Spring Cleaning… um, I mean Autumn Cleaning

As I may or may not have mentioned, MrPloppy‘s parents are arriving next week from the UK for a month’s visit (they won’t actually be staying with us for the whole month, because they’re going to do a bit of touring around the country, but they’ll be using our place as a base). It’s the first time they’ve ever visited us (even when we lived over there, we always went to visit them rather than the other way round – something to do with us living in a series of dingy shared flats in the less desirable parts of London, probably), so I’ve come down with an attack of Mother-in-Law panic, and suddenly feel that if the house isn’t absolutely spotless then she’ll think I’m not looking after her son properly and hate me forever or something (even though it’s MrPloppy who’s the ‘housewife’ – funny how deeply ingrained the idea that women are responsible for the housework is, isn’t it? – the threat of my Mother-in-Law (or should that be Mother-out-Law (or even Mother Outlaw?) given that MrPloppy and I aren’t married? ;-)) visiting is enough for me to suddenly forget all my feminist ideals and develop the nagging feeling that I should be dusting in a frilly apron…)

Anyway, the result of this vague panic has been that we’ve spent the last couple of weekends doing loads of those kinds of jobs around the house that you put off until something like long term visitors inspires you to get them done. So last weekend we finally put up curtains in the spare room, and rearranged it a bit so it’s less like a cat’s playground (it was “George’s room” for quite a while, when he needed separate territory from the other two, and it still had a lot of his cushions, toys, scratching post etc lying around it) and more like a second bedroom (even though it doesn’t have a bed – we’ve borrowed a couple of hi-tech camp beds from Dad and we’ll sleep in there and give the Outlaws (I like that name!) the proper bed in our room), and today has been spent very productively, cleaning all the windows, and cleaning out the kitchen cupboards (it’s amazing what rubbish accumulates in the backs of cupboards, isn’t it? We ended up throwing out two rubbish bags full of past-useby ingredients and assorted “might come in handy one day” jars and containers – suddenly there’s huge amounts of space in the previously crowded cupboards!). I think tomorrow’s project is going to be cleaning the oven and sorting out some of the chaos in the study. The house is starting to look quite remarkably clean – maybe Mother-in-Law panic is a useful thing after all…

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