I have to come clean, I just hate spring cleaning

Christine Grahame MSP

Christine Grahame MSP

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I do Friday MSP surgeries across the constituency in my local Tesco. Before I start I fetch my messages and it was while scouring the cat food aisle I realised one constituent was practically in my trolley. It turned out he had never thought of a politician shopping.

Equally surprised at my domesticity was the constituent who expressed surprise when I told her I hoped the weather would hold up as I had just put all the sheets and towels on the line before coming out.

Now don’t take it that this means I am domesticated. My cat, Mr Smokey is, but even after decades of housewifery, I am not.

You know, I hate cleaning and hoovering and most of all ironing and never, ever clean the oven.

When I say hate, I mean I have to build up to starting it. OK, the loo has to be cleaned, along with the bath and wash basin, I’ll give you that, and even dragging a fighting hoover cable to do the stairs.

By the way, why does the hoover cable have to find its way into every hook and handle and tangle?

Then there is the dusting and the window washing. Oh yes, I do eventually get down to it and feel quite evangelical after the event, but I have never quite understood people with homes of showroom perfection.

They, of course, do not have clutter. I have lots of clutter and so much energy is taken up with moving clutter from here to there and back again just to dicht a surface.

Dicht, excellent word. Which brings me to scunnered. I get quite scunnered by people who frown at the tangle of my cutlery drawer.

You see, I ignore the orderly slots for knives forks etc and just throw everything in. I’m not proud of this, but I have better things to do with my time than set them in their regimented places and the cat doesn’t object.

Speaking of the cat, he contributes quite a bit of messiness. House trained, yes, but my goodness how can such a small fellow manage to spread his food here there and everywhere?

It’s on the skirting and on the tiles, but not on his plate or the feeding mat. No, he has to trail it to where it should not go. Live prey is left dismembered under the stairs and once even inside a shoe. Evidence that I do occasionally hoover under the stairs.

When my sons were small it was much the same (the mess not the dismembering), but now, living the independent life you would think there would not be much to do.

Ah, but there is. Where does it all come from, I ask, and why in my house?

Spring sunshine is particularly unforgiving. The daffies may be dancing and the birds squabbling over partners before moving on to collecting twigs for nest building (you see I am spending too much time garden watching) but those windows on that world are pretty grubby and unavoidably crying out for a good wash.

But then the sun turns a corner and it is the all clear again and besides tomorrow it may rain.

Now if I can only find a knife in the cutlery drawer I can cut a delicious piece of strawberry sponge for my tea while I watch the sparrows search out a soft lining for the wains.

n Christine Grahams is SNP MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale