When I was working, one of the things that made the daily commute and the office politics bearable was being able to afford a cleaner. She came to us for four hours a week on a Monday morning, which was ideal timing to deal with the hovel created by our three kids over the weekend. By the time I arrived home on Monday evening, the place was immaculate – fora few moments, anyway, before the kids went on the rampage and turned back the clock to the Pre-Clean Era.
Unfortunately when I lost my job, that particular perk of the middle classes was one of the many sacrifices we had to make. The choice was simple: drink less beer or get the Dyson manual out. I’m writing this on my laptop, in my local, with a pint of Doombar by my side. You get the picture. Continue reading
When my wife was working from home, I would arrive home in the evening, eye the mess in the boxroom that doubled as her study and scornfully ask how she could sit in such a tip all day. Half-drunk cups of tea, unopened letters and bills, magazines and newspapers piled high all co-existed alongside mountains of washing and unironed clothes.
Elsewhere in our flat, it was worse. Every r0om had been turned into a kids’ playcentre, littered with plastic debris from broken toys. You could barely see the carpet for the clutter. Continue reading
Ever heard of Angry Birds? Tiny malevolent balls of feathers with vengeance in their hearts. Some green pigs have stolen their eggs, and the birds want them back. And they’ll do anything to achieve their aims. They catapult through the air, smash into buildings where the pigs hide out, and drop bombs to wipe out the thieving oinkers.
I’d never heard of it either until we bought our eldest an iTouch for Christmas. The first thing she did was introduce her brothers to the joys of Apps and a game called Angry Birds, she’d heard about from her classmates. She and her brothers would try to outdo each other, going through the levels and battling for the highest scores. Continue reading
Here’s a fact that everyone in a relationship knows: rows over money are the biggest cause of domestic tension. It is an issue that had never troubled me and my wife. But that was before she became my Successful Other Half. Now, along with the relentless ironing, school runs and wasted food (‘WHY don’t they like chicken nuggets? I like chicken nuggets. What do you mean, they’re not good for them? They were good enough for me. Are you saying my mum was a bad mother? And so on and so forth) it is all we argue about.
It’s not the fact we don’t have any – ‘we’ being the collective word for household income – it’s that I don’t have any. My wife is the breadwinner now, and boy, don’t I know it. Continue reading