Bank Holiday Sunshine Should Be Banned

 

It’s Bank Holiday Monday and it’s raining as it always does on a Bank Holiday, if it didn’t rain on a Bank Holiday the sky would cave in and we’d all die. But this morning it wasn’t raining, it was sunny and bright and the sun must have done something to my brain because suddenly I SAW THE TRUE STATE OF MY HOUSE – the carpets and lino need hoovered/washed/swept; the cupboards, the cooker, the washer, the dryer, the fridge, the freezer, the doors, the skirtings need washed down; EVERYTHING needs dusted; the bathroom needs a scrub – the WHOLE HOUSE needs a clean, it’s fucking bogging, it’s like A DIRTY TRAMP’S HOUSE. Most years I’ll have already spring-cleaned everything by this time but sometimes, like this year, I don’t notice how manky it’s become even though I’m here all the time until BAM – a little light goes on in my head and I see it all.

Not that I don’t occasionally notice it building up. If I’m walking from the living room to the kitchen I’ll sometimes see the dust at the edges of the hallway carpet and (detachedly and fleetingly) think to myself ‘Ooooo, that’s disgusting, someone should clean that,’ but the second I stop looking at it, poof, any thought of it’s gone from my head, disappeared like it’s never been, and I forget all about it until next time I happen to notice it.

I should be gearing myself up to do a spring clean but I can’t – there’s SO MUCH TO DO. I tried reading my own advice on housework (see Dotty Does Her Housework) to see if I made any sense, and yes I do make sense, prioritising is what you should do if it’s all a bit too overwhelming and you don’t know where to start – but how do I prioritise what needs to go on the PRIORITY LIST? And where do I find the motivation to do a list in the first place? And where have I put the notepad I use for lists, the long one with different coloured pages? Because if I can’t find it I can’t write a list because LISTS HAVE TO BE WRITTEN IN THE LIST NOTEPAD. And how do I remember why the fuck I was looking for my list notepad to begin with?

And that’s before I get started on the intolerable noise level of the Dyson and the fact that it’ll be PURE AND UTTER TORTURE for me to use it for the time it would take to clean the carpets.

 

 

And look at the state of the garden!!!!

 

 

It’s all too complicated, too, too complicated.

 

 

I’m glad it’s raining like it should on a Bank Holiday – the world is nice and dull again.

 

 

What was I writing about?

 

Meine Mami Und Me (with no swearing)

 

This morning I looked out of my window. Properly looked out, not a peek or a 2 second glance or a white van vigil, I did a proper stand-there-and-SEE look. And what I saw is SNOW. And it reminded me of meine Mami so I thought that seeing as I’m thinking about her today, I might as well tell you a bit about her.

Shortly after my dear dead Daddy died meine Mami upped sticks and left England for a little wander round the world. She’s still wandering and the last I heard she’s somewhere in India, living in a hut on a hill with a guru Yogi who millions of people worship from far and wide – well, good luck to her, I say, she’s living the youth she missed out on. She and dear dead Daddy married young, she was only 16 when she had my brother and she spent all of her young years looking after the three of us. She deserves some happiness and freedom, god knows I wish I had some too. The only thing that worries me is that when she decides to come back she’ll have changed from being meine Mami into being someone else, a stranger, a WOMAN.

Meine Mami was the best mutter in the world when we were young. In most ways. Some things weren’t so good, like the communication problem between her and the rest of England – she only spoke a smattering of English and we didn’t speak any German but she refused to teach us, getting angry when we tried, pointing at us and shouting ‘Englander! Englander! neine Deutsch in zis haus!’ I say she shouted at us, she didn’t really, it was just that her voice ranged about 600 decibels higher than the rest of the human race so it seemed as though she was shouting but she wasn’t – you knew about it when she did. The call for mealtimes shook the house ‘NOW ZAUZAGE. NOW ZAUERKRAUT. NOW HERR KIPLING’S EXZEEDINGLY GUT CAKEZ.’ Every day when she came to pick us up from school she’d stand at the school gates and call ‘SCOTT-EEE, DOTT-EEE, LOTT-EEE, HERE AM MUTTER, HERE AM MUTTER,‘ every day, every single sheissey day of my school years, louder and louder as I slunk further and further down in my seat. The whole school could hear her. She thought it was the best school in the world, all that hilarious laughter coming from it at the end of each day. She didn’t realise they were laughing at US. And I didn’t have the heart to tell her, or the words, come to that.

Going shopping with her was just as bad. We’d trot off down to the market every Saturday morning, me and Scotty and Lottie running in front, looking for a hiding place that we knew wasn’t there. We could never outrun her, her stride was equal to ten of our steps. Most of the stall-holders knew us so that was all right, they’d have her fruit and veg bagged up ready and waiting and all she had to do was pay. But if a new stall appeared her eyes would light up and she’d march over, ‘SCOTT-EE, DOTT-EE, LOTT-EE, FIZH UND CHIPZ,’ or ‘SOHN TROUZERZ, SCOTT-EE’ or ‘TROCHTER BUMNICKERZ, DOTT-EE UND LOTT-EE. RED VUNS, BLUE VUNS, PINK VUNS, VHITE VUNS,‘ and she’d hold up every pair of knickers in our size to select which she wanted to buy. And the stallholder would tell her the price, ‘Three quid, love.’ And off she went, ‘NEINE, NEINE. AM PAY ZWEI PUNDZ, ZWEI PUNDZ, DU ARSCHGEIGE, ZWEI PUNDZ,’ and she’d stand there, unmoving, till the stallholder took the two pounds just to make her go away.

 

No, I’m sorry, I can’t do this, I can’t write about her any more. I’d planned on writing all day, nice things about her, twee little stories of when Scotty, Lottie and me were young but I can’t remember any and now I’m wondering if there were any to remember in the first place because every single thing I think of is not good and I don’t know why. Seeing the snow outside this morning – I must have hallucinated  the rosy glow of nostalgia because I used to dread the snow coming – when it did she’d stand at the school gates calling for us while she threw snowballs at the school windows and at the other parents and at any teachers who dared to step outside to ask her to stop. She’d throw and call and laugh and throw some more and Scotty, Lotty and me would have to wait outside the empty school when everyone else had gone home because dear dead Daddy was working, but before he came to collect us he went down to the police station to pay her bail and drop her off home to get the tea on.

 

I’m going to have to stop now and have a little lie down.

 

 

 

DIY For She-Hermits

THIS PAGE IS EXCLUDED FROM THE SEX DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975 and 1986 (amended), BECAUSE I SAID IT IS.

 

For All She-Hermits

DIY is shite, we all know that. It involves planning things and DOING things that we don’t want to do. It’s not just normal shite, it’s A LOAD OF SHITE, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil, sometimes it’s unavoidable and we just have to pull our fingers out and get on with it. So I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about DIY so you don’t have to worry about it ever again.

Men treat DIY as if it’s brain surgery. Just as a brain surgeon wears his scrubs to operate, DIY men get dressed up in boiler suits or overalls (or whatever they call those all-in-one things), thinking they look work-like and sexy, but really those boiler suits are just BIG BABY ROMPER SUITS that look like BIG BABY ROMPER SUITS and serve no purpose at all. Wear your jeans, you silly man, you’re not a baby. It’s not a good look.

DIY men have all sorts of tools and power tools and gadgets, but they don’t just have ONE of everything, they have a ROOM full of the stuff, usually a cellar or a shed that they won’t let you into, packed full of it all, millions of screwdrivers and hammers and awls and drills and drill bits and pliers and spirit levels and screws for wood, screws for metal, screws for bricks (INFIDELS) and chisels and saws and grinders and welders and sanders and planes and loads and loads and loads of other bits of metal shite that are all POINTLESS and STUPID. And they make boards to DISPLAY THEIR TOOLS ON THE WALLS. What’s that all about, eh? Rembrandt the Spanner? And they won’t use THE WRONG TOOL to get a job done quickly, they have to use the exact one, the two and one eighth red posi-drive screwdriver that clicks when you turn it and JUST FITS inside the screw, and when they’ve done the job that screwdriver has to be put back in JUST THE RIGHT PLACE or they moan and moan and moan like the big whiney-arses they are. WELL BOLLOCKS TO ALL OF THAT. Every single DIY job can be done without keeping B&Q and Toolfix in business. To do a DIY job to perfection a She-Hermit doesn’t need all that fuckwit-stuff, you only need a few tools and a few all-purpose things that I’m going to list now.

 

1 massive straight-headed screwdriver

1 stiletto shoe (strong heel, metal tip)

1 palette knife

1 carving knife

1 fish slice

1 nail file

1 pair of eyebrow tweezers

1 big, big bag of nails

miscellaneous household & garden things

 

And that’s it. Not even a drawerful, but you don’t need anything else and I’m going to demonstrate this by telling you about a little DIY project that I completed last year.

 

HOW TO MAKE AN AIR-RAID SHELTER IN YOUR CELLAR WHEN YOU HAVEN’T GOT A CELLAR

Begin by taking your floor up in the kitchen. Lift your lino then take the floorboards up by prising at them with your massive straight-headed screwdriver. Be careful you don’t rip your lino or snap your floorboards, you’ll need to put them back down again when you’ve finished.

Get your garden spade and start digging out your Air-Raid Shelter. Use your pots and pans for the soil and when they’re full empty them out of your kitchen window. As you empty more and more pots and pans a soil-wall will grow in front of your kitchen window providing you with a natural block against nosey neighbours peering in. Dig down deep, the deeper the better, and you’ll tap into the natural geothermal heat that the centre of the earth provides for free, saving money on future heating bills when you spend time in your Air-Raid Shelter.

When you’ve dug out your big hole you need to line it with something. Get a lot of wood (send your Shopping Person out in the middle of the night to nick a big fence) and get your stiletto and your big bag of nails. Nail all the wood together to form walls and a floor. You’ll need to water-proof the wood or it’ll rot at some point – A DIY man would tell you that you need to tank your Air-Raid Shelter with something non-permeable and spend loads of money doing so, but in the same way as you line a pond by sealing it with puddled clay, you can water-proof your Air-Raid Shelter with a mixture of solidified Cumberland sausage fat and the dust from around your house (leave the dust for as long as it takes for 3 inch piles to form and when you need it for water-proofing your Air-Raid Shelter you can just peel it off in lumps). Spread the mixture all over the wooden walls and floor to seal it permanently.

Now comes the fun bit – choosing the wallpaper. White is good because it brightens the place up but it can be a bit sterile so I went for a lovely background shade of Apple White, (which is white but with a little hint of apple green), and in the foreground is a repeating picture of a little blue bird on a branch, just right for when you have to spend a lot of time down there and you can’t see any nature. Use your carving knife for slicing the strips of wallpaper to the right size. Stick it straight onto the walls and it’ll stick to the Cumberland sausage fat and dust mixture, no wallpaper paste required. Use your fish slice for smoothing it into place and getting the bubbles out. (You can paint the walls if you’d rather – your massive screwdriver will easily open the paint tin, doubles up as a stirring stick and you can jam it into the head of a paintbrush if you’ve lost the original handle). Ba-da-boom, one beautifully decorated Air-Raid Shelter ready to furnish as you please but remember to put in a food shelf (use nails and stiletto), and a bed (bring one down from upstairs).

When you put the floorboards back be sure to make a door in them (with your carving knife to cut out the shape, nails, stiletto). Don’t forget to cut a bit out of your lino for access.

 

When I can be bothered I’m going to tell you about how I made the wasted space in the insides of my walls into extra storage space for my collections by taking out the cavity wall insulation. You need some little children for this, to squeeze into the narrow spaces – I used THE BERSERKERS but any will do. Also you might need to borrow two tools from a man – an angle grinder and some bolt-cutters. These are to cut through the metal butterfly ties that join the inner and outer walls together. Remember though, big electric power tools are dangerous so give the angle grinder to the eldest child and the bolt-cutters to the youngest – Prissy is the eldest BERSERKER (she’s 7) so she had the angle grinder, Cissy’s only 5 so she had the bolt-cutters. If you’re American and live in a wooden house you won’t have to borrow these tools, in fact you won’t have to use the insides of your walls at all, you can just get your Shopping Person to nick a load of fences and make some more outside walls for your house, leaving as much of a gap as you want.

 

So you see, She-Hermits, DIY isn’t brain surgery, it isn’t complicated and you don’t need all the tools and shit that men pretend you need. It’s a PIECE OF PISS and anyone can do it.

Happy DIYing!!

 

Adventures In The Airing Cupboard

 

Last night I was driven to hide in the airing cupboard by certain people who shall not be named (but you know who you are, don’t you?). They all scared me silly – niceness is disconcerting at the best of times but when it’s forced on a hermit willy-nilly from all directions, well, it was either the airing cupboard or total collapse and a trip to Ward 13. BUT – (and don’t all you Perpetrators of Niceness misinterpret what I’m going to say next as forgiveness or anything) – my time in the airing cupboard turned out to be one of the best times of my life and one of the worst. I’ve only just come out (well, not exactly this minute – I went for a wee and a wash and a Cumberland sausage sandwich or four before I switched on my laptop).

It started off like it usually does. I gathered what I needed (pills, brick, water, blanket, some Cumberland sausages, and a couple of little drams of Laudanum to help me sleep) and went in. My airing cupboard is larger than the average airing cupboard, in fact it used to be one of my spare bedrooms but after my children left home I stored all my new towels, sheets, duvet sets, etc in there (I like to collect nice towels and bedding) so you could say the room decided for itself that it needed a change (and why shouldn’t it?). It’s bigger than a normal airing cupboard but it isn’t Narnia so I can only fit so much in there, and the space I have to make my little bed in IS little, probably a lot smaller than the space in an Uncollector’s airing cupboard. I made my little bed on the bit of floor left in the middle of the stacks. Cosy and warm. I began the shaping of my new brick and spent about an hour or two on that (handy that I was in the airing cupboard, my towels were right there ready to mop up the blood – actually, wait a minute, I just need to check I didn’t use my white ones).

Okay, they were blue.

When I’d finished with my brick I felt round for my torch but it wasn’t there. I know NOW that I forgot it, but I didn’t know it then and all sorts of things started going through my head, terrible things, horrible things about monsters and demons hiding in the stacks, about giant woodlice and moths crawling out to get me, about the airing cupboard being Narnia after all and Queen Jadis had nicked my torch and was going to come back and turn me into a giant snowball. At that I panicked, full blown panic. I thrashed my arms about a bit. And my legs. I think it was my right big toe that clipped the stack of eiderdowns and started the TOPPLE (I’ve put that in big and bold because it was a BIG MEGA TOPPLE). Everything came down on me, all of it, even the stacks that were wedged to the ceiling, I was underneath the whole lot. I panicked some more. I was stuck, I couldn’t get out. I got ready to die and I just knew that when I was found I would be nothing but a dried husk of a Dotty and everything in the airing cupboard would have soaked up all my bodily fluids and CSI Yorkshire would have some nice new towels and posh duvet sets after they’d extracted me out of them and they’d given them a good wash (I hoped they’d use Persil Non-Bio because I’m allergic to other washing powders). I wondered who’d come for me at the FINAL SECOND, Death, or one of his minions, Death’s mini-me, – and if Death really IS a Hoodie I’d be even more afraid than I already was because if he was anything like the Hoodies in my area he wouldn’t just carry a sickle he’d have a five inch shank and a semi-automatic and he’d call me nasty names and say ‘innit’ a lot and then he’d mug me for my phone before he took me away to Deathland (but my phone was in the drawer where I’d put it so phew! he wouldn’t get that). As all this was going through my head I started to  feel dizzy and see stars and I knew it was TIME, the life was seeping out of me, goodbye World you were a shitty place but you had some nice scenery, I’d really miss the sun coming up over Ilkley Moor at dawn on a clear winter’s morn.

Darkness fell and I don’t know what happened then because I was dead (well, obviously I wasn’t DEAD dead, but you know what I mean, I thought I was). I woke up and it was still dark so naturally I assumed I’d been transported out of the airing cupboard to Hell (in case you’re wondering, it wasn’t red, or hot, and there were no flames or screaming wraiths). My head hurt like fuck. I wondered if I’d been right all along and Death HAD mugged me for my phone and while he was at it had given me a bash round the head with his rock-hard boney fist. I put my hand out in front of me to see if it was still there. I wiggled my fingers. I couldn’t see them but what I did see, what slowly took shape right there in front of me, was the most wondrous, heart-lifting thing ever, the best thing I could ever, ever, ever have seen, and if I live until my dying day I shall never forget the sight of my Granny Euphemia standing where my left thumb should have been, her hair still curly and white, her lovely toothless face still crumpled like a squished-up peach, her favourite torn slippers still flapping at the front, her woolly brown dress, her pink cardigan, and her kitchen apron with a big picture of Michelangelo’s David on it. I couldn’t believe it, I thought I was hallucinating that I’d been taken to Heaven not Hell because my Granny Euphemia was the loveliest, kindest, goodest person that ever lived and died and there was no way she would have ended up in Hell. Euphemia Agnes Headbanger nee de la O’McDuff, – our ancestors were French Calvinists, Irish potato faminists, and Scottish barbarians (ginger Picts) –  married to my Granda, Angus McHeadbanger – (dear dead Daddy dropped the Mc when he moved to England but I’ll tell you about that another time when I can think of him without keening).

‘Is that you, Dotty, hen?’ Granny Euphemia said.

Tears were pouring down my face and I was so choked with happiness I could hardly speak. But I did. ‘Yes, Granny Euphemia. It’s me,’ I said.

‘My, my, you’ve got awfy fat, lassie. Whit have you been eating?’

‘Cumberland sausages. They’re my favourite.’

‘Sausages? Do you ken whit they put in them?’

‘They’re no worse than haggis, Granny.’

‘Am I fat, hen? Am I? Tell me now, is there one spare inch of flesh on me? I’ve been eating haggis for nigh on eighty years and I’ve still got the figure that caught your Grandfaither.’

‘But you’ve been dead for twenty years, you’re bound to lose weight.’

‘Have I? Deid, am I? Ach, well, it comes tae us all in the end. Come here and gie me a cuddle, hen.’

I still couldn’t move. I tried to but one arm and both my legs were trapped. ‘I can’t, I’m stuck. Will you help me, please, Granny Euphemia?’

‘No. If you werenae so fat you’d have sprung up out of there in no time. You need tae stop eating yon sausages.’

‘For fuck’s sake, Granny Euphemia, just shift that bag of towels and I’ll be able to move my foot to kick my way out.’

‘No I will not. Ach, whit happened tae you, Dotty, hen? You were such a nice wee lassie. I should’ve gone tae see wee Lottie instead, she widnae speak tae her Granny like that.’

Typical fucking Lottie, I can’t even have a reunion with my long-dead Granny without her butting in on it. ‘I’m sorry for swearing. Please help me up, Granny Euphemia.’

She peered at me lying there, stuck. It seemed like ages before she spoke again. ‘I’ll help you up if you dae something for me,’ she said. ‘Promise me you’ll change your ways. Swearing and eating sausages, they have tae stop. And have you seen the state of your hoose, you dirty wee pig? It’s bogging. Clean it and keep cleaning it every day. I cannae believe you’ve let it get tae that. Where dae you keep your scrubbing brush and carbolic?’

‘Under the sink.’

‘Right, I’m away tae make a start then.’

And poof, she went, disappeared, gone. I lay there thinking about what she’d said. She was right, I had to make some changes, I do swear too much and the house could do with a bit of a tidy. Cutting out Cumberland sausages though – I’d have to see about that one, I’d give it a try, for Granny Euphemia. I hadn’t promised her I’d give them up though, she didn’t give me chance to before she fucked off to find the scrubbing brush and soap, so I thought that if I can’t manage without them at least I’m not going back on my word to her.

INTERLUDE

I got out of the airing cupboard at 3.03pm this afternoon. I don’t know how, it’s all a bit of a haze after Granny Euphemia disappeared, but if I remember rightly my lovely Ian Somerhalder came and lifted everything off me and stacked it all up neatly again. As I’ve already said, I had a wash and a wee and a pile of Cumberland sausage sandwiches as soon as I came out. And I’m going to have some MORE Cumberland sausage sandwiches now for my tea because you know what, Granny Euphemia is nowhere to be seen, she didn’t TOUCH the scrubbing brush or the soap and everything in the house is just as I left it last night. So, Granny Euphemia, even though seeing you made me the happiest Dotty in the world, you can go and sit and swivel on the scrubbing brush you old slacker, I bet you didn’t even look for it, I bet you just pissed off down the pub to get sozzled, didn’t you, so if it’s all right for you to say one thing and do another it’s all right for me too. I WILL stop swearing like I said I would, and I’ll clean my house BY MYSELF (seeing as you haven’t done ANYTHING at all) but as for giving up my Cumberland sausages, Hell will freeze over before that happens.

Right, I’m off to make my tea before it gets any later. I’m starving.

 

First Aid For Hermits

 

Always being alone in your house can be dangerous but combine it with not speaking to other people and it becomes potentially fatal. I’ve had many accidents that could have been serious if I hadn’t known what to do at the time. To avoid death (and why NOT avoid it, you avoid everything else – why should death be any different?) here are a few First Aid basics you really do need to know. Bear in mind I’m NOT a doctor, I can only tell you what I personally do when I injure myself.

I’m presuming you have a well-stocked medicine room, if not just make note of the items in big writing and get your Shopping Person to get them for you- I can’t be bothered making a shopping list for you today.

 

Bumps and Bruises

For bangs on the head caused by banging your head on the wall fill the sink with equal amounts of ABSINTHE and WITCH HAZEL and put your head in it (be careful not to drown). This will help to bring out the bruising. If you think you might have knocked yourself out then it’s possible you might have concussion or a brain injury so go and have a little lie down for a while until the headache has gone. A big swig of Laudanum will help with the pain.

 

Nicks and Cuts

For little nicks on your fingers caused by the cheese grater, or for slightly deeper cuts from the scissors you use to separate your Cumberland sausage links, stop whining and stick a PLASTER on it. Deeper nicks and cuts, (such as when you’ve bought a cow home and you’re butchering it so you can freeze some for later and you chop half your hand off instead of the cow’s head), require an antiseptic ointment of OPIUM and LARD, a BANDAGE, and a strip of plaster to stop your bandage from unravelling. Clean the wound first though with your ARSENIC DISINFECTANT OINTMENT. A big swig of Laudanum will help with the pain.

 

Trapped Nerves

For a trapped nerve in the neck caused by kneeling at your window at an angle that allows you to keep watch for white vans with spies in them without being seen by your nosey neighbours, I’m afraid you need time in TRACTION. Use a SAW to make a neck-sized hole at one end of your kitchen table. Don’t worry, it won’t affect your keep fit routine, (see The Dotty Way To Exercise ©™®), in fact you’ll be using your DIET COKE BOTTLES for this too, doubling your value for money. Tie your diet coke bottles to either end of a LEATHER STRAP (a handbag strap will do, it doesn’t matter if you only have one handbag, use it – you don’t use if for anything else, do you?) place your diet coke bottles at either side of the neck-sized hole and lie down (on your back) on the table. Carefully lift the diet coke bottles and place the leather strap across the front of your neck. Let the diet coke bottles drop off the end of the table (slowly and carefully, you might want to avoid beheading yourself). Stay in this position for 3 hours. Repeat daily for 6 weeks and the weight of the diet coke bottles will free your trapped nerve allowing your future white van vigils to be pain-free and comfortable. Big swigs of Laudanum taken hourly will help with the pain.

 

Stomach Upsets

If you haven’t yet learned how to cook your Cumberland sausages you might have a few stomach problems. First of all, always cook your Cumberland sausages for at least an hour, contrary to popular belief crispy is good, so is black. To cure stomach upsets already caused by uncooked Cumberland sausages make WORMWOOD tea (if you’re not a gardener you can use ABSINTHE but not too much because it’s a potent alcoholic drink and you don’t want to get addicted). A big swig of Laudanum will help with the pain.

 

Twisted, Sprained or Broken Arms and Legs

If you haven’t cleaned your house yet you’re at great risk of tripping over some bit of shite that shouldn’t be on your floor. This is VERY PAINFUL when you do it and as you’ve no way of knowing the severity of the injury (unless you have your own X-Ray machine which I’m saving up for) it’s best to err on the side of caution and SPLINT the limb you’ve damaged. If your stock of pre-made splints has run out and you’ve been too idle to make some more, it serves you right, you should keep up with your housework, I’ve already told you this. If you’re a new hermit and this is the first time you need a splint, what you do is you take a shelf from your bookcase (lay the books in neat piles on the floor) saw it down to fit your arm or leg and strap it on to said arm or leg. You can use anything to secure it (I’ve found knee-socks work well) as long as it’s tied tight enough for the splint to stay on. Keep the splint on for about 3 months. Big swigs of Laudanum taken hourly will help with the pain.

 

Strangling Yourself On Your Shower Curtain

It might happen that one day you’re playing with your (toy) ducks in the bath and you get a bit too involved and try to swim with them underwater but when you dive you hit your head on the bottom and can’t get up and to save yourself from drowning you grab the shower curtain but you’re so disorientated you get into a fight with it and it wraps itself round your neck and tries to strangle you and when you finally get free of it you’re left with nasty strangle contusions round your neck. And it bloody well hurts. A lot. Well sorry, there’s nothing you can do for this except take a big swig of Laudanum to help with the pain.

 

May you all remain injury-free and painless, my hermits. Be safe, be careful, and most of all be prepared.

 

 

Dotty DOES Her Housework

 

I couldn’t sleep last night after I posted Dotty On Housework. At 3.12 am a series of panic attacks began at the thought of how unkind of me it was not to give you some helpful tips and instructions to guide you through the apathy that overcomes you when you look at the disgusting mess that’s mounted up in your house. When the police left, I DID have a little sleep, but not for long. Don’t worry, I’m all right, a little hazy from the beta-blocker sandwich I had to have, but that’s okay. Don’t feel guilty or anything – it isn’t your fault, you can’t help it if you’re needy and clingy and have no idea of what it takes me to write these things down. Anyway, I forgive you because I’m nice like that.

So let’s move on to the cause of last night’s crisis –

Housework.

Just because we don’t like housework doesn’t mean we don’t have to do some now and again but before we begin cleaning there are a few things you need to buy. Make note of these things and get your Shopping Person to get them for you (don’t let them go to Asda though, they get enough of my money already without me referring people to them. And we all know what they are, don’t we?)

What you need on your list if you don’t already have them —— A big bottle of Bleach. Flash Spray with Bleach. Flash Antibacterial All Purpose Spray. Another big bottle of Bleach. Dettol Antibacterial Loo Wipes. A bottle of Windolene. Mr Muscle Oven Cleaner. A can of Mr Sheen Polish. A bottle of 2-in-1 Pantene Shampoo & Conditioner, For Extra Volume. L’Oreal Moisturiser For Sensitive Skin. Cumberland sausages (any will do, get the cheapest, you won’t be eating them). A pack of Toothbrushes. A tub of Chewable Vitamin C to keep you going. A big box of Chocolates for when you’ve finished. Two big tubs of Häagen Dazs or (and) Ben & Jerry’s for when you’ve finished. A big bar of Galaxy for when you’ve finished. A Big Cumberland sausage Pizza with extra Cumberland sausage for when you’ve finished. A big Cheesey Garlic Bread for when you’ve finished. Six bottles of Pinot Grigio for when you’ve finished. Series 3 Boxset of True Blood for when you’ve finished.

I think that’s it.

When the shopping arrives, put the loo wipes and a big bottle of bleach in your bathroom. Put the new toothbrushes in the place you keep them and take the one you use now downstairs. Put all the cleaning products in the cupboard under your sink. You won’t be needing them but if someone comes to your house you can casually swing open the cupboard door and leave it wide open so the visitors can see what’s inside.

Now, believe me I know what it’s like trying to do housework, you begin by thinking ‘what REALLY needs a good clean? Everything? Where do I start?’ and then, because it’s all too much for you, you give up and have a little sleep and when you wake up you’ve forgotten about housework again. But the secret to seeing past the overwhelmingness of housework is to PRIORITISE. Obviously I don’t know what your house is like because I’ve never been invited, so all I can do is tell you what I do. You can copy me if you want.

 

Cleaning My Mounted Boar’s Head & My Other Stuffed Friends

Since they banned Arsenic from being used in the tanning process, (I still have my own supply but I’m saving it for when I really need it) I’ve had to find a way to give my stuffed friends a spruce up. I’ll take you step by step through how I clean Jolyon, my mounted boar’s head.

Before you carefully take Jolyon down from the wall, run a warm bath (no bubbles). Put Jolyon in the bath. Get your Pantene 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner For Extra Volume. Squirt a good amount into your hand and give Jolyon a good wash with it. Scrub him a bit with your old toothbrush. Rinse off the soapiness until it’s all gone. Wrap Jolyon in a bath towel and take him downstairs. Get your hairdryer out. Dry him. Rub in the L’Oreal Moisturiser For Sensitive Skin. Hang him back up. Job done.

Do the same with all your stuffed friends. If you like, before you hang them up or put them back in their places, you can have a tea party with them, that’s what I do, but be careful of your seating arrangements – I once sat Bumbi, my stuffed baby deer, next to Peter, my stuffed mountain lion. Poor, poor, Bumbi, he’s never recovered.

 

Cleaning A Big Blood Stain Off My Astroturf Carpet

It won’t come off. I’ve tried everything except Cumberland sausage fat which works on other stains I use it for. Usually I heat the Cumberland sausage, drip the fat onto the stain, go away and eat the Cumberland sausage and the other Cumberland sausages I cooked at the same time, and when I come back the Cumberland sausage fat has set. I pick off the solidified Cumberland sausage fat AND THE STAIN COMES WITH IT. I don’t know the scientific term for this but I bet it’s a clever one.

But there’s a big problem with using Cumberland sausage fat on blood stains. I’m too frightened that whatever scientific process binds the Cumberland sausage fat to a stain will go wrong when it’s a blood stain, and something else will happen, like the Cumberland sausage fat will meld to the blood stain and the sun will shine on it and make it come alive and when it grows up it will be a CUMBERLAND MAN-PIG, and I’ll be stuck with it forever when it’s not long since I came out of prison for getting rid of Simon, who was also a man-pig but only metaphorically. (see A Statement From The Accused).

So the blood stain stays.

 

Cleaning My Panic Room

Don’t bother. Jodie Foster doesn’t clean hers. I couldn’t see any cleaning products in there, not even a sweeping brush, the lazy tramp. The least she could do is put some things out for show. But if Jodie Foster thinks it’s okay to have a mucky Panic Room, then so do I.

 

 

That’s enough cleaning for now, especially after last night. I’m knackered. I need a sleep.

 

 

 

I’ve come back to edit this because I couldn’t sleep – I remembered something important that will save you from having to do ANY housework at all. Make friends with a Mormon (see Friendly Mormons, Where Are You?). You don’t really have to be friends with them, just pretend and your house will be gleaming. I realise this poses a conundrum for hermits, how do I make friends with a Mormon when I can’t go out? Well you could ring them up or if you don’t do phones you could send them an email. And I know you’ll have a problem letting them in, but wouldn’t it be worth it to get your house cleaned? Think about it, they’re good, they’re really good. Thorough. Meticulous.  They love doing it. And they’ll sing you a song if you ask them to.

 

 

Can you see what I’m doing here when I refer you to my older posts? Clever, aren’t I?

 

 

Dotty on Housework

 

I only have one word to say about housework.

That word is –

WHY?

 

 

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