Fuiona Duff: Cleanliness is next to godliness for Hestia

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I’m not sure how often I have pledged to give my home a really good clean.

Obviously not as often as I have had hot suppers as I have one of those every night and I have other thoughts that fill my head most days. Usually wondering where my phone is 
lurking. But the kids are now back at school and two months of them dossing about means that chaos not so much reigns, but has staged a 
military coup.

Now, you may not know this but there is a God of Home and Hearth and she (a woman, naturally, because what self-respecting male God would care about the washing-up when there’s war and thunder on their minds) is called Hestia. First of all I need to get down on my knees and summon her in order to be inspired for this mammoth task.

Over the past few years there are several items that have gone missing from my life that I know I shall find down the back of a radiator or perhaps behind the wardrobe. There are a few cardigans that I really miss, a couple of passports that have had to be replaced and some books that I read half way through before they disappeared. No doubt I shall find a few things not so pleasing to clap my peepers on again. Like some mouldy banana skins, my son’s cheesy socks and, knowing my luck, an out-of-
date winning lottery ticket.

Personally, I blame my mother. I was brought up in a house where cleanliness wasn’t seen as sitting next to godliness but rather insanity. When she moved house a few years ago a cheque book was found at the back of the cupboard that had last been used two decades before. “I always wondered what had happened to that” she said blithely, wiping off the dust and popping it into her handbag.

I sometimes wish that I was married to David Beckham. Not because I fancy him – all those tattoos are a real turn-off as far as I am concerned – but rather because he has confessed to having OCD. Just imagine having a husband who walked around after you picking up clothes, folding them and putting them in the correct drawer. My fridge would be spotless and ordered rather than looking like some warning photograph from the Department of Health.

Of course, the problem is that a man like that would have had enough of living with me before a fortnight was out and run off into the arms of a local Hestia. Now, where can I buy a pair of Marigold gloves?

It feels like the last supper as I say ‘ciao’ to Bar Roma

ON Thursday I am going out for supper at Bar Roma on Queensferry Street. This is a restaurant I went to before I even lived in Edinburgh, it’s where we nearly always went for birthday suppers and when my cousin comes over from New Zealand he specifically requests that we meet there.

As far as I know it was opened around the same time as Robert Adam designed the New Town.

Even in these times of economic hardship when shops and restaurants fall like skittles and no-one bats an eye when a familiar name is no longer on the high street, I am shocked that this will be my last supper at the old Italian faithful.

On Sunday the owner, Mario, will serve up his last plate of carbonara, scoop out his final ice cream and close the doors on a business that he’s just had enough of running.

It is not as though we will run short of pizza post-Bar Roma as the city is hooching with Italian restaurants, but this one was just something special and so much of my family life since I moved here 15 years ago.

Nature’s botox kept me young

Some survey last week announced that women are happiest with their bodies at the age of 34 as they “grow to love lumps, bumps and wrinkles”.

Why did nobody tell me this at the time?

When I was 34, I had just given birth and was the most overweight I had ever been. I had no wrinkles (“fat is nature’s botox” a friend once told me) and had more lumps and bumps than is healthy and I certainly didn’t love them.

I was probably happier with my body when I was about 11, before I had read magazines telling me what I should look like or the results of a survey that told me something that really isn’t very important at all.

Sacks appeal to tackle seagulls

I’M no fan of Edinburgh City Council, but I doff my cap to them today. After years of looking at pavements strewn with detritus after birds have attacked bin bags left out overnight, I have now received my “gull proof sacks”.

They are huge canvas-y type things that will hold several plastic bags and will hopefully bring an end to spending mornings tip-toeing around used tea bags and some other more unmentionable items – the residents of Belgrave Crescent will attest to that with a story that I cannot repeat in a family newspaper. Such a shame that we can’t just pick up all the mess lying around Shandwick Place and put that in a large sack.