Yes, I know I’ve blogged about it before and I don’t intend to again. In fact, Juanita (my imaginary cleaner) caused such a stir on Twitter that I believe she must be capitalising on her online success by going out doing cash-in-hand jobs - she certainly hasn’t been seen in our house!
But you see, cleaning and preparing of house had to be done as we have two sets of guests arriving in the next few days. OK, I know, they’re unlikely to be so rude as to wipe a snooty finger across my surfaces and wrinkle a nose in disdain, but I know the dust is there.
Aside from the cleaning, I have an elderly mother to visit, a teenage son to shout at, a book to promote, a new one to write, and a blog to keep up (you try getting six blogs ahead of yourself when you know you won’t be around because you’ll be doing the London touristy things you’ve done a million times before!)
So what does any self-respecting madwoman do when she knows she’s chasing her tail and getting nowhere?
She sits down with a nice chilled glass of white wine and WRITES A LIST.
Oh, it’s just heaven to look at the list and know what jobs lay ahead of me. I might inwardly panic when I see them all there in black and white but at least I can feel that they’re not cluttering my head any more and get on and take action. Maybe it’s the writer in me but, if my head’s jam packed with jumbled thoughts, I just can’t function.
For something as simple as a dinner party, I’m afraid I can be so anal it even annoys me. My list (always written the night before, or possibly days in advance) will include things like:
Oven on 7pm
See, I told you it was anal! But the satisfaction of crossing one more thing off my pathetic little list gives me such joy, I can’t even begin to describe it.
I’ve even been known to think of another job, get on and do it and then add it to my list just so that I can cross it off. I have to say that makes me feel smug and daft in equal measures.
As you can probably imagine, Christmas planning warrants a whole notebook - always gorgeous to begin with and then a mass of scrawls and scribblings by Christmas Eve. Good grief, you’ve got cards, posting dates, presents, stockings, wrapping days, decoration of house (inside, outside, downstairs, upstairs in the lady’s chamber) food/drink shopping, prep of food, table planning, drinks and present-giving with friends. Not to mention the fact that my mum and a close friend of ours have birthdays close to the event - I mean, how inconsiderate!
But if it’s all there on paper, anything seems possible. Sometimes there might not be enough hours in the day but then all you need to do is delegate - hubbie is a better cleaner than me and son makes a mean cupcake!
I truly believe that the world is divided into three camps - those who can function without a list and breeze through their chores and busy lives without a hair out of place, those chaotic types who would benefit from a piece of paper and a pen to keep stuff in order and those (like me) who couldn’t function without it. I’d be the nutter curled up in a corner, rocking back and forth with my head in my hands mumbling …
Pay council tax
Have a bath
Blah de blah de blah … cuckoo ! cuckoo!
In my novel ‘Diary of a Mummy Misfit’ Libby is a great list writer. She even adds ‘Have sex’ but still forgets! Check out my reviews on Amazon. Now also available in paperback at Lulu.