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Little scrubber girl

I think I have finished my Christmas present shopping, most of it in person in the shops. Perhaps the postal strike has had an unintended consequence in returning shoppers to the town centres. Or perhaps that’s just me. I realise that most retailers don’t actually use the Royal Mail, but we’ve had a fair number of thefts from doorsteps in our street and I don’t really trust half the courier firms.

Anyway, yay for the presents, and yay also for successfully stocking the food cupboards (and the hiding-places around the house where I may have secreted some of the snack items in order to reduce temptation before our guests arrive).  Even better, I have received an encouraging little email from Waitrose confirming that the particular turkey I ordered has so far not succumbed to bird flu and we can pick him up on Christmas Eve as planned. Hopefully he will have succumbed to something else by then (sorry, in poor taste I know – although obviously my guests will hope the taste is as good as in previous years. Oops, again sorry!)

On other preparation fronts, we are not quite there yet. In a previous blog, I mentioned the new sofa bed, bedding and curtains for my office. All are now installed, but not without considerable angst this week as I discovered the curtain hooks and sliders on the existing curtain track are so old they snap very easily, leaving me with insufficient to hang the new pair. After a couple of failed attempts to purchase replacements (these are VERY old and definitely not a current design) or a whole new rail system, I resort to a plea on the street WhatsApp group – this is, after all, precisely what such a group should be for. Within minutes of my post, I had three encouraging responses. Sadly, unless one hitherto unfamiliar neighbour’s friend in Colchester comes up with the goods (!), this has still not unearthed exactly the same shape of glider-thingy – but I am nothing if not resourceful and I have managed some sort of compromise using a few of the gliders and hooks which had not shattered beyond usefulness, and a few almost compatible donated gliders which I have coaxed into a delicate balancing act. Son J will need to be gentle with them, but I’m sure he will be happy to do so in return for enjoying the rather impressive-looking double bed I have beautifully magicked up for him (as long as he also remembers not to try to sleep on the tippy bit against the wall….)

I realise that the exuberant and positive vibe at the beginning of this post is somewhat ebbing away. In fact, it can ebb some more as I inform you that I spent half of this morning on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor to remove (or rather, TRYING to remove) a sticky residue left when I finally removed the masking tape which has been uselessly marking out our latest plan for the reconfiguration of our kitchen since September (a project which will run and run – just don’t ask). It turns out that (1) masking tape should not be left in situ for more than a couple of hours let alone a couple of months (humph – I know that NOW, but it doesn’t help at this point does it?) and (2) scrubbing frantically on all fours with a soapy sponge is not a recommended antidote to a streaming cold. After an indecorously sniff-filled but strangely not entirely ill-humoured hour or so I gave up the scrubbing, although not before I had established on a couple of patches that energetic elbow-grease would eventually do the trick. Thus I probably only have one-third of the wretched stuff left to tackle, so that’s something to look forward to when I feel a little less snotty – and hopefully before the clan descends.

And yes, it seems that I am already on my second cold of the season and I am not a happy bunny. I suppose on the plus side, my voice which had not completely returned after my last bout of coldiness, does not seem to have retreated any further down the octaves, so there is still hope that I will at least be able to belt out the tenor part of the better-known Carols from King’s as I peel the spuds on Christmas Eve – a ritual which is now just 7 days away and is an essential part of this hostess staying sane for the duration.

Don’t panic….

At least if I can coax my voice not to desert me completely, I’ll be able to sing along with the remaining scrubbing and am thinking to style myself the Little Scrubber Girl (à la Little Drummer Boy – ok, not ‘la’ but you get my drift) – 

Come they told me, a-scrub-a-dub-dub, A shiny floor to see, a-scrub-a-dub-dub, My finest elbow-grease, a scrub-a-dub-dub, To clean the mess with ease, a scrub-a-dub-dub, scrub-a-dub-dub, scrub-a-dub-dub, So to honour guests, a scrub-a-dub-dumb*, When they come.

Festive bleatings from this aspiring Rudolph.

Yours – OneCryingEyeAndOneRunningNose

All scrubbed out!

*Dumb possibly being the better option from the point of view of anyone else in the vicinity, but hey, it’s Christmas! Indulge me.



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