I did not realise what a cleanliness militant I was until recently. When I shake people’s hands, as soon as I get a chance, I go wash my hands, when I get to work; I wipe my desk, computer keyboard, mouse and telephones. I am driving our delivery van at the moment (it is used to deliver jumping castles for children’s parties); I wanted to wash it on the weekend to make it more presentable to drive but only got a chance to do so yesterday. I wiped it down with warm soapy water as well as the inside. I wiped the floor, the dashboard, seats and all, sprayed it with air freshener and put a few drops of essential oil on the seats. I just hate untidiness and dirt. Thankfully I have Sophie who cleans the house for us every day but I still end up showing her areas that I want cleaned, and spotless I might add. I have tried to relax over the years so as not to give my husband and children a hard time but I reach a point and then just go on a cleaning/tidying rampage. They just know though, when I go on a tangent to all stay clear. I used to be so fussy before I had children that when visitors had just left, I would puff up the cushions on the couches, wipe down the tables and mop the floor where marks were left. If my home was not sparkling, it was dirty and messy. It is a real problem being like this as you are not always able to notice the nice things but your eyes immediately notice the mark on the cupboard, the sticky fridge door, the ring the cup left on the table etc. Oh mercy me. When my eldest daughter Tara was little, I used to sort her toys in her room according to dolls, Lego, puzzles and even go as far as marking ice cream containers with the toys in. I would sort the crayons, lay out the colouring in books and sort the story books from biggest to smallest. Things never stayed sorted for long but three children later and I am still doing my best to help them sort their rooms and keep my youngest daughters room in order. I generally let things go for a month or two and then spend a whole afternoon on a weekend doing a big sort and throw out! I don’t do this for my teenagers anymore though; I just send them to their rooms to do it now but often pop my head in to see how things are progressing. I haven’t done this for a while but when my children used to go on their school tour, I would use the time while they were away to tidy and revamp their bedrooms for them to come home to a nice fresh bedroom. It was my way of dealing with missing them and also getting a hand on the clutter that had gathered in their rooms.
You are either exhausted by now from just reading all of this busyness or laughing at this craziness. As I work at a school in the mornings until 2pm every day, I am privileged to enjoy the school holidays as well. I am looking forward to doing some tidying up this holiday while my oldest daughter is at school, her school terms run slightly different from mine and her room is calling me! I also need to get my hand into a tin of enamel paint as the interior doors are begging for a fresh coat of paint! And amidst all I have planned for the holidays I plan to crochet, bake, gym (seriously need to get fit again) and fit in a morning movie with popcorn and Smarties. Oh and did I forget to say that I am seldom bored or without something to do, somehow I always find something to keep myself entertained with.
In the summer months when all the nice fruit is in season, I make apricot jam. I also make plum jam but add some other fruits to make a special blend. The jams are also given as Christmas presents together with peanut brittle and/or homemade biscuits.
I just remembered one other thing I am so fussy about, before going away for a weekend or on holiday, the house must be "ship shape" before leaving. No doubt by the time we get going on the trip, I am exhausted but am fortunate enough to have a designated driver!