My brother and his wife flew over on Saturday from Canada for a week, and we planned a big family lunch on Sunday. So what I did I immediately do? Of course, I decided to repaint my office and put shelves up (actually, I just bought the shelves and my husband put them up at ten past midnight on Saturday). Why do I do this to myself, and my family? My best friend told me it’s displacement. But it’s not as if I ignore the main issue (christenings, landmark birthdays, big get togethers, whatever), I just need suddenly feel the need to achieve something else as well.
I simply can’t be constantly tidy and organised. My mother told me life was too short for housework, and I’m with her all the way. Asthma sufferers really shouldn’t attempt any spot check of my house. But give me a date for an occasion, and the day before, germ warfare breaks out. Not to mention, Fixing Stuff.
Last Christmas, my son announced he was bringing his new girlfriend to stay. Suddenly, the spanner, that had doubled as the shower switch for three years, was replaced with a proper plastic knob. This weekend, my husband, without me having to say anything, got the step ladders out, and sorted out the main light in my office, which has not worked for two years.
Today, the family arrived. Everything was spotless. Dinner was great. And nobody looked at my lovely new office, which was just as well, because the lights have gone again. But it doesn’t matter, I expect I’ll get my husband to mend them on Christmas Eve, while I’m stuffing the turkey and redecorating the hall.