And so I find myself trapped back in mumps prison. Finn’s face is fatter than ever and the chances of mixing with the rest of humanity still scarce.  So what’s  a good housekeeper to do?

Strip I say.

Strip away the nonsense cluttering every surface in the house. Clear out the fiddly bits drawer (I know you have got one!). Attack the bathroom cupboard with a bin bag in hand. Get rid of every unuseful bit of paper in the entire house. Edit your dvd collection. Create a bag of books to give away. Drink nettle tea all day and strip away the toxins swimming around your veins. Force the kids to give up one toy each (It won’t kill them and they will only hate you for the next ten minutes). Take rugs up and go hang them over the line in the garden. Remove little stabs of depleted candles. Put anything likely to survive it into the dishwasher (Candlesticks, trays, kids manky plastic nonsense, rubber bath mats, dusty ornaments, the works – though probably not all at once!). Eat sushi- makes you feel wierdly washed inside. Eradicate every wandering leaf in the garden. Prune things. Change every bed in the house. Take library books back. Clear a shelf and await inspiration. Pay a bill before its time and feel financially virtuous. Strip away guilt. (Who needs it??) Chuck out an item of clothing that makes you feel rubbish. Go through your sentimental nonsense and get brave. Give away your magazine collection (I dare you!!). Edit a collection: don’t have items in it just to keep the numbers up. Say no to somebody. (NO! I don’t wanna!!) Even if there is a little bit of you that would be thrilled. Clean out the fridge. Make space for culinary dreams. Rip out the pages of your 2007 diary already passed and start the year all over again. Dance like no-one is watching and wipe numbers you never intend to call again from your mobile phone..

Have fun. It is Monday. We LOVE Mondays.