Life had always intended me to be a slut. I could never enthuse about cleanliness or domesticity and, when arthritis removed some possibilities for these, there was as much rejoicing as regret. However, some minimal standards have to be maintained so this morning I set myself to clean the little shelves on the fridge door.
All went well until I came to replace them. The milk bottle looked askew and that particular shelf had shown some reluctance in the past to sit properly in its groove. Just as I moved to check it the entire lot slid down onto the shelf below with the almost-full milk bottle hurtling itself at the floor and the shelf itself following.
I stood in the milk and contemplated the large jars of pickled onions, olives and beetroot, now sitting very precariously on top of the contents of the lower shelf. The phone rang. (Doesn't it always in such circumstances?) I ignored it. Despite being at full stretch, and instantly regretting my need to ensure tops were NEVER tightly screwed on, I succeeded in transferring them, one by slidey one, to the kitchen unit. There was a near catastrophe with the beetroot as its top came off in my hand but I was sustained by a vision of Mr SW returning from golf to find his wife sitting on the floor in a mixture of broken glass, milk and beetroot juice. I performed a neat slip catch that my menfolk would be proud of. It was all very difficult and time-consuming so, at this point, I declared half-time and returned to my cup of coffee and the friend who'd been trying to ring when it all kicked off.
Refreshed and restored, I went back to the kitchen chaos. My hands were not designed to wield and squeeze mops or lift heavy buckets of water but, bit by bit, the milk ended up in the mop bucket and the bits of glass in the dustbin via a cardboard box and the long-handled dustpan and brush. I was in the middle of mopping clean the floor when the phone rang again. Another friend. Another welcome break.
After a few laughs I put down the phone and finished mopping the floor. Shuffling around on an old towel quickly dried it and all that was left for my golfer when he returned was to empty the bucket and vac the hall carpet of those teeniest fragments of glass which lurk invisibly for days until you go around in bare feet.
This was not the morning I had planned and I have now returned happily to slutdom - but with a smug smile of satisfaction and achievement
“There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken