Today I intended to take up Maxi Minx’s school trousers and spend some good quality time with her – just me and my girl, building complex train tracks in the peace and quiet of a 48hr germ-isolation from school. But you know me and my plans – they never materialise. It’s probably easiest if I just share my Facebook status:
“The silver lining: well, it’s always nice to have a spotlessly clean kitchen: every surface wiped, inside of cupboards clean, all the woodwork (yep ALL of the woodwork, including wooden cooking utensils, skirting board, doors, window frames, table and chairs) and walls scrubbed down, curtains washed and blinds aired… I may even finish by nightfall if I speed up.
“The cloud: leaving a pot of chicken stock on all night to go dry, burn and leave a thick cloud of smoke doesn’t half leave your kitchen pongy.
“The room’s sealed so well it didn’t set off the smoke alarm. So….
“The moral: The Boss is buying and fitting an additional smoke alarm for the kitchen. And we’re double-checking each other when we say the cooker’s turned off at night.
I’m also grateful that we didn’t die of smoke inhalation in our sleep, but y’know, saying that would have taken away from the humour of the status update. The Boss was horrified at how thick the black, acrid smoke was when he staggered into the kitchen this morning. I must retest the smoke alarm tonight before we go to bed. Yet the oil tank leak / theft alarm has been going off constantly (the alarms are bogus – we’ve been checking!)
So I spent from 7am till 3pm with only 2 coffee breaks continuously airing and scrubbing and sniffing everything in the kitchen. I went through an entire bottle of Flash. It’s now 9pm and I still can’t get rid of the smell, despite baking a huge toffee apple cake and a chicken pie. I have nothing left to wash or wipe. I think the smell is in the walls. The now squeaky clean walls.
Poor Maxi was abandoned to play and read all day without me – I kept the kitchen door closed to keep the bitingly cold wind and the terrible smell to that room only. She wasn’t on her own, though – in a wily move, Mini declared this morning that she had a sore tummy: “It’s stinging, Mummy! Can I have chocolate?” Normally I’d have given her short shrift, but with a bunch of newborns, old people and immuno-compromised folk in the community, I will *not* be responsible for killing one of them with a carelessly shared sick bug. So Mini stayed at home. She quickly regretted it. Not only did she not get any chocolate, but she soon realised that ‘alleged sore tummy = having to sit or lie down and no fun’. She was also there to see my dismay when the second highlight of my day happened:
“What else can go wrong? Oh yeah, I just found a nugget of something smelly and horrible that should have been in a toilet (my youngest hiding a little accident?!) lurking instead in the door seal of the washing machine. So that’ll be that wash load rewashed on boil wash. If any of it survives. I guess it’s one way to get grease stains out of The Boss’s workshirts. Every cloud and all that ;-) “
The Boss brought a bottle of rum home from work tonight. He knows exactly what kind of day I’ve had!