My Daily Habits



My daily habits come with a degree of finesse. Don’t you love that word? It makes one sound ever so posh. I’m the Irish version of Mrs Bouquet/Bucket, from the British sitcom Keeping Up Appearances.

Watch it now and learn how to be posher than posh – (not).
Being slightly bonkers, although my children might disagree with the ‘slightly’ description, my daily chores are micro-managed to perfection.

They demand planning and permission from Moi and a mental run-through beforehand. Permission to chuck something into the clean bin is my greatest bugbear. Chasing dust motes is another fruitless occupation.

Mental counting, and ensuring objects are linear as opposed to nonlinear will ensure my day will remain relatively safe. Am I weird? Yes. Am I slightly off-kilter? Yes. Is marriage to a weird off-the-planet-certain-personage responsible for this behaviour? That’s a resounding YES!



Sorry, this is not a salacious Shades of Grey story. Get your mind out of the sewer and do some work. Some people adore ironing. Every sheet and pillowcase is crease-free, pristine and folded to perfection with corners aligned.

I did try, but my efforts resulted in further creases that can’t be removed and as for the perfect folds – aah! I reckon the Ironing Gurus are buying sheets that are permanently pressed, or else deviously just ironing one set for show.

The duvet cover is another fiend ready to attack me when I try to insert the duvet. I manage to get the two top corners into place and double-peg them.

A quick tug and a sinuous twist of the duvet matching side to sides and I can breathe again. I close the buttons very quickly in case the duvet escapes. It really does have a life of its own.

I smile gleefully. I’ve mastered the wonderful art of putting a duvet cover on. I smooth it over the bed. I frown. The middle is a lumpy hump that somehow doesn’t look right. I smack it expecting to hear squealing children playing tricks on me.

No response. I double-whack the lump hoping it’s just trapped air. No emissions of any kind emerge. I am deflated and how I wish the duvet was. I leave the bedroom hoping that when I return the duvet fairy will have fixed the problem. There’s only one lump I sleep with and that’s himself.



Stacking dishes in the dishwasher must be done in order of plate size, cups, cutlery, glasses, (drinking as opposed to the specs you wear unless you’re a germ freak). It makes unloading much easier. Whisk side plates out and put away. Whisk dinner plates out and put away. Whisk mugs out (including husband) and put away. Whisk tantrum-stage-toddler out and dress in a straitjacket.

Did you know that toddlers adore decorating all glass with fingerprints and walls with handprints, especially when ‘free-playing’ with paint? Don’t panic. The dishwasher removes the most stubborn paint stain and returns your toddler to his or her pristine condition, if a little subdued.
Disclaimer: Do not do this at home. I have never knowingly put any of my children in the dishwasher.



The bin is a big offender when it comes to an ultra-tidy clean home. The bin bag fills up too quickly and then has to be removed and a new one inserted. My bin is gleaming and looks ultra-smart. The bag is empty. Awesome. I stand over it clutching a handful of my kids’ artwork. There’s no space left on the wall for these masterpieces. My inner voice screams. You can’t throw them away. You told your kids they were amazing. When questioned on their content I was flummoxed, but that doesn’t mean they’re not wonderful.

“Abstract darling. Your use of mixed media is phenomenal, especially the white beads.”
“They’re not beads, mum. I found them in your make-up bag.”Oh no! Not my contraceptive pills! Meltdown! Meltdown! You rip them off quickly. A bit of glue won’t harm you.

You’re still standing over the empty bin with its pristine bag inserted. How can you possibly desecrate it? There must be a way to avoid filling it up again with trash? It’s a clean empty vessel deserving of a prize, or being on the Queen’s Honours list. Bins are Receptacles of Information like Google. But Journalistic hacks know this already, hence the popularity of shredders.

Which reminds me my 2 year old has shredded a huge pack of shreddies cereal. He’s created Mount Vesusius with milk-lava running down the side, crisscrossing the table, dripping onto chairs, floors and laps. The shrieks inform me of the milk-drenched-laps. Who took that child’s straitjacket off?



Bellies filled, everyone exits the kitchen except me. leaving half-eaten plates of food that were so lovingly prepared – not! I’m learning. Hours spent cooking ‘lovingly’ result in turned up noses, rolling eyeballs and suspicious glares. If it’s in a box, those suspicious glares turn to delight and everyone digs in, leaving clean practically-licked-plates. Is my cooking that vile? Don’t answer that question.

Spilt milk – don’t cry over it – but I do. Beans congealed and stuck to plates. Half nibbled toast that is barely recognizable under the pound of butter and a half jar of smeared jam. Where do I start?
My eyes swivel towards the bin. I feel guilty. I can’t do it. I look thoughtfully at the detritus of food left behind and hey presto, my brain whizzes up a gourmet delight.

I shall make a shreddie-bready-pudding. A few sprinkles of whatever on top and that’s dinner done. Most important of all, my bin remains pristine and empty.I do eventually throw stuff in the bin, but according to European dictates I must wash all containers before binning them. See – I’m not the only person around who loves a clean bin.



Throws on couches are the way forward, especially if you have children or animals. I don’t mean the huge throws which inevitably become rumpled and crumpled and end up on the floor, after you’ve sat on them for 5 minutes. Nor do I mean the fancy-pants ones that are draped elegantly over one end. What’s that about? Buy small ones that you can tuck firmly around the cushions.

They remain in place until your child or animal pukes up. Then you just yank one or two off, sling in the washing machine, and hey presto! One clean child. I mean, one clean couch. If it’s projectile vomiting you may need to re-decorate.

If you don’t have young children or hairy animals (husbands included), you can borrow them. The Society for Oozing Putridness will lend you whatever species you need. Be aware that young children metamorphosis overnight into messy teenagers who eat on the couch, spill glasses of milk, ketch-up, and shove half-eaten packets of crisps into every couch-crevice. You will thank me when you don’t have to call in the exterminators.
A throw a day keeps your couch… Whatever!

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