I’ll start with a small clarification, since my thought loop (a few posts back) went directly from a gripe about Life After Desk to an apology to Members of the Household – the link between which was probably not sparklingly clear. Probably because my brain seems to have frozen over in the struggle to continue functioning through my first proper winter in six years.
For some time now, the relics and I have been nudging the maximum duration for successful offspring/parental cohabitation. Noted through excessive grumbling, sniping, etc and aggravated no doubt by my growing frustrations with Life AD. Hence the cartwheel from general gripe to apology to MOTH. Which then kind of tumbled with a half pike into a competitive bid to calm domestic relations.
So, now that is all clear, an update. All MOTH willingly entered the competition, though with not quite the enthusiasm or robust start I imagined. Day One began with strong winds, a power outage and Domestos-clean floors. My hard won Domestos-clean floors, the icing on the previous whole day's cleaning binge. I crawled out of bed in the dark and got the woodstove burning. The elder relic arose and (in the dark) fetched buckets of water from the tanks. Creeping through the kitchen like an overgrown hairy Vietnamese woman, he promptly spilled a bucket all over the kitchen bench, chairs, chair pillow things and... my Domestos-clean floors. And every inaccessible, unlit crevice within a three metre radius. (And, since my bread-making efforts began, I have been astounded daily by the inordinate number of flour/water/seed-retaining crevices in this kitchen.) Naturally, this was followed by much grumbling and mop/bucket action by us both. Then, instead of giving up like any normal person and retreating to his cornflakes, he went to fetch wood (still dark), and shimmying back through the house, dropped a log... sprinkling bark and log dust all over my increasingly un-Domestos clean floors.
Since he had not yet read and accepted the invitation to compete – and I was still too bleary-eyed to be aware of the date – we turned a cheek on the morning’s grumblings.
I'm loathe to admit that the household has turned many cheeks since then. Grumblings have continued with much the same frequency and force, but are now followed by earnest murmurs from at least one MOTH of "but the competition". We are all supposed to be judges in this quest, and as we are each reluctant to annoint anyone else a loser, our lenience in this regard indeed reveals highly sophisticated diplomatic skills.
See? Silver lining, or what?! I have stores of positivity! Stores, I tell you!