Friday, 1 August 2014

How To Clean A House: Boot Camp For Men & Kids Perhaps?

When friends come to visit, even the nooks & crannies get attention...

As I have said before, I have yet to master the art of not caring if friends see a bit of dust in our house. It is all very well saying that it doesn't matter but let's face it, the guilt strings run deep. Apart from the stupidity of only kicking into action when friends come to stay as opposed to doing it for ourselves, it is nice to spring clean more than once a year!

A lot of colonial households ( I say colonial because I noticed it in South Africa ) have that one spare room. A room used only now and again. A room that I always thought was stupid to keep but now...It is that extra lounge that most houses have. That lounge where only the best couch stands alongside the best table, china & everything else. Did I mention it was dust free and ready on stand by? A lounge, a.k.a. The fancy lounge not to be used by the kids or husband...

Even though this lounge is part of the house, it doesn't get used. Only when the V.I.Ps ( distant family and friends to impress ) come for a cup of coffee, does this room see action. At least it is always clean and near the front door. No need to see anything that shouldn't be seen...

Years back I remember how expat South Africans used to complain that their new friends would hardly ever invite them over for a B.B.Q. or coffee. They would rather meet in restaurants and coffee shops. South African housewives / wives were spoiled all their life. Most of them had a full time maid and have never had to occupy their time with washing dishes, ironing shirts, mopping a floor or dare I say cleaning a loo ( I shouldn't generalize, but a lot had that pleasure ).

Anywhere else in the world, having a cleaner clean your house is jolly expensive and not done as much. Often, it is just easier to meet your friends at coffee shops etc, than to do another spring clean ( let me know if you think I am right ).

So many South African families are moving away from South Africa on to a new country. What should be an adventure and a joyful new chapter in their lives, often turns into a moping and sad experience. The social media is filled with " when we's " ( when we were in S.A., we... ). If one takes the trouble to uproot and move somewhere else, one should embrace and love it, as it is a privilege.

It is often the women who take more strain moving overseas. Understandably so. Imagine never having to have done major housework and suddenly having to do it all. Remember, their husbands grew up not even knowing where the broom was kept, the exact location of the laundry basket yet alone the washing up liquid. They will possibly fight tooth and nail to not discover the location of a broom in their new home!

Personally, I think that before the families emigrate, they need to organize a six month cleaning boot camp and practice cleaning and tending a house alone. Without any maids. Husband and kids need to learn their chore rota....P/S: please don't kill the messenger.

And, by the way Bob helps in the household every day. No need for the gym when he lifts the vacuum cleaner to clean those ever present spider webs. Yeah.

The minute our friends step through the front door, I hope they will shout :

" Goodness, but your house is super clean ! "
anything less than that, I might reconsider making breakfast for them.....!


Thursday, 31 July 2014

Rain, Rain & So Much More Rain!

Our firemen saved the day.

Within the space of about two hours, the heavens opened up and dumped a load of rain on us. It just kept coming down. At the start of the downpour I was driving home and it was the most frightening thing. It felt as if I had my own personal bucket of rain being throw over the car as I was inching along.

When I got home, Bob and I unplugged all the electrical stuff and stood at the window watching. A few minutes in we heard the faint klaxon call of the firehouse's siren. Our windows are triple glazed to keep the cold out and it seems the sound also! Bob waited about 5 minutes and then hot-footed it across the yard into our car. Running or even walking wasn't easy.

Bob was gone for over two hours and I rightly figured that they had to pump out cellars etc. Our fire brigade is super, they pull together and help wherever it is needed. Even the modern cell phone isn't as useful as the fire siren. Like the pied piper, it calls all the members to come out. Bob was in shorts and t-shirt when he got to the station. His commander told him to suit up and Bob said:

" I don't have any other clothes! "
" Bob, just go inside and have a look! "
which Bob did and he told me that he was so so chuffed to see his name over a cubby hole in the station. Every fireman has his call out uniform ( the one for fire etc ) hanging there with the boots underneath, just like in the movies. Bob has moved up and got his own now. Well done, Bob.

Even some of the firemen from the neighbouring villages came along to help us out. The community spirit in our area is unbelievable. It is so amazing, especially when you realize that everyone is a volunteer. Kindness and caring still do exist and our area stands at the front of the row.

The roads and lanes were flooded last night, and a lot of cellars too. In the scheme of things it is a small thing to happen, unless it happens to be your cellar...


This is taken from our bedroom window. The power of nature is very frightening.
A few minutes later. The new river keeps growing.
Taken from our bathroom window. The lane became a mini river for a while.
Just yesterday I posted a few photos from there showing a wonderful new day beginning...