Are you ready everyone for this morning’s tirade? Because, this week, (although we’re only mid way through) I am at the end, the very end, of my tether. I am demented, driven daft and distracted (all at the one time) by the state of my f**king house. Even worse- a lot of it is my own fault. I wanted a dog. And, it turns out, there’s rather a lot of work involved. Animals it seems, attract other animals. Would you believe it another cat has rocked up at our back door, ambling in out of the brambles out of the back. The children thought that Bramble would be a suitable name for him, but given his rotundity have christened him ‘Fat Bramble’. With his vocal range and girth he’s like the feline equivalent of Pavarotti. He is a beautiful tabby and white puss with a temperament to match, unlike our dour and truculent Izzy, who’s only pleasant when you’re dishing out her Sheba. Problem is he has wreaked havoc since he arrived. The aforesaid Izzy took immediate umbrage, blamed the dog for this outrageous intrusion and decided to go for the poor greyhound. The dog ran off in terror and took a massive dump in the living room. All this before 8am. It wasn’t the best start to the day. My house is in a big enough state of chassis without these shenanigans.
A couple of weeks ago I posted a little video about my endeavors to recycle because I was going at it great guns. I had a system and it appeared to be working because I had actually just managed to off-load a lot of stuff for TerraCycle. But people, it seems that I am being thwarted at every turn. The dog.The f**king dog. She’s a sight hound and can sniff out anything food related in a matter of seconds. However she likes to wait until we are out and then she goes on the hunt. We left some sourdough on the counter and went upstairs. When we came back down that was gone. As we had run out of green compost bags I had also scraped some peelings and leftovers into a foil container. It was on the floor, licked clean. Then the blighter headed into the front bedroom where I am storing all my recycling. She found the bag of cat pouches which I had painstakingly washed and ripped a load of them to shreds- the floor was dotted with fragments of foil, catching the light. And no matter how fastidious one tries to be while cleaning, there was a distinct aroma of Sheba ‘Prime Cuts’ and ‘Fine Flakes in Jelly’ lingering in the air. That’s the last time I’ll be doing that.
The truth is, I could actually spend my entire life cleaning the house and sorting the recycling and it still wouldn’t be done. On Monday night we went down the Ormeau to Shed (Eat Out to Help Out oh yes, please I am in) and you’d be entitled to think ‘check her out, having her dinner in a restaurant of a Monday evening’ but the truth is, I instigated the meal by saying to LSB: ‘If I have to look at the f**king state of this shit show a second longer lives are going to be lost.’ ‘Let’s book a table,’ he replied. Few things cheer me more than a glass of Shed’s cracker of a Prosecco.
Other people get a skip. They get a skip, and they f**k everything into it and take back control of their lives. I can’t do this. No, instead I go around to their skip and start hauling out stuff that they’ve chucked into it. I can’t help myself. I can’t bear the thought of adding more to land fill, so round I go, lifting out plastic sea-shell shaped sandpits and elderly storage units and chipped plant pots. ‘I will put this on Freecycle,’ I say, giving myself a self-righteous pat on the back. Indeed I intend to, but it doesn’t happen.
So yesterday I took action. ‘Feck this feeling miserable business,’ I thought. We had a new chest of drawers and a Billy Bookcase arriving from Action Cancer on the Ormeau so this spurred me into action. I popped some clothes belonging to LSB on a Facebook Zero Waste site and they are being collected tomorrow. I popped an ad on Gum Tree for a dog bed I thought we might use but never did. I sorted out some of my recycling, asking my children to help.
I felt a bit better.
To sum up, if you want an easy life, don’t get pets, unless you really like the smell of Dettol. Have no principles at all. F**k everything straight in the bin and to hell with the oceans.
I considered this, briefly, Then I thought, wouldn’t it be awful? I wouldn’t be here now, tapping away on my laptop in bed with a greyhound lying alongside, keeping my right leg warm. Life wouldn’t have the same richness if I could make the coffee in the morning without my cat shouting at me. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror without a sense of revulsion if I wasn’t obsessed with recycling. I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t policing what everyone was putting in their bins. It would be a half-ass life really, and who wants that? And if anyone wants to claim Fat Bramble that would be great. (Or if not, offer a cantankerous tortoiseshell a home so peace could resume here. I think that would be a fair exchange. )
(This is Tilly, hugging her trauma blanket after Izzy went for her).