Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cleaning and Housework ...... and why you shouldn't put it off.

A few weeks ago I ear-marked this weekend for a massive clean of my house. I had been putting it off for months for one reason or another (usually "I couldn't be arsed" or "Won't someone else eventually do it....statistically....if I leave it long enough?"). However, due to the imminent arrival of house guests I couldn't put it off any longer. So this weekend I dove in head, gloves, shears, mops, vacuum cleaner, lawnmowers and sudzy water first and cleaned EVERYTHING that looked even remotely dirty. It turns out it was a good idea and, in hindsight, a very good lesson in why you shouldn't put cleaning off for to long......but more on that later...and be warned it is NOT for the squeamish.

I started on Saturday after basketball (u10's) and after another magnificent win to my team as they are a bunch of pint sized champions and losing is not an option. I did all my grocery shopping and assorted other tasks to get them out of the way to allow no distractions to the imminent mother of all cleaning operations.

I started with my lawn...which to be honest I can't even remember when I cut's at least 2 months ago. I didn't take a picture of the "before" state but a good approximation is thus:

... except mine had more lions and tigers and elephants roaming through it so more like this one:

That's almost an exact replica how real that looks. Anyway, after a bout of "trying" to get the mower to start for about 1/2 an hour. I decided to check if it had petrol in it ... which is a rookie mistake that you hate to see...and it sort of did. So I put more in it and tried again...still no luck. I tried tilting it left and right while trying to start it ... no dice. I wracked my brain for what could be wrong....I was out of ideas....then I remembered hearing "somewhere" that swearing at it, kicking it and possibly throwing shoes at it has been reported to afford moderate success in getting mowers to start. I did all three...and what do you know it STARTED!!! I think that remedy can now be patented as a scientific fact!!

So I started mowing the lawn....and not 2 secs after *I* started my mower the guy over the fence started his mower...his started on the first pull. Obviously brand new and never been run before, that's the only logical explanation.
I took me a good hour to mow the lawn...which is a long time for about 10m2 of lawn. In parts it was so lush that the mower actually stopped mid-chop, choking on the vegetative beard that mother nature had let grow rampant and unkempt as it was forced mercilessly through it. This happened 5 or so times and thankfully the mower restarted each time :). So now my lawn looks "cut" and has 100% less wildlife stalking through it. Not bad hey?

That was all I had time for on Saturday, I put the mower away and returned my car to the garage and pressed the roller-door shut button on the roller door motor as I left the garage. I then enjoyed the rest of my saturday...a little TV, a little Scrabby and a few rounds of Teamfortress with my various friends. Went to bed and slept like a log :)

I woke on Sunday around 9:30am and got up and watched Stargate Atlantis's newest episode "The Shrine" while I had breakfast (Crumpets and coffee ... yum!) god..I am either turning into a right cry-baby or that was some of the most heart-wrenching stuff I've ever seen in a SCi-Fi show. Especially if you've ever known anyone with Alzheimer's. After that I decided to plow headlong into more it was to be the house interior I checked each room to see what needed doing...pretty much every room needed a vacuum and a was when i got to the back room, the "spare" room where stuff just gets put and left and stored that I made a discovery. It smelt ...funny... in there...I couldn't put my finger on it but I thought nothing of it because I also dry my washing by the window when it's too rainy outside and some times it gets a bit musty. I opened the window and as I turned I saw behind my bikes back wheel some greenish, black spots on the carpet. I immediately thought "Oh no, my rear brake has bled all it's hydrolic fluid on to the carpet". I looked wasn't looked like mould??

Some of you may remember I had a rather grim discovery last week when i came home from Adelaide (at 2am I might add) and could smell a strange odor in my house. I found next day that some mould was growing out of the wall behind my washing machine. I cleaned it all as best I could and thought that was the end of it. Today I found out it was not. I moved all the stuff that was piled in the spare room away from the wall which has the laundry on the other side of it and was greeted by this..... (Please Don't look if you are a clean freak or at all squeamish).

pic 1 pic 2 pic 3

Let me just say right here, that yes that is horribly disgusting and quite possibly a health hazard. I cleaned it away as best I can and informed my Real Estate Agency then and there. It is obviously a major problem and I've taken all steps to have it professionally removed.

Anyway, after discovering that I had to go get some stuff to clean it. So I grabbed my car keys and my house keys and...the...where the hell is the roller-door key? I searched for a good 10 minutes ... it was definitely not here. Where would I have left it? Then I remembered that I had put the car in the driveway yesterday when i needed to get to the mower. Whenever I put the car in the driveway I usually leave the roller-door widget in the car :( Yesterday I put the car back in the garage and closed the roller-door with the button on the roller-door motor on the wall. The door opener (which is the only thing that can open the roller-door) was now safely locked away in my car behind the shut roller-door. DOH! "No drama" I thought..."there's a key to the door at the back of the Garage on my house keys", brilliant plan and a saving grace...if only it was true. The spare key was thoughtfully stored on the roller-door opener's key ring bit. So I had no way of getting into my garage :(.

After a brisk 45min walk to my Real Estate Agent and back to pick up the spare keys I managed to gain entry to the garage and rescue the door-opener. So although, In the end I was victorious...I think my "spare key" storage strategy needed an overhaul :) I took the spares back to the Agent (in the car, as i had to go shopping too) and when I returned I got full on into housework mode. Many male people's mothers (mine included)go to great lengths during their upbringing to instill some sort of "Cleaning Responsibilities" into the male brain from an early age. Many fail , and fail dismally and the only hope for these male children is they grow up and get married. Not all men are/were that lucky/unfortunate (take your pick) and HAD to learn the art of cleaning for survival. I lived in share houses all through Uni with (predominantly) women. That is the easiest way to get a guy to clean...because Women are VICIOUS and HORRIBLE creatures when "someone" forgets to clean anything, especially when there is a "roster" which said "person" may or may not know about. but I digress.

Behold the splendor as my house gets "The Treatment"!!!


See. How impressive was that? Not just a pretty face this boy...I have many skills that are useful. Hard to believe that such an absolute GEM of a man is single isn't it?? Smarten up your act ladies!!

After the house "Treatment" was over I had to go and play Taxi for my long time friend Matt who's father had taken seriously ill and had been taken to Geelong hospital from Mt. Gambier in SA. I can't remember exactly what Matt told me was wrong with him (was heart related), but he's been transferred twice already so it was pretty serious. Matt asked me to drive him from Tullamarine Airport to the Geelong hospital and I agreed without hesitation because to say "no" to something like that is just not an option.

So I set off to the airport at 4:15pm to meet Matt's 5:24pm arrival. Upon arriving near the airport I had recieved an SMS from Matt saying the flight was delayed. Seems that this is almost a standard occurrence nowadays with any airline. Remember when things arrived on time?? Nay, neither do I...someone should really do something about that...or...whatever. Now, anyone who's ever been to Melbourne airport will know that there is absolutely NOWHERE where you can park and wait without paying extortionate rates. There is McDonald's of course, but they seem to be perennially trying to disprove the logic that dictates "500 cars can't possibly fit in 25 car parking spaces", I think they are almost there. Their car park looked like they were holding a concert by some hugely popular artist who would attract a lot of fans (I'm sory .. but I couldn't think of one current "popular music" artist whom I could name here to make a really good analogy). There was nothing for it, I would have to use the paid parking :( I went to see just how late the plane was, 30mins. ....hmmm It could be worse. I found a Gloria Jeans near the baggage claim and got a Chai latte to pass the time...... I needed it to dilute my growing disgust with airlines lately. I was so bored during the wait that I tried to see how many ways I could photography the Chai Latte with my phone and make it interesting.....
... Turns out there was only "One" way. So that game got old pretty fast.

Matt eventually appeared and we went back to the car paying the parking on the way ($12!! Highway robbery for 47mins of parking!!) and started the journey from Tullamarine to Geelong. To cut a long story short...Tullamarine to Geelong is a F&%KING LONG WAY!! We left at 6:15pm from Tulla and got to Geelong a little after 8pm. I then had to drive all the way back to Ringwood afterwards. My round trip was Left Home: 4:15pm Returned Home: 9:20pm and did a total of about 300KM's.

That's just the sort of friend I am :)

Hope your Dad is doing alright and gets better soon Matt.


Rachel said...

Um, ah, I've kind of, er, you know. Um, something has suddenly come up and I can't get to Melbourne this weekend after all. Sorry about that.
Nothing to do with the mould, honestly. Something else totally unavoidable yet non-specific.
But look on the bright side, at least you won't have to wait for a late arriving plane on Friday night any more...

Michael Field said...

Oh that's just cruel!!

Don't think that won't go unpunished young lady.