Jaqui's Daily Blog

In Which I Turn My Kitchen Into a Chemistry Lab

I knew it was going to require drastic action. I just wasn't prepared for turning my kitchen into a chemistry laboratory.

I suppose I had better explain. Oh, please, do let me or the rest of today's Daily Blog won't make any sense. I will pretend I didn't hear that...

Here is what happened. So much did we enjoy eating out in the back garden on Saturday, feasting on the delicious barbecue meal cooked for us by the Son in Law (role model for his son, the Rampaging Rascal) that the following day it made perfect sense to eat outside again. We didn't barbecue again - I didn't want to invite unfavourable comparisons - but we did use up food left over from the previous day, supplemented by Mr B's favourite Jersey Royal potatoes and a bottle of Really Rather Fruity red wine.

Unfortunately while my back was turned sorting out peaches and ice cream for pudding, Mr B managed to tip the entire contents of his wine glass over a pristine white tablecloth. And not just any old tablecloth, I'll have you know, but one which I was planning to use for our Golden Wedding Afternoon Tea Party. Disaster!

I imagine you are thinking that at least no fault can possibly be laid at my door? Being as I was outside at the Moment of Spillage, collecting the tub of ice cream from the freezer in the garage. Well, you'd think so, wouldn't you - but that's not the way the Blame Game works in our house.

While accepting a certain level of responsibility for the mishap (disaster), Mr B pointed out that I, too, needed to recognise the degree of fault which could be placed at my door. Firstly, why had I chosen to use this particular tablecloth on that particular afternoon, when I was perfectly well aware that, as tablecloths go, it was destined for Higher Things? Secondly, I had completely failed to factor in the wind speed and its capacity to knock over the pepper grinder and propel it into Mr B's wine glass which he had just that very moment filled. Thirdly I did not appear suitably distressed at the fact that he had suffered the trauma of seeing his wine glass topple over,spilling its contents which could never be retrieved. In otter words, apart from the exact moment of spillage, it was most decidedly All My Own Fault.

Today I bought a tub of a new stain removal guaranteed to remove the worst of stains. Usually I use a simple spray (recommended by the Eldest of the Darling Daughters) but faced with the sheer extent of the stain on my erstwhile snowy white tablecloth, I found myself seduced by a TV advert into paying out for a veritable chemistry set.

I used to quite enjoy Chemistry lessons when I was a school-girl. I think the Bunsen burners were the main attraction. At my first High School we all had to wear rather hideous green overalls embroidered with our initials in our house colours, so I was labelled JU in yellow chain-stitch. I do remember the excitement of witnessing liquids changing colour when introduced to other liquids - which is probably why my exercise in stain removal this afternoon reminded me of those far-off lessons in the Chemistry lab.

I obeyed the instructions to the letter, mixing the correct ratio of powder to water, then applying the resultant paste to the crimson stain. It took six scoopfuls of paste to cover the whole stain which turned from bright wine-red to a rather disgusting navy blue colour. I should mention that the cloth was spread out on the kitchen floor to make sure I didn't miss so much as a splash. It would never have been allowed in the Chemistry lab at Romford County High.

For the next four hours I soaked the tablecloth in a solution made up of four litres of water (no more than 40 degrees - I didn't have any way of measuring this so I guessed, which is, I admit, not very scientific.) However I did keep checking on it every half hour or so to see if there was any improvement which says a lot for my dedication to science. Just before we sat down to dinner I transferred the tablecloth from bucket to washing machine. In no time at all - well, once the 60 degree wash cycle is finished - the results of my experiment will be revealed.

Like any earnest scientist, testing out a new theory, I believe I can say that I have conducted my experiment with Due Diligence.

I am, however, also keeping all my fingers and toes crossed - just for good measure.




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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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