Of course, I’d blocked out the horrors of what was happening in my very own house as I battled with weather, overenthusiastic husbands and happy campers during my weekend in Folkestone. My mother in law had a free rein over my house for the whole weekend, save the couple of hours she spent out with Jack Next Door at the Harvesters on Saturday evening. As the miles counted down to London my heart sank as I thought about what I’d find in my very own abode.
To say I found David and the dogs coughing and expiring gracefully in the front garden when I arrived home on Monday afternoon would be over egging the situation slightly but there was a very strong and definite overpowering smell of bleach, lemon Flash liquid and an as yet unidentifiable cleaning product which David thinks is this.
I have reproduced the note I found on my chopping board:
Joanna (note, please, the lack of greeting)
I have given the place a good going over – it is now clean, tidy and, above all, hygienic. I have managed to get that mark off the tiles in the bathroom – I dread to think what it was but it took some shifting. I emptied the Dyson no less than fifteen times – I went over the hall carpet three times and was amazed to find it was not patterned.
The kitchen floor has been cleaned AND polished, please watch your step in those ridiculous Tote things you wear. Your bedroom curtains have been washed and Mackenzie's toys arranged so that you don't break your neck on them the minute you enter his room. I have laundered the dogs bedding at 60 degrees.
I think you’ll find that if you keep the house to the standard I have set (you don’t need to let it build up and then attack it all in one go) you will find it easier to keep neat and tidy and so will no longer dread anyone just dropping in. I always find an hour a day achieves much more than the weekend blitz you usually go for.
I really don’t know what you do all day.
I’ve still got some of the Apple Strudel left that I cooked and devoured after reading this note – but not a lot. I took great satisfaction in dropping crumbs all over the highly polished kitchen sodding floor as well. David thinks I'm over reacting but he caught one look of my face as he said the fateful words and shot out into the garden to "prune the roses".
I’m also simmering over the last sentence. I can hear her saying it, in that flippant, over the shoulder tone she has, with the slight inflection on key words – I really don’t know what you do all day.
I’ve been making notes – I may just send it over with Jack when he goes to see her at the weekend.