Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Good Housekeeping?

In the UK, if you are not managing to keep your humble abode clean and tidy, you may get a comment or two, or someone sweeping their finger along a dusty shelf to make a point, or even a visit from Kim and Aggie...or it may just get completely ignored by all the kind folk around you. Here, it is a very different matter.

No, I do not have obsessively clean in-laws (far from it!). The state of my flat is in fact made very clear to me by....BEASTIES. Tons of 'em. Yuck.

Did I leave food on the table top or the dishes undone? Flies, everywhere. Great fun swatting them with a flip flop, they are surprisingly easy to kill.

Did I leave crumbs or jam dripping? Or even a few dead flies on the floor? Along come the ants, with their incredible instinct that allows them to find dirt in minutes. They are much smaller than the ones we had back home, but just as impressive in their actions. I have spent many hours killing them one by one...

Did I miss those crumbs under the sofa or the bed? Watch out, our friend the cockroach may be along shortly.... These ones scuttle far faster than any I remember in the past, and are far FAR bigger. It is pretty hard to get them with your flip flop, all that works is spraying the wonderful Baygone or screaming loudly and waiting for Bertie to turn up. Thankfully, I haven't seen many and mostly downstairs. I had a horrible moment when my SIL told me she had found one on the bed of her daughters one night (don't feel alarmed mum, but it was in the guest room!!). I am even more grateful for our mosquito nets!

And finally yesterday's traumatic discovery - it is only good to be green if you are organised enough to empty your leftovers and peelings regularly. Otherwise for your crime, maggots! Thousands of them! (Or so it felt.) And they don't die! It was like something out of a horror film, with more and more pouring out the box, me squashing them for all I was worth, only for them to start to move again - eek! LissaLou took great joy in watching me in my distress then running around the flat shouting "mankots! mankots!" Thankfully Bertie arrived home to help and we found that even spraying them with the deadly Baygone didn't do the job. So we put them all in a plastic bag in the bin and who knows what they are up to now? As for me, I keep seeing them everywhere...on my plate, in my glass, on the floor, in my hair...I expected to dream about them last night but was spared that!

So now I intend to be much more thorough in my cleaning schedule! No easy task as all the world seems to conspire against me when I get to cleaning. I met up with some nice ladies from the House Church that we occasionally go to this morning and they were telling me that they had left their houses by 9am this morning with the washing on the line, lunch ready, floors clean, washing up done...what was their secret? I begged to know. Ah, no children under 10 years of age in the house. May have to wait a few years before I get rid of all those bugs then.

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