Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Monday, 13 June 2011

The holiday before the holiday

It's mid-June, and the mothers hereabouts are staring down the barrel of 10 weeks of summer holiday. The prospect is so scary that this mother has been taking pre-emptive action. This week, Mama has been on a pre-holiday holiday. Children, husband and dog have all been packed off to the tender mercies of Oma - where they have been enjoying a strict Prussian regime of ice-cream, the cellar's best Riesling and some rather good bones.

And Mama has been on holiday. Did I already say that? Yes? Nota bene. 

And what lovely things did Mama get up to alone in Carmine with only a rabble of cats and a chuckle of chicks for company? I'll tell you what she got up to.

She cleaned 55 panes of glass and 8 mirrors. She swept, vaccuumed and mopped 11 separate floors plus stairs and hallways. She wet-dusted every surface, including ceiling beams, picture frames, the insides of cupboards and the very highest shelves. She raked out four grates and disposed of the contents and choked on the dust.

She sorted, bagged, carried down the hill and dumped a grand total of 23 bags of old clothes, toys and straight trash (and, yes, she was counting, through gritted teeth). She spent two days solid fishing unmentionable objects from under beds, separating the Duplo from the Leggo, reuniting jigsaw pieces with their sets and sellotaping broken boxes back together. In those days she pondered many of the great children's-bedroom mysteries, such as where the enormous pile of plastic, pastel-coloured ponies had materialized from, and whether her son's collection of cat-gift bird wings (minus the birds) constituted a health hazard. 

She archived winter duvets and aired summer duvets; she stripped, laundered and made up five beds. She washed and dried (in teeming rain) four dog blankets, and seven rag rugs. She ironed for England, including pressing 11 shirts to hot-cotton perfection, 6 of them with fussy French cuffs. She discovered that if the laundry hampers and the ironing baskets are empty at the same time (which they normally never are), she needs 100% more space in the wardrobes than she now has. 

Of course, having spent so much time on her own, Mama has a few secrets...a few little sins to confess. She has done things that she should not have done ("Where did that 5-litre jar of two-year-old age-browned pickled cauliflower go, darling?" And "Mama, what happened to that plastic Spongebob Squarepants I had? I've never looked at it before, but I want it - NOW!"). And she has not done things that she should have done ("Honey, did you pick up my suits from the cleaners?" And "Oh Mama, have you designed my party invitations, yet?" And "Why didn't you eat the lettuces before they bolted?"). 

So as this Monday dawns, and the husband, the son, the daughter, the dog, several cases of Alsatian fizz, rather too much stinky French cheese and hundreds of books make their way south, Mama is left with a vague recollection that somebody at some stage mentioned a holiday... 

7 comments:

Oh mamma said...

Holiday for a mother and housewife means just a little more time and calm to do the ordinary and extraordinary things. Forget about rading a book in he sun.

Karin said...

Ahhh, a working holiday, as opposed to a vacation! As I read your post I was very thankful that I'm past that stage and don't have near the amount of work you do! Sounds like you were efficient, highly productive and very thorough - and in a strange way I'm sure that felt good!!!

Louise | Italy said...

It felt treeeeee-mendous!

chrysalis said...

Love it, Louise. Brilliant writing!

Windy Miller said...

Just Brill again.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Not my idea of a holiday, but the way you write always makes me smile, thankyou. :)

ladyfi said...

Brilliantly witty writing - but not my idea of a holiday at all!

Monday, 13 June 2011

The holiday before the holiday

It's mid-June, and the mothers hereabouts are staring down the barrel of 10 weeks of summer holiday. The prospect is so scary that this mother has been taking pre-emptive action. This week, Mama has been on a pre-holiday holiday. Children, husband and dog have all been packed off to the tender mercies of Oma - where they have been enjoying a strict Prussian regime of ice-cream, the cellar's best Riesling and some rather good bones.

And Mama has been on holiday. Did I already say that? Yes? Nota bene. 

And what lovely things did Mama get up to alone in Carmine with only a rabble of cats and a chuckle of chicks for company? I'll tell you what she got up to.

She cleaned 55 panes of glass and 8 mirrors. She swept, vaccuumed and mopped 11 separate floors plus stairs and hallways. She wet-dusted every surface, including ceiling beams, picture frames, the insides of cupboards and the very highest shelves. She raked out four grates and disposed of the contents and choked on the dust.

She sorted, bagged, carried down the hill and dumped a grand total of 23 bags of old clothes, toys and straight trash (and, yes, she was counting, through gritted teeth). She spent two days solid fishing unmentionable objects from under beds, separating the Duplo from the Leggo, reuniting jigsaw pieces with their sets and sellotaping broken boxes back together. In those days she pondered many of the great children's-bedroom mysteries, such as where the enormous pile of plastic, pastel-coloured ponies had materialized from, and whether her son's collection of cat-gift bird wings (minus the birds) constituted a health hazard. 

She archived winter duvets and aired summer duvets; she stripped, laundered and made up five beds. She washed and dried (in teeming rain) four dog blankets, and seven rag rugs. She ironed for England, including pressing 11 shirts to hot-cotton perfection, 6 of them with fussy French cuffs. She discovered that if the laundry hampers and the ironing baskets are empty at the same time (which they normally never are), she needs 100% more space in the wardrobes than she now has. 

Of course, having spent so much time on her own, Mama has a few secrets...a few little sins to confess. She has done things that she should not have done ("Where did that 5-litre jar of two-year-old age-browned pickled cauliflower go, darling?" And "Mama, what happened to that plastic Spongebob Squarepants I had? I've never looked at it before, but I want it - NOW!"). And she has not done things that she should have done ("Honey, did you pick up my suits from the cleaners?" And "Oh Mama, have you designed my party invitations, yet?" And "Why didn't you eat the lettuces before they bolted?"). 

So as this Monday dawns, and the husband, the son, the daughter, the dog, several cases of Alsatian fizz, rather too much stinky French cheese and hundreds of books make their way south, Mama is left with a vague recollection that somebody at some stage mentioned a holiday... 

7 comments:

Oh mamma said...

Holiday for a mother and housewife means just a little more time and calm to do the ordinary and extraordinary things. Forget about rading a book in he sun.

Karin said...

Ahhh, a working holiday, as opposed to a vacation! As I read your post I was very thankful that I'm past that stage and don't have near the amount of work you do! Sounds like you were efficient, highly productive and very thorough - and in a strange way I'm sure that felt good!!!

Louise | Italy said...

It felt treeeeee-mendous!

chrysalis said...

Love it, Louise. Brilliant writing!

Windy Miller said...

Just Brill again.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Not my idea of a holiday, but the way you write always makes me smile, thankyou. :)

ladyfi said...

Brilliantly witty writing - but not my idea of a holiday at all!