When the House Ran Riot

By Alison October 10, 2022 4 Min Read

The house is being badly behaved. It rather seems to have plunged itself into something of a teenage rebellion and I am not quite being the guardian that I should because what’s a woman to do when life keeps knocking at her door and there’s Early Grey to be sipped and her all grown up child wants ferrying hither and thither despite the fact that he no longer actually lives here?

So, let’s take stock of the evidence that the house fears my love for her has gone astray. The dishwasher is leaking, the ceiling above the computer in my little office (or the far away room as we call it) is also (STILL) leaking, and the spooky patch on the dining room ceiling is making a nuisance of itself.

The chest of drawers I jammed on the stairwell last week is now blocking access in the hall and frankly I don’t know what to do with it short of taking a hammer and smashing it to bits so I can fit it in the she-shed and cart it to the tip, which is apparently only open for the blink of an eye in Autumn so who knows when that will happen? The cat has developed a rather bizarre interest in my clothes and regularly visits the ironing pile to drag item after item into the living room, creating little textile mountains on the rug and looking pleased with himself, and speaking of the rug, the new one I bought for a song on Facebook is constantly rucked and frankly a threat to both my life and sanity.

I still can’t work the heating so I’m currently enjoying tropical temperatures between seven and nine in the morning and arctic ones in the evening, the new sheets I bought for my bed are an abysmal piece of work and keep launching themselves off the corners of the mattress and taking the topper with them and all of a sudden, the pillows are deeply inhospitable and frankly, in the middle of night, downright rude and refuse to support my oft outraged neck.

And that’s not all. The parasol is still up in the garden because I can’t get it down so it is now doing double time as an umbrella in these relentless October showers, the weeds on the front path are having something of a ball as I haven’t had a minute to tell them their presence isn’t welcome, and I swear to God, that if aforementioned cat doesn’t stop trailing litter between his toes I am going to make him wear shoes and live out his days in the laundry room.

I have come to the conclusion you see that it is simply not possible for me to manage both myself and the house. If my hair is nice, the fridge will be empty. If my eyebrows are perfectly arched, I will no doubt still be showering in the dark because I can’t fathom the replacement spotlight situation, and of course if the weight keeps falling off, the house will continue to sprout weights and yoga balls and all manner of stretchy things I’m not quite sure what to do so that visitors must be starting to believe I run a living room gym in the spare time I haven’t got.

But here’s the thing: I do believe that in life there are seasons and though I’m sad to have to sit down with the house and break the news, this simply isn’t her time, I want us both to be ok with that, or else it is quite possible I will lose my marbles in an effort to keep juggling all the things. For there is many a thing to be juggled right now: work, bills, a child existing between two lives, glowy skin, chatty men, friends, family, running on the spot, Christmas looming and at least some effort at maintaining the pretence that I am a fully-functioning adult when we all know I am not!

So today: a good few hours taking the house to task while wearing my I simply couldn’t be more disappointed in your face. Another ten minutes trying to get the cat to understand the error of his ways, and the filling of the car with all the bags of no longer wanted nonsense I can’t seem to stop binning as I continue to clear the decks. All of this and more: continued investigation into the energy-saving abilities of the much-lauded airfryer, the whizzing of a notebook Finley apparently can’t live without, up to his university, the purchase of a new laundry basket because the one I bought a few weeks ago makes opening the bathroom door impossible (but I stuck with it apparently hoping it would eventually shrink to fit!) and finally a short hunt for the protein drinks I am currently addicted to.

While I may be a truly awful custodian of all things domestic right now, and the house might just be throwing a whopping tantrum in response, life is less one-note than it was just a few months ago, and I’m shuffling my priorities to keep on reminding myself that I can matter too.

Because the ceiling might be leaking, but it won’t fall in.

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