Tuesday, 23 February 2010


I am sick

Je suis malade

Ik ben siek

Ich bin krank

Estoy enferma

Sorry, I got sick today, so marking of yesterday's Surprise Test is still in a pile on the corner of my desk. (I do not have a desk) I should probably have realised something was wrong when I spent 20 minutes lying on the floor of the bedroom when I should have been getting dressed this morning, or even when I starting crying on the tram for no reason. But no, I insisted on going all the way to the office to lie on the floor of the ladies wrapped in my coat and cry. Truly, I am employee of the month. And blogger of the month, since despite the fact I have nothing to offer but the written equivalent of a death rattle, I am determined to blog for you. Yes! The show must go on, even if the 'show' is about as much fun as the stomach flu itself.

Since getting home, I have been alternating sleeping, weeping, shouting at the dog (who, not content with the lovebombing of the weekend, has taken up peeing in the house again) and projecting myself gloomily into a future where I die alone and unmourned. Normal sick day activities. Where is my manservant (I don't mean that in a gender specific way, any gender of domestic operative would be welcome) to bring me small glasses of water and deal with the ceaseless demands for attention from the domestic animal and maybe mop the floor which has mystifyingly got dirty again?

Talking of dirty floors, here are my Top Five Domestic Irritations of the moment:

1. That non-slip rug underlay that doesn't work. Fuck off, Ikea, you useless bastards. Finding the rugs bunched up in the corner of the room after the dog or children have been chasing something is giving me serious stabbiness.

2. The dog's insistence on excavating its food bowl in the hope that something better is hiding underneath, spreading vomitously disgusting dog croquettes all over the kitchen where I then have to sweep them up with my dustpan and brush that oh yes! The weepette has chewed up.

3. I cannot be emptying the vacuum cleaner right, since the only way I seem to be able to do it is with a teaspoon. I know this cannot be right, yet every time I try and work out what I am doing wrong I get terrified of breaking it and back off. The spoon is fine! Sort of.

4. The downstairs loo, which in the past 3 months has received the whole contents of the household cleaning aisle at Carrefour many times over, still smells like someone died in there.

5. More generally the house smells funny. No amount of Diptyque candles, lavender oil, Savon de Marseille floor cleaning stuff seems to make a difference. It smells slightly of masala lamb chops, slightly of some very horrible sickly polish used once on the wooden floors, slightly of the downstairs loo of despondency. The old house smelled of woodsmoke, due to the CFO's blind worship at the shrine of his open fire. It's a lot nicer. Somehow, however, I don't think introducing a top note of burning into the mix is going to help.

Obviously, I throw this open to anyone who wishes to share their domestic irritations too. I am going to lie in a darkened room with my self-pity to keep me warm.


L. said...

Hmm. You might need a Roomba and/or Scooba. I received a matched pair as a Christmas gift and, although they aren't perfect, my floors are a lot cleaner these days. It is amazing what an improvement in my mood that makes. I do have to clean hair/fur out of the Roomba a lot, but in a weird sick way I kind of enjoy that.

VW: brepingi, the feeling of extracting a disgusting coil of hair/fur off the end of a Roomba's brush.

Hope you feel better soon! (Or have I disgusted you into worse health?)

Em said...

Oh, you poor thing. Wrap yourself up in the Weepette and get better soon.

I am a sensitive wee flower regarding smells. Have you tried the baking soda thing... although I can't properly remember what it is. Years ago trying to kill a foul underlying odour in our old house I (again from memory, not a good idea) got the baking soda out which hadn't been used forever and was stuck in clumps. Obviously the sensible thing to do was to blow on it(!) and end up wearing it all over my face, specifically under my nose. Luckily our new neighbour, an Anglican minister, decided to pop his head round the door to find me looking like I'd been snorting illegal substances. Wouldn't have been soooo bad, but same neighbour had also come to the door once before to be met by my five year old daughter. She told him 'Mummy is upstairs putting a cigar in her bottom.'

Sorry, completely lost my train of thought...

Grit said...

take comfort, jaywalker. my house is complete shitchaos. no surface is now without a two foot paper adornment and no floor can be fully viewed.

aunty dee comes next week for her annual sleepover party and last time i swept the mouse droppings from her bed only hours before her arrival.

yesterday someone stole our bin. that is possibly the last desirable item we possess. and last week the fire grate broke, and i propped it up with a brick.

nothing can make this worse now except subsidence. (we already have a hole in the roof.)

get well soon. xx

Lisa-Marie said...

perhaps you could borrow the eldest of your children for water getting purposes?

ikea rugs with non-movey stuff are quite frankly shite.

The hoover in this flat has the suction equivalent of two mice whistling. it takes 20 mins to hoover our miniscule living room!

our flat is in a close. this means that i can clean and clean and clean, and it will still be permeated with the smell of the half eaten kebab someone thoughtfully left in the corridor.

speaking of the close, the children from the school across the road seem to have chosen it as their lunch venue. i can see the logic, but why in buggery should i have to deal with their crisp packets, irn-bru bottles and half eaten chip rolls? they are little shits!

redfox said...

I was pathologically twitchy over the odd musty smell I was convinced permeated our house. Because I love to spend money, I solved this problem through a combination of hiring a cleaner and purchasing an electric air filter machine. Children love the latter -- if you fart in front of it, it whirs immediately and audibly into high gear to eat the stink. WHOOSH. Fun for everyone!

Michelle Roger said...

I feel your pain. I recently dedicated a whole post on my blog to the fact that my house permanently smells of cat pee thanks to a demented elderly cat with incontinence issues. Short of a nuclear apocalypse I believe my house will continue to smell like cat pee, actually I'm not sure that even a bazillion A bombs could destroy that smell.

I also have two great danes who yesterday decided to jump into our rancid pond which has about 1 ft of sewage perfumed muck thanks to our hot Australian summer, then run through my house. I was so ill yesterday that I didn't have the energy to do anything about it. Today I am too busy filling my blog addiction (procrastinating) to do anything about it so I continue to have large muddy footprints throughout. I kinda figure that they will dry enough that they'll soon be dust and will disappear with a puff of wind.

I also have 2 boys and a husband but I wont go into the perpetual shit fight they create.

Feel better soon.

Nimble said...

I'm looking for a house to move to. Recently I saw two rental houses that both smelled of mildew. But only one of them had water trickling out of the ceiling by the front door. Later I saw a house that would have been a tight fit for us but is in a beautiful, tempting location. Luckily my husband realized later that day that it had neither a dishwasher nor any room for one. (I was appalled that I hadn't noticed.) We are too old and wash too many dishes to do without.

Vinegar and baking soda are good smell killers.

I can just see you working intently with your teaspoon trying not to break the cleaner -- it's a very cinema paranoia image.

the polish chick said...

"jestem chora" on account of you mysteriously missing the polish.

the floor gets dirty. i clean it and the bugger gets dirty. i clean it again (once a respectable amount of time has elapsed) and it gets dirty again. what gives, floor?

take a small pot, fill it with white vinegar, a couple of sticks of cinnamon, some cloves, and simmer it on low heat. this will not only fill your house with the disgusting fragrance of white vinegar, it will permanently kill whatever other smells there may be. and the vinegar smell goes away.

jessica said...

Yes, unfortunately pets = smell and overtime with the vacuum cleaner. I have/love/even almost don't mind emptying a Roomba. However, while I was at work tonight one of the cleaners (yes! Still there when the cleaners came in! All wrong) was wearing a bright yellow backpack-mounted vacuum. I complimented it and she flicked her weave over one shoulder and said, "Makes me feel like a Ghostbuster."

So. There's always that option.

Jessica said...

We have a toilet of doom in the basement here. When there isn't enough water in it, the basement begins to release the funk of 40 thousand years into the rest of the house, so I send boyfriend to fill it (tank and bowl) back up with a bucket.

Not sure if that would help, but if the water levels are low then it might. And if you toss in some baking soda (I am such a sheep) then it couldn't hurt, right?

carolinefo said...

Did you know that the word 'sik' in Turkish means 'penis'?

So, if you are teaching in a Turkish university, it's advisable never to say 'I'm sick' to your class, or they will all fall about laughing, as you've just told them (in Turklish) that you are a penis.

Very, very amusing.

Loving the idea of the Ghostbuster vacuum cleaner. I want one.

Get well soon, oh best of all possible Waffles.

Anonymous said...

Hope you're feeling better very soon, dear Waffle. Stomach flu is awful. Looking on the bright side, at least now you have an excellent excuse to stay in bed and catch up on sleep.

Absolutely all housework is a bore.
Ironed clothes just get creased again, floors and surfaces just keep on getting dirty. I vote we just leave them be and get on with the rest of our lives (until urgent intervention is required). Housework can wait, life is much more important.

Z said...

The loo at the church smelled awful - in the end I discovered that in a cupboard was an open pipe and in that was a valve that was supposed to let air into the system but not out, but it had failed. Valve replaced, problem solved.

I think that, once you're better, you need to track down exactly where the smell is coming from; the loo, the air around or maybe there's a piece of wood or something that is so impregnated with years of pee that it will never be clean.

I find Neutradol works really well in absorbing smells - you can get a powder to sprinkle or an air freshener to spray, I think.

I did the stupidest thing I've done in years last night. I can't even bear to blog it. My husband is too polite to say, but he obviously thinks I've completely lost it at last.

Bryony said...

my kitchen tap is dripping so badly OH has turned the hot water off altogether until a plumber can come.....

middle son's bedroom has v odd smell, reminiscent of apple cores, but that might be a mask....

frau antje said...

Entrepreneurs (not you).

This backward insistence on providing cafeterias for the adults and not the children. Adults can get their own food, children cannot. No decent person comes home in the middle of the day (without crying first).

It's just that if it weren't for this one perfectly charming household, the block would be dead quiet all day. That seems tragic.

Now that you mention it, those non-slip things do not work much at all, do they? Only slightly irritating though, because I never chase anything.

Jet said...

You are eloquent even in your sickness.

My irritations are how the other half doesn't rinse the bath round after a shower and how he doesn't clean the sink after a shave.

Find some sort of cuddly creature (I have Dangler Sheep.) Sleep, cry, get better.

Love. x

Anonymous said...

Domestic Irritations From House'O'Mine
1. The fucking small sharp bits of lego which bruise the underside of your feet/the sharp IKEA bedpost which bruises my shins most nights
2. the children generally. specifically, the way the 2 year old pisses into corners as soon as that nappy comes off. anytime, anywhere, with the speed of filthy weesy lightning. also the 5 year old discards his pyjama bottoms every night and so in the morning i have to sniff discarded weesy pants in case they are reusable
3. the dishwasher does a crap job and so i have to scrape pesto bits off with my fingernails before putting plates back into the cupboard
4. other stuff like that.

Anonymous said...

I will send my dog round. He finds all manky things in 10 seconds flat. I can't promise he won't eat whatever it is though...
I was going to say something else, but have been totally distracted by Em's comment.


Anonymous said...

And I want to know what Z did. Come Zed, spill.


Z said...

You'll never think of me the same way again if I do, Fran.

pinolona said...

A good three or four inches of water around my feet in the shower, in spite of the litres of Cillit Bang that I have thrown down the plughole. There is clearly something really persistent skulking down there.

The persistence of cafards, even though I clean and vacuum very thoroughly, honest (no kids or pets, too much spare time).

The kitchen bin, which is about the size of a half pint of shandy, meaning I have to empty it almost every day (I know that I could just go out and buy a bigger one).

hope you feel better soon!

(wv 'obstoc' - clearly the thing lurking in my U-bend)

Anonymous said...

For the old lamb chop smell, check that your floor wash/polish doesn't contain linseed oil - leaves a rank, faintly curryish, smell around for days and then you wash the floor with the same thing to get rid of the smell and end up making it worse!

She Wore It Well said...

Oh God, if you find a cure for a stinky toilet do let me know. I've even tried ammonia. Nothing works!

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