Housekeeper's Diary

By Alison January 14, 2013 8 Comments 3 Min Read

Today. Your roof is a pepperpot. The relentless splosh of rain upon the treasure you have stashed in the loft, the chorus to a night stuffed with torturous dreams. Those who do not lead parallel lives the minute they close their eyes do not know how lucky they are. Then your gentle entry into the morning is further  disturbed by loud knocking, so that you have to run downstairs still rubbing a nightmare out of your eyes, to open the door to your next door but one neighbour, who fresh from the night shift is clutching a parcel he took in for you and has been trying to deliver, he says, for almost two weeks now.
You make coffee in the kitchen and carry it quietly back to bed, careful not to disturb your little one, for he is letting sleep heal the wound on his lip, and his eyelids are still fluttering on his cheeks. You open the curtains just enough to allow enough light in to the room to see, then crawl amongst lavender blankets to tear your little parcel apart. It is a book. For a moment you are mystified because you don’t remember ordering One Thousand Gifts, and then you find a note. In this lovely, heart-broken life of yours, there are many gifts and one of them is Gayla. For it is she who has brought this book to your door this morning and it is she who has become the conscience of your out-pourings on BrocanteHome. You hope with all your heart that she knows this to be true.

You dress again. A chinese kimono over a black camisole. Shetland wool slipper socks on your toes and your hair a tangle of curls and grey wiry interference. You force the bedroom into immaculate submission, singing Robbie Williams’ Loser’s under your breath (There will always be someone better than you…) and straightening a book that seems to have moved an inch or two over night. This is new. This constant urge to keep you world straight. You don’t want to analyse it too long, so you admire the latest pretty nook in your bedroom, light your morning candle and head downstairs.

Without the school run to shape your morning you are adrift. You make a banana and kiwi smoothie and watch Chowder with Finn. For once the house is warm and you feel content. Today you will make chocolate and pecan cookies, fill a vintage tin with all the ritual you need to meditate and work your way through all the extra laundry a weekend full of housework has created. You have plans, mission lists and domestic ambition, so that even the kind of days that cannot be predicted have a framework to fall back on and for this, the legacy of a Brocante life, you are eternally grateful. Boredom is never an option, when there is so much to do.

Now there is cheese on toast to be made. Tiny slithers of cheshire cheese melted on to gluten free bread and cut into squares small enough so that a little boy with stitches in his mouth will not have to chew. The kitchen floor needs mopping. There is a pile of  bills, correspondence and paper clutter to be filed. Bread to be fried into tasty little croutons. A litter tray to empty. A heavenly new book to read.

Boredom is never an option… 


  1. Ali says:

    I was wondering Alison, are you still facing having to move? Hope Finn is recovering well.
    Ali x

    1. brocantehome says:

      Hi Ali, he has gone quiet on the subject after I went to Citizens advice and was told he wouldn’t have a hope, without considerable expense and eventual defeat regardless…So all fingers crossed he has given up!x

      1. Ali says:

        So pleased to hear it! xx

      2. Debbi says:

        Thank God!

  2. lynne says:

    How I love these musings of yours. I can’t begin to tell you how much they mean to me, and I picture you ‘across the pond’ in your little cottage, and wish I lived nearby. Thank you a thousand times for your blog. It has changed my life for the better, and these paltry words don’t begin to express the depth of my gratitude.

  3. snydeen says:

    What Lynne said!

  4. Gayla says:

    Oh, Beautiful! You are soooo. Amazing! Thank you for the little shout out… It is a beautiful book… At times I’m not up to it, but I loved it. Your parallel dream life made me think… Have you seen the movie with Demi Moore called Passion of Mind? You have to! It is just fabulous… It ignited such imagination in me…. I really live better because of you and Brocante… I have a person at work who is out to get me…. I escape to orange and bergamot scented linens and Brocante styled school desk comfort and “efficient play” drawers…. I hope our little boy feels better soon!

  5. Rashmi says:

    There are times when I do my daily prayer, I do think about both of you! Hope things would be fine and that idiotic foolish ex disappears away!!

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