Tuesday, 10 August 2010

We are the Weasleys

Why do we live in such perpetual chaos? Sometimes I step back and see our house, our lives, through the eyes of other, normal, people and truly I wince.
It starts with the approach to the house – up slippery, windy stone steps (often with the odd frog or slow-worm lounging) and through the under(over)growth, batting aside brambles and ivy. Then you have to paddle through the, um, ‘water feature’ (overflowing drain) with attendant stench. I have lost track of how many builders we have asked to quote for fixing this – maybe they get lost in the spinney (aka enchanted forest, aka patch of brambles with the odd tree) as they leave?

Dodge, if you can, the crap. Despite Adrian’s best efforts (and he has become somewhat obsessive on this score) one or other of the dogs will have vetoed the ‘potty place’ (not my term, inherited from Puppies for Dummies) and made pretty patterns of poo down the path.

Come prepared (preferably armoured) as Asbo will launch himself (a stout black and white missile with festering teeth) at you with a volley of shrill barking. The SP will then skid into view, probably tugging a trainer twice his size. At this point you will realise that the entire lawn is littered with footwear as, once again, he has breached the barricades and made off with the trainer mountain we have climbing the stairs.
You might hope that calm would prevail inside the house but sadly not.

‘Honestly, what do people think?’ I wailed a few days ago, having deposited James at a friend’s pristine home. ‘And don’t even think about trying that ‘We’re Bohemians’ line. It’s old.’
‘No, I wasn’t going to say that,’ he replied, excavating a space on the kitchen table so he could put down his plate. ‘I was thinking more of the Weasleys’.’
‘The what??’
‘The Weasleys. Harry Potter.’

Actually he’s got a point. We’ve even got the broomsticks. And we’ve certainly got the cobwebs. Oh, if I could only hurl myself into the fireplace and emerge in another house – somewhere clean and ordered.
I just don’t understand. It’s hardly a small house and there are just three of us plus two dogs. So why is it such total mayhem? Partly I think it’s working from home but other people manage that too. Maybe I’m just a slattern when it comes to housework.

Or perhaps aybe the feng shui isn’t right. I’ve been worrying about this for a while now. My great ‘let’s open the house up, get the energy moving’ has clearly worked – but maybe it’s worked just too well. The energy isn’t just moving; it’s having an illegal rave and has invited half the county.
We don’t talk to one another, we yell. Not in a nasty way, just in a trying to make oneself heard over the radio/barking/telephone way. We don’t sit; we sprawl. The sofa is littered with dog toys and books and unsuspecting guests are likely to sit down and yelp as they discover the hoof the SP left under the throw.

In the middle of all this chaos I sit, trying to write. Ye gods, maybe I should turn my hand to farce.

PS - we finally got the last test results back and James did have Lyme's Disease.  No evident bite, no rash - so do be careful. He's on antibiotics so should make a total recovery.

PPS - a very nice man from The National Railway Museum sends me emails (and postcards, and rock - smart chap!) asking me (very politely) if I'd mention the Museum on my blog.  I can't for the life of me think of any smart way of writing a post about this - it's in York so unlikely we'll make our way up there.  But here it is - a mention of the National Railway Museum.  And, because I'm all heart - a link too!
And, because he sent rock (bribery with food always works!) here's a picture too.
Actually, it looks rather good - if you have train-mad children...there's a bit of a Hogwarts thing going on too.


36 comments:

Exmoorjane said...

Sorry, just had to laugh. I thought I had posted a relatively calm picture but, if you peer out the window, you can see that the garden umbrella has been overturned, along with the table and chairs. *eyeroll*

Sessha Batto said...

All I can say is thank god we aren't the only ones. My chaos is slightly different - instead of the winding path you have to slash your way through the overgrown wisteria arbor. I have no dogs - just one angry, overgrown and violently shedding cat and enough bunnies dug in in the yard to create a hazard of their own.

Once inside though, I must have you beat . . . picture if you will a building site - all the ceilings and floors have been torn out and giant piles of rubble and tools cover every horizontal surface. Not so bad you say? Well, you may think differently when I tell you that this particular construction phase has been underway for over 15 years!!

I occasionally panic when Lurch has a friend over, mortified at the thought of anyone seeing the hazardous waste tip my house has descended into. Never fear, he informed me, I just tell them you're old hippies ;)

60 going on 16 said...

Dear Jane - you are not alone. I frequently feel just the same but cannot blame it on anyone but myself, now that I am an aged crone/merry widow, with no children left at home. Just one dog, one cat and - er - canine guests. I manage to keep the ground floor more or less presentable, as I have clients visiting fairly frequently, but upstairs is another matter.

Theoretically, I have been an adult for over 40 years but have yet to crack the domestic order bit; I can always think of something more interesting that I could be doing. One thought consoles me; I am utterly confident that my last words will not be "I wish I'd spent more time on the housework."

60 going on 16 said...

Sorry, meant to say . . . on a recent visit here, my daughter found my copy of Organizing for the Creative Person. Oh how she laughed.

elizabethm said...

I had to smile at the way this post was juxtaposed with the strap line of your book about making your home your sanctuary! I'm so glad I am not the only one. The things from the kitchen are all over the house. I try to carve out little oases of order in the sitting room and our bedroom but my study has just sunk under the waves of stuff so that I can hardly get in and I have taken to working on the table in the half finished kitchen, clearing off tools as I go.
Sigh.

Edward said...

I wonder the same thing on a daily basis. But it sounds like a happy house, and surely happiness is more important than tidiness, and certainly more important than what some a-r visiting mother might think.

Exmoorjane said...

Big smiles at these responses...
Sessha - at some point you could console yourself with the 'before' pictures of this place (but I will agree, it didn't go on for 15 years!!)
60: yup, I haven't cracked the whole 'adult' thing yet either! Running out of time methinks!!

EM: well all I can say is that you brush up something lovely!

Edward - you're right - rather happiness over neatness anyday...and the blasted books make SUCH a mess!

Jessica L. Degarmo said...

Seems to me that your creative decorating is an expression of the life you have bursting from your heart!
It sounds like life is interesting at your place, and if your house was sterile and meticulous, I bet it would stifle your creativity.

Exmoorjane said...

Jessica - I love that - and actually I wouldn't mind if I really WERE creating! At the moment I am stuck in creative limbo...(very painful) xx

Sheena Ignatia said...

OMG Jane, the picture of your sofa with dog toys and books on it fills me with HORROR!
After reading your book The Spirit of The Home- my brother in law was admiring what I had done in my flat - saying how there was loads more space etc and was flicking through your books as he has recently moved house.
He said "Ooh I wonder what Jane's house is like"
I can't show him this blog post!

You've made me want to tidy up my own home now as a sort of compensating for your sofa!

Exmoorjane said...

LOL Sheena! It's a case of 'do what I say' not 'do what I do!'....cracks me up that I write books about how to get your life on track and sorted and make such a howling mess of my own! But then, it's always easier to see other people's prblems!

Yvonne Johnston said...

Just to let you know that I live in the East Anglian equivalent of your west-country home. Maybe we should do a holiday/house swap. That way neither of us would feel embarrassed and we'd save money! BTW I've found that boys make even more mess when they become teenagers.

Sheena Ignatia said...

I went to an NLP/life coach persons house once and it was absolutely filthy- so much so it made me squirm and I didn't want to sit on the sofa.
I just assumed they were so centred and ordered in their thinking that they didn't give a S**t!

Tattie Weasle said...

A home is a living breathing thing maybe it's just going through a teenage stage - mine's a toddler (despite being 500 years old) and is throwing everything out the pram thus the garden, well wildlife zone around the house is a bit shaggy, erm a mess!

rachel said...

So you've seen my house, then? Nowadays I keep one room tidy; it means I can show visitors in without having to grovel apologetically or remove heaps of stuff from chairs before anyone can sit down, as had been my norm for years. But somehow, they always trail after me into the kitchen when I offer tea, and my cover is blown.

Naturally, now that the house is back on the market, none of the above applies; it no longer looks like I live here.....

Exmoorjane said...

Yvonne - we may have the start of a beautiful plan!! But let me introduce you to the Loo of Doom sometime before you make up your mind!

Sheena - yeah, that's me - I've moved beyond the need for outward show (ho ho ho)

Tattie - I LOVE that idea. Actually mine has been a staid old grown-up for years upon years so maybe it's kicking back now!

Rachel - now that IS a good idea but I knocked down all the walls so I've blown it! Mega sympathy with the house-selling. Actually maybe that's why we're so messy - after all those years of selling.. :)

GoldenGirl said...

oh but it all sounds so creative and interesting, unlike my house which is just boring untidiness ( no creative mess, just abandoned x-box controllers! and, as we live on a modern development the exciting entrance to our home is a boring tarmac drive.....

Exmoorjane said...

GG: we can do XBox controllers too - oh trust me on that one. And a graveyard of computers and drawers bulging with bits of wire and plug that nobody knows what to do with but we daren't get rid of in case it turns out to be Very Important. *sigh*

Joanne said...

Hi
I just saw this in my Google Alerts.

I am sorry to hear James has Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is a horrendous illness for many patients and not thoroughly understood by any of our UK doctors although a handfull who specialise privately in treating patients are having more success than most.

I hope you have had a good read of uk charity www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk then you will start to understand what is going on.You could also join Eurolyme which has currently 2290 members mainly in the Uk struggling with chronic lyme disease after the NHS treatment has let them down.

The best guidelines for Lyme Disease are the Burrascano guidelines found on www.ilads,org which recommend much higher doses and longer courses than HPA advise our NHS doctors. Be warned not everyone by any means remain 100% after a NHS course of treatment.

Lyme Disease is still an emerging disease and patients need to be very well informed to advocate for the best treatment.

If you want to read more you can see my personal experience on my blog and links into many interesting websites.

Good luck.

New Mummy said...

I blame the state of my house on the fact its just too small for the three of us. Its in a constant state of untidiness and its doesn't seem to matter how much I tidy it always looks a mess!

Exmoorjane said...

Joanne: huge thanks. heck there's a lot of information to take in...I'm very grateful

Newmummy: Ah, perfect excuse! See, I don't have that one...this house is plenty big for the three of us!!

Nora said...

My apartment was in a most unbearable state until I got a domestic help in twice a week. Now I tidy up after myself so she doesn't have to clean my messes. It works like a charm. I've become a neat person, but I'm not very creative anymore. All for the sake of a clean place.

Kate said...

Oh - I loved this. It felt as if you were describing our house. I don't know - keeping things tidy seems beyond me. I like to think it's because I have my mind on other things but I fear it's not really so.

Exmoorjane said...

Nora - you're right! When we had a cleaner (before we moved to the house with no wealth corner and hence no wealth and hence became poor)our house WAS tidy for exactly that reason.

Kate - I think maybe it's just terminal laziness on my part...beginning to feel that's the sum of it!

English Mum said...

Perfect. I love that you're the Weasleys and I wouldn't have you any other way. xx

Hot Cross Mum said...

I too, live a Weasley-esque life and shudder when the doorbell rings and I'm not expecting anyone. Plus, my two delightful boys dont seem to have mastered the art of peeing into the toilet, so the entire house constantly smells like a urinal, despite my best efforts to mask this with millions of Ikea scented candles. You really want to come round now, dontcha?

Exmoorjane said...

EM: mwah! Love you too, honey...

HCM: LOL! Yup, mine has trouble in that department too. I mean, how hard can it be?? Aim, fire... *rolls eyes*
btw, scented candles nowhere NEAR strong enough - though actually Diptique Baies does erase the scent of pee effectively. Crabtree & Evelyn room sprays do the job best.

Joanne said...

I don't see how it's possible not to live in chaos. I often walk around declaring that this is the last straw and we must live tidier, but apparently I can only have one tidy place at a time, since the mess must be moved on somewhere, and that's usually on the next shelf/cupboard, since I get bored very quickly when tidying.

I've been to the National Railway museum. My grandparents had a pub, & one of their more elderly gentleman customers used to take me & my cousin off on outings (I know, it's weird already). He also used to give us books, story collections for children, which would be fine, except they were heavily Christian and talked about Jesus a lot. I read them of course - books weren't ten a penny in my house. But I think of the Railway museum as being oddly Jesus infested now and can never go back.

patsy said...

Jane darling if ever your son read a Thomas the Tank Engine book or made a railway track you need to throw yourself into that fireplace, materialise at York and take your son to the railway museum. He'll love it! Highly recommended by all boys 7 to 77...
Perhaps on your next trip north ?
Sorry about his Lymes disease, nasty little beggar
( bug not son!)

Annette Piper said...

Brilliant post! I'm so glad I'm not alone. Mind you I seem to work really well in chaos... luckily!

Frances said...

Jane, I think that the Weasley's home was marvelous ... all that needed to be done somehow got done by wizzardry!

If I had more room, a husband, son and two dogs, I would challenge you to a duel re organization ...lack of same.

You are doing just fine, seem to be having fun doing it. I'd urge you to keep on doing it!

xo

ModernMom said...

Oh how this post made me smile. I have had these very thoughts...err without the water feature bit. I find I have to kind of let it go or it will drive me mad!
Thanks for the giggle:)

Sallys Chateau said...

Now feel a whole heap better after reading this post, I sometimes yearn for a 'normal' life but isn't that just another word for "bland' ?

Humdrum Mum said...

So it's not just me? Thank you for the heads up on Lyme's. Hope James is ok. -HMx

Rob-bear said...

For a moment I thought you said the Wesleys, and were going to explain the methodism in your madness. But no, I read it wrong.

If it's any consolation, I've read (a couple of times) a bit about cleaning up ones act. It's in a book called Spirit of the Home. I recommend it!

Sessha Batto said...

I finally figured out why boys can't hit the toilet when they pee - apparently they like to 'go for distance' and stand as far away as possible, hoping to hit the goal ;)

In all seriousness, your loo of doom can not be worse than mine! We have exactly one - for three people. It is a grad 6x8 feet in size (which means, of course, that privacy is NOT an option and tha there is exactly 1 square foot to maneuver in if you aren't perched on one of the fixtures. The remodel has been on top of my list since we moved in (damn me to hell for choosing a house because it had lots of lovely old windows and not worrying about the little things like the kitchen and bathroom facilities!!).