The Really Rather Wonderful Kay, who arrives early every Wednesday morning to transform our house into a Sparkling Clean Palace tells me that in her home there is A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place.
This is not (I am sure) meant to reflect badly on the haphazard nature of my housekeeping, Kay being (i) far too sweet and (ii) generally complimentary about our Home Sweet Home. I have decided, nevertheless, that I
need to be More Like Kay.
It could be a belated New Year's Resolution but, as regular readers know, I haven't adopted any well-meant resolutions designed to change my life for the better on the grounds that
I don't want to disappoint myself. After all, it's quite bad enough disappointing other people - which I try to do as little as possible - but even worse to be a Disappointment to Myself.
I will start small.
You know it makes sense. I will begin by finding a place in my handbag for my house keys. I have a very beautiful designer handbag, a gift on my retirement from the Middle and the Youngest Darling Daughters. On various Jolly Girls Outings, I can be seen clutching
it in front of me, like Zara Phillips' delicious daughter Mia in those photographs of Her Maj with all her great grandchildren.
Gorgeous though it is, it is also somewhat capacious, meaning that everything
gets lost in its depths. Especially my house keys. Many is the time I can be seen on the doorstep, in pouring rain or buffeting wind, rummaging about in my handbag for my keys. If, in desperation, I give up and ring the bell to summon Mr B, I know I'm going
to cause him stress and bother. My house keys need to Know Their Place. Mr B says, darkly, that he has been telling me this for years.
But, hey, it's easy! There's a little pocket in the lining of my bag presumably
intended to house a mobile phone in the days when mobile phones were rather smaller than they are today. My house keys fit perfectly. Sorted!
Next - because, after all, I do like a challenge - I turn my attention
to the kitchen. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters has been urging me to tidy up for simply ages. She would like it if I would remove all my pot plants from the kitchen windowsill, with particular reference to all the orchids which have flowered once and
may, if left to their own devices for anything up to a decade, bloom again. In the meantime they are all stretching out unsightly and straggly grey roots which friends more knowledgeable and green-fingered than I tell me is A Good Thing. I have determined
that the pot plants are all in their place, and their place is the windowsill.
I move things about on the various kitchen surfaces trying to decide the best place for everything, including the new toaster
which, being new, has never had a place to call home. Should it cosy up to the kettle? Or the coffee machine? And does it really matter? You can tell I am losing the will to live...
Here's the pot in which
I keep the lids from milk bottles until such a time as it overflows when I will transfer the lids into a sandwich bag (second drawer down in the unit next to the back door. Or, possibly, the third drawer down?) for onward transfer. Here's the bag for used
postage stamps. Here are three carrots, an onion, some garlic and two bananas. Here's a Really Helpful Jug containing a screwdriver, two pens which don't work any longer, the garden secateurs, a collection of paper clips and a few milk bottle tops which must
have escaped from the pot which was, after all, Their Place.
I return to the living room with steaming mugs of coffee for Mr B and for me. He says shall we watch Death in Paradise from the other night? I settle,
with a contented sigh, into the armchair next to his.
I Know My Place.