good! I don’t have to keep dyeing my hair if I don’t want to! I could take up wearing red lipstick with everything if I feel like it (though I’m easing myself into this one by dabbing my lips with Dr PawPaw’s Ultimate Red Balm and rubbing the remainder into my cheeks (so I look like a child who has been eating jam butties in a brisk gale- a look I quite like). My online life isn’t actually my whole life! Getting older might be quite liberating! The police won’t come a-calling if there is something out of place on the sideboard!

So many little revelations, coming thick and fast: as if someone has suddenly prized my eyes open or unblocked my ears in a happy swoosh!

Not to mention the truths I am suddenly allowing myself to hear.

I miss having a dog more than I have cared to share. I’m terribly worried that I will never be a home owner again. I’m deeply demented that I’m not Mrs. Hinch, though Finn insists I should be and that all it would take is a set of false eyelashes and a Minky (of which I cannot now buy easily for love nor money though I have been using them for years). And I’m not all that bothered that it turns out I probably won’t turn into Kristin Scott-Thomas overnight, nor ever give up my long line in lady crushes, of which Kristin Cavelleri is the latest love of my life, mostly because I am absolutely fascinated by her grumpy husband.

Of course none of this means I am in anyway normal. In the past week, I invited my neighbour in to watch our TV because I thought she said “Please tell me you have Catch Up?” when what she actually wanted was ketchup. (If I’m honest I did wonder what she could possibly need to watch with such obvious desperation!).

And then there was the maths tutor and the bra debacle. You see I have a penchant for taking my bra off the very moment I enter the house or else I am apparently at risk of suffocation. So take it off I do and fling it on to the armchair daily (I know. I’m sorry. I repeat: do as I say, not as I do). And all who know me ignore the entire matter and pretend I am not the kind of bra-flinging lunatic they prefer not to speak of beyond our four walls, while those who don’t are never usually privvy to this information as I am usually quite efficient at banishing the bra’s before we have company. But last week Finn’s funny little maths tutor turned up early, quite unannounced and I forgot said bra was in position and in he came and sat on the very chair that is in fact my underwear drawer in disguise, and picked up my rather large lacy black drawer and held it in his funny little hands as he explained why he was there, while Ste and I stared at him mortified until said supportive partner took the initiative and swapped him the bra for a cup of tea and we all got on with our lives, suitably embarrassed and determined never to acknowledge the matter with even so much as a wink or a prayer.

Ahem. Anyway. The next night I dreamt my best friend was organising my funeral, on horseback, with a biscuit tin on her head, which only goes to show that sleep does not soothe a clearly troubled mind.

Shall we move on?

Today then, sour-dough topped with an oddly tasty combination of Marmite and flax-seeds, a box of books to be packed for the free book shop because she who takes must also give back, the pulling up of a relentless crop of dandelions on the lawn, the gathering of an armful of hopefully insect free flowers from the wildflower patch lining the outhouse for the scrubbed pine dining table, the conversion of a two-tiered rather useless copper fruit bowl into a two-tiered soap and pretty bottle holder in the bathroom, another go at making the sweet french onion soup recipe that confounds me with its failure to be even remotely sweet, nor quite as treacly as it should be, and the cleaning out of a fridge that has sprung a stinky leak, hot on the heels of the tumble dryer that declared no more with this malarkey last Saturday and now blows cold air and too much attitude.

(Do they get together these appliances and decide upon domestic mutiny at the very moment funds become horribly tight?)

Later, a quick shufty around the living room so I can pretend I haven’t been sitting in virtual squalor writing this to you, and a batch of tutti-frutti cupcakes baked so I can pull them warm from the oven and delight a child who can barely tear himself away from the flaxen haired maiden who is his new girlfriend and thus must be seduced home on a waft of motherly baking, then a long bath, the end of this rather excellent book and the maths tutor, for whom I might just wrap my bustenformer around my head, tie it under my chin and greet him with a smile.

Anything goes these days, don’t you know?

Join the Conversation

  1. I appreciate your honesty..you’re not alone. This is a time of sorting out what doesn’t suit you anymore. We all have challenges, but don’t you love it when some unseen force picks you up and says, “enough”?! Sounds like you’re up and running again.

    1. Thank you me darling. I’m definitely feeling like like I’m on the up!x

  2. Oh Alison, you are such a breath of fresh air! Thank you for being you Love! ?

  3. Alison, math tutors and bra debacle…appliances in revolt…catch up…you have me smiling all the way thru your blog. I myself have just started thinking of not coloring my hair anymore. Clearing space both mentally and physically is just what is needed and you are leading the charge. Love your words and your outlook on life!

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed this! I completely understand your feelings of brassiere suffocation – mine can sometimes be found on the nearest chair, although I’m getting better about stashing it in a nearby drawer! I’m a little behind in the mid-life crisis since I was 44 when my youngest was born; however, I believe I’m now in the thick of it and struggling… Here’s to the adventure ahead!

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