Housekeeper’s Diary

By Alison November 7, 2023 4 Comments 5 Min Read

It’s been a whacky few weeks. I am restless and frustrated and wake up each morning not quite knowing what to do with myself. Not because I am rudderless, I am very much with rudder, but I am it seems rather stuck in the mire and even the finest of rudders might have a job yanking me out.

Thank heavens then for the two little old men who turned up up on my doorstep this morning. There I was in my truly terrible dressing gown and there they were in matching anoraks and hairdo’s. Twins, I thought, as they announced their intention to save my soul while proffering an envelope addressed to “Whom It May Concern”. Heckity pie, colour me confused! They had come to save my soul but couldn’t be certain that I was quite in its possession and might require someone else’s permission to have it saved?

Hilarity ensued, but only in my own head, because these were men who had never encountered the funny stick, let alone a deranged lady ripe for saving should the terms be tempting. Right, I said, resisting the urge to question how rumour I needed salvation had reached them. Why, pray tell, did I in their dubious estimation need saving? It was, they said in unison, because the world was about to end, or some such calamity, and thus the only answer would be to admit my sins and hand myself over. Hmmm. By this point, the tinier of these diddy men, had taken my hand between his papery palms and fixed his eyes firmly on the top of my head where my wild hair bobbed about in earnest agreement as he told me, there was simply no choice now. Time, the bigger one insisted, was of the essence.

Now granted, despite having exceptionally well-behaved friends, I am intrinsically bad. I have bought the cat, food he despises, and haven’t yet managed to get fireworks banned and frankly he couldn’t be more disappointed. Only last week I stayed up until silly o’clock dancing and singing with a sad-happy friend, quite failing to hold in my laughter as she cried while spinning around to Mamma Mia. (I can in fact, be quite the lush. and apparently, outrageously, an unsympathetic lush). I haven’t washed the kitchen window for as long as I can remember because it involves climbing on to the counter and I am not, let it be hereby known, a climber. Not even in the social sense of the word really?

Hmm, what else have I been doing that warrants doorstep intervention? I have been wasting hours when I should be asleep, watching Benidorm of all things, because sleep and I are going through a rocky patch and nine seasons of sojourning around the seediest parts of Spain in the company of a cast of characters that are a downright hoot seems to be just the kind of counselling I need. I ordered a takeaway all by myself just because it was a Tuesday, bought a very silly pink bra because… lush, then went back and bought the matching knickers because lushes under buses might get better hospital treatment if they are wearing matching underwear don’t you know? The garden remains stupidly overgrown because while dating the gardener was a frankly terrible idea, it did have its benefits that have gone the way of sitting in the same chairs in the same pub that we did week after week after week until I announced my intention to give it all up as a bad job and he retaliated by running off sharpish with a woman from Spain. Probably Benidorm. The man had form.

Anyways, where was I on my list of sins and misdemeanours? Shall I continue? Have I convinced you yet that the little diddy men really do have cause to turn up announced with something of a moral emergency about them? No? Then allow me to confess to being the glad recipient of a most impromptu delicious pizza from the lady across the road who apparently runs a pizza restaurant, and then quite forgetting to take her plate back because it was the same as mine, so I washed it and popped it back in the cupboard and carried on about my most insignificant business. A few days ago I accidentally stole a little lemon posset from our posh supermarket and may never ever be able to shop there again, because it was under my handbag in the trolley and I didn’t put it through the self-service till and now I think my blurry, thieving face will be plastered over every lamppost in the village and worst of all I have eaten it and now can’t take it back because there is only the little glass ramekin it came in as proof it ever existed at all. Shame on me, people of the internet. Shame. On. Me. I STOLE a lemon posset!!

What else? Well I got stroppy with someone who said something ridiculous on Reddit. I made my broken back tooth much worse by poking at it with a dental implement and now can’t find a dentist to stop me smacking my own face whenever I drink something cold and the other day I didn’t roll out of bed until ten o’clock and then spent the rest of the day reading cosy mysteries and pretending there wasn’t work to be done. Thus I wasn’t in the least bit surprised to find myself dealing with a pair of geriatric little cuties on my own doorstep for despite the fact that I consider it downright rude to come a knocking, and scaring the life out me when I’m already finding the world a bit of a worry, these two had surely racked up 170 years between them and could be forgiven for believing that the religion that had long been shoring them up could surely sort out a woman who rumour has it, is trouble on a butty and needs a little reforming.

So I took their letter and promised I would read it, and I bid them goodbye and good luck to all that sailed in them, and then I went back into the house to fetch a bin bag and popped their note inside it, took it out to the bins, stopped to whip out a few of the weeds trying to infiltrate my domestic society, and as I stood up to shove the whole shebang into the wheelie bin, a lorry went by and splashed me from head to foot.

And there I was. In the lane in my terrible dressing gown, veritably drenched in dirty puddle, and there they were, the anoraked purveyors of gloom, bent double in fits of mirth quite unbecoming on men of the church, as they stood on my neighbours path and prepared to do battle with those already in possession of sufficient religion.

Make of it what you will. Time it seems, is of the essence, but I rather suspect all hope is lost.


  1. Kelly says:

    Oh my stars Alison! Matching knickers so you get better hospital care!! 😂🤣😂 I was sure I was the only lady on the planet that ever gave a thought to what my undergarments were when getting medical help. Nope!! Apparently there is one other. You crack me up! I think I may need to read this again when I’ve gotten my coffee. We are kindred spirits my dear! 🌸

  2. Laura_Elsewhere says:

    Oh Alison, WELCOME BACK!!!! You might not yet feel your full self, but oh, it’s good to hear you writing like your real, true, actual self… <3

    (I don't mean simply that it's a funny piece- all kinds of bits in there are very very 'you' and I've been missing those… xx)

  3. Paula says:

    On the way to the hospital, in your matching undies, doubting the state of your soul and wandering mind, at least you’ll know your humor is intact! Well played, m’dear…xx

  4. Melanie Feeney says:

    This was hilarious. I live in Utah and we get our fair share of pairs of humans telling us the end of the world is nigh. One group, from the prominent religion are quite happy to go on their merry way when I ask them where they are from and we chat about regular life and the others do not celebrate birthdays or Christmas, so I have no time for them whatsoever.

    Having been brought up by parents to always wear clean knickers in case I got run over by a bus, this was further encouraged when I attended a lecture by a pathologist who said he would prefer it if people paid attention to this, as it would make his job a little bit better!!!

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