Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dishing the dirt on mum

A few days ago, our good friend French Fancy did a post about her Waste Bin. Sounds like a strange thing to do a post about but we bloggers do post about strange stuff sometimes, don’t we? Anyway, as mum was reading it, she started chewing her bottom lip guiltily and she gave me a few sidelong glances as if wondering what I was thinking, then she went straight into the kitchen, had a look at her bin and said “Oh fook!” whilst shaking her head.

I sneaked in afterwards, had a good look at it myself, and took a few photos. No wonder she was shaking her head. Though I say it myself, being a dog and all, and not minding dirt, IT IS FILTHY.

And no – that is not poo on it below, I had a sniff, it is a bit of curry.

Please don’t think my mum is dirty. She isn’t. Her surfaces and floors are clean and tidy, (though ‘tis true that she does not get into those corners that often, she’s not mad keen on dusting, and there are an abundance of spider’s webs lurking in the beams) but her drawers and cupboards are a mess “..what you can’t see doesn’t hurt…” is her favourite saying when Uncle Hugh complains about the state of them (but does nothing about it himself) and her ironing is presently taking over the spare room. The toilets, however, are so clean I could eat my dinner out of them (mum’s got this ‘thing’ about loos and scrubs them every day). But for some reason the bin has been sorely neglected.

I think that over the next couple of days, it will either be cleaned and bleached to within an inch of its life or it will be replaced. I have a feeling that replaced is going to be mum’s chosen option because mum often takes the easy way out. She’s thrown a few saucepans away in her time because they were too ‘burnt on’ and she couldn’t be bothered to wash them. However, plastic is tight at the moment, so she might end up cleaning it instead.

Mum doesn’t like housework, but she does it because she has to nowadays. When she was working in the UK she had this nice lady called Kath who used to come and do it for her but what made me laugh was that mum used to run around the house tidying it up like crazy before Kath arrived. I could never understand why she cleaned it in readiness for the cleaning lady. Go figure!

Mum’s most hated things are washing pots and ironing. She has a rather unhealthy, fervent attachment to her dishwasher. In the past I’ve known her put it on for only three plates and a mug because she DETESTS washing up. Apparently, it was her ‘job’ when she was a girl and it damaged her for life. I would be SERIOUSLY worried if she had to choose between me and the dishwasher.

Honestly, her carbon footprint must be humongous.

As for ironing. She hates it so much I don’t understand why she doesn’t just throw her clothes away when they’re ready for washing and buy new ones. It would take all the angst out of it wouldn’t it? Or, she could simply wear stuff without ironing it. Do those creases look so bad? They certainly don’t bother me.

A few more things mum hates: washing the car - I think I told you before, she never EVER washes it, she just buys a new one eventually. She always has silver cars because she says they don't show the dirt. The inside is the same. Filthy. Uncle Hugh calls it her 'skip'.

Mum doesn't like changing the duvet cover either. She'll change the sheets and the pillow cases regularly but refrain from changing the duvet cover until she absolutely has to - hence there are never any pretty matching pillowcases and covers on mum and Uncle Hugh's bed.

Mum hates doing windows too. They've lived in this house in France since December 2006 and she's only done the big window once (picture of me looking through it below) and the other windows - never. They are surprisingly clean, perhaps it's the clean air around these parts.

What mum does love - vacuuming. She says it gives her a feeling of satisfaction seeing and hearing all those bits being sucked up. I'm a bit wary of our vacuum. It's quite powerful and long and snake-like and I have visions of me being sucked up it and never finding my way back, so when the vacuum's out. I make myself scarce.

What’s your most hated chore? I don’t have any chores, because I’m a kept dog. Not a working one, like some.

Here are some more photos of me from behind because I got so many folk admiring my butt last time I thought I’d keep my ‘fans’ happy.

Me noseying out of the main window with my friend "Buddah guy", who's about my size.


J Cosmo Newbery said...

Henry! Adopt the lotus position!

Anonymous said...

I love your butt, Henry! And I want a Buddha guy too - it's just so serene and gorgeous!

Housework, smouschework I say.. hate it! hate it! I do have to vacuum quite a lot because of the huge number of kids emptying sand and gravel in the house as well as the big balls of dog fur and dirt that the dog tracks in.

Ironing? What's that? Just smooth out the creases while the washing is damp and you'll never have to iron again.. Also, I just can't see the point. Clothes are supposed to get creased, right?

THe piccies of your mum's bin - eow! We don't have a swing bin - now I know why! ;-)

Marie and John said...

Morning Henry,

Simply love the picture of you and the Buddha. You're so adorable...

I don't really like housework but I know it has to be done. John does the vacuuming, while I do the dusting.

I'm with your mum on the ironing. I'd rather go to the dentist for a root canal filling than iron.

I too hate cleaning windows. We've lived in the house for about 15 years and I've only cleaned the insides twice. We have a window cleaner for the front windows but not the back. We live in a terrace so getting access to the back of the house is hard for them.

We don't have a swing bin at the moment. Never got round to buying a new one when we fitted the new kitchen so are making do with carrier bags. However when we did have one, I did occasionally clean it. It never got as bad as your mums though.

Have a lovely day.

Wei Qian said...

Hello Henry,

i like the last picture!(:

best regards

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Henry, that pic of you in the window is just precious - What a proud 'man'!

As for housework, or howl-work, I only do it when I absolutely have to, so I am very close to your mum on all her howl-work habits - I have not ironed for one year (back troubles), my OH vacuums, I clean the kitchen benches and windowsills, dust every so often, I do wash dishes 'though (because the dishwasher gave me an electric shock - and I will replace it soon), and we do clean cars, but using those machine things that you drive through, which you probably hate!

Cleaning is oh so overrated!

♥ Braja said...

Zenry, more like :)

Oooo, your butt IS irresistible :))

Anonymous said...

I like how honest your mum is! I don't like changing the duvet cover either - it's such work to re-situate everything. And ironing? With all the fabulous knits available, I rarely need to iron clothing. Suggest your mum buy more knits and fold them immediately after they've come from the dryer. She won't have to wear creases. (But, I really don't think people mind seeing a crease these days. I don't mind!)

There are SO many chores I don't like to do. I think because I've done them for so many years, I'd like to retire from them all. It's like "dig a ditch, fill it up, dig a ditch, fill it up". Difficult to see progress.

We have many pics of Mary standing to look out the windows too. So cute!

Henry the Dog said...


J Cosmo - perhaps when I was a pup and all cartilage, now I'm all bone it's a bit difficult:)

LadyFi - I'm so with you about the housework business - there are too many fine smells to smell, too many games to be played, too many belly rubs to be had....
Mum likes Buddha stuff, it makes her feel calm. Not much does xxxx

Marie & John - good to know that your windows lasted so long without a clean - there is hope. Mum will be pleased to read that. And yes, the bin is foul. I think mum might go back to bags as she did in the UK, she's simply not got a handle on this bin business xx

Vodka - sweetpea - how are you little darling? Yes the last photo is a personal favourite of mums xx

A Woman of NI - Not ironed for a year? You have my utmost respect, and I mean RESPECT. As for the drive in car wash thing - yeah, have heard of those and probably wouldn't mind them - I'm actually ok with loud noisy stuff. I think that's how Uncle Hugh gets his car cleaned. Mum simply can't be bothered:)

Braja - Zenry? I love that:)xxx

CSquared - mum'd kill me for posting those photos of her bin;) As for the clothes, mum doesn't have a tumble drier here in France, she really misses having one now you mention it. Because of you she's buying a slow cooker this Friday, perhaps she'll invest in a tumble drier too before all the plastic runs out. Thanks CSquared xxx

Daisy said...

Henry you minx- sneaking into the bin and publishing photos isn't a very loyal hound ish thing to do!! Poor mum, I'm totally with her on all counts, especially the duvet cover, it's such a hassle to get into it and get the corners and it's so heavy!! Love you and the Buddha, you seem very zen to me.

Blu said...

Henry, bins are bins and they get mucky.

Blu's tip..every week when I throw the bag out the bin I steep the bin in hotwater and washy up lqd, if its bad rummage around with a mop.

Tip two get someone else to do the windows.

Blu hates ironing so tip3..and she is off to do this now. Get all set up to iron..set timer for 15 minutes..stop ironing when timer goes off.then do the same tomorrow. right I am off xxxxxxxxx

Blu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

Henry my friend, I believe there is nothing better than a butt. Of course I do wish we had a sniff-o-blog. We would know one another so much better if that were possible. I have only a few indoor chores. Mainly the rearrangement of my personal posessions. Mom likes them to stay in my room. I like them in the living room. I am with you about that horrid sweeper thingy. I go down to the den when it comes out. My mom has a love hate relationship with windows. She hates doing them but loves them to sparkle. It used to take her 4 hours to do the sunporch inside and out. Now she uses these special cloth things and can do it in less than an hour and no streaks. I love to wait until she has finished and then stick my nose on them. Mom calls that a snot smear. I do it in Jennifer the Jeep also. he he he

Kat said...

I loathe ironing too. I just throw my clothes back into the dryer for about 15 minutes to "knock the wrinkles out"

Clive said...


Really love that photo looking out the window. I was left alone here for two hours this morning and just stared out the window - watching and waiting ...

Lots of Buddas inside and outside in this house - bit of zen thing going on here - all is meant to be calm and relaxing to keep the little man chilled!! Shouldn't tell tales - but she who must be obeyed has a cleaner - don't think she knows what cleaning is!!

detroit dog said...

Henry, I put myself through grad school by cleaning other people's apartments. Oh, the stories I could tell.... Of course, my own place stayed a mess because I was too tired from cleaning up after everyone else.

I'm the dishwasher here. Suggestions for that burnt-on stuff (and everything, really): soak them in your usual dish water with some "oxi-clean" added. Comes right off. Also, your kitchen cleaning with distilled vinegar. I keep a spray bottle of it handy.

I love a clean house. Having said that, my super big problem with with being Neat. The dishes may be clean, the floors spotless, the windows sparkling, but there are big gobs of mail stacked, art supplies in corners, old magazines in piles, papers that I need to "go through, first" - it's horrible. I seriously cannot walk into my own office room. (Using the hubby's computer right now!)


French Fancy... said...

I'm with you on the ironing, Henry's mum. I loathe and detest it, especially in summer with all the linen we both wear - it's always creased whether I iron it or not.

The reason I bought the new bin was because for some reason our old one went all rusty on the inside of the lid. It looked disgusting.

when are you off to the UK to start the *W* word?

Indrayani said...

I read the whole post but what I wanna comment on is HOW CUTE u look in the last pic!!
that picture is my wallpaper now!:)
Love you my little buddy!!!

SSP said...

henry, i am with your mum on the ironing. I use the very nice iron my own mum purchased for me to iron the paper I make. I did break down and buy a new vacuum cleaner because the old one didn't (oddly enough) suck. My most hated chore? dusting. I mean, in the middle of desert-y Arizona, WHY bother - all you do is stir it up a bit and then it re-settles!

Juliet Colors said...

Hehehe... Henry, your mum and I have almost identical cleaning philosophies. I can not stand messes. Everything must be in it's place. Unless of course it is in a cupboard or closet or drawer out of sight; there, everything is in chaos.

I also do not believe in ironing. I simply do not buy/wear clothes that require it. And if Alex has anything that ever needs ironing, well then he has to do it himself because as I say, "it's against my religion."

I also hate cleaning (the dirty wet kind), but don't mind vacuuming (it's dry and relatively clean work). Alex usually does the bathroom and I do the vacuuming, and I delegate other irregular tasks to him as necessary (like window washing). He also does ALL the dishes, while I do most (but not all) of the cooking... so far he doesn't seem to have noticed the slight inequality there.

I have no problem doing laundry, but absolutely abhor hanging and folding clothes, so I usually dump that task on Alex too.

Hmm, I think I'd better hang on to my husband.

(Cute heinie pictures, Henry! :-*)

Henry the Dog said...

Daisy - I know - it's very unloyal of me, but it's funny. Strange how folk hate changing duvet covers. When I was a pup I used to help mum change hers and I'd end up hitching a ride on it and she'd pull me all round the bedroom. It was fun:)

Blu - VERY sensible tips. Mum's read them and I can see a little lightbulb may have been switched on somewhere;)

Frankie - (Henry laughing his paws off) Snot smear! Yep, that's it. Mum never knew what to call it, but she does now:) It's all over the insides of mum's car windows. As for my toys - well, they're everywhere to be honest. I'm quite a messy pup:)

Kat - you're reminding mum why she has more ironing to do than ever before. She doesn't have a tumble drier here in France. I think after Csquared and your comments, one may be acquired fairly soon....

Blogdog - she who must be obeyed is one very sensible lady. As for the buddah stuff - yeah, lots here too. Heads and paintings and stuff. Mum likes buddah things.

Detroit - mum's neat, it's Uncle Hugh who's the messy one. Mum says she needs neat otherwise her head feels all cluttered. Thanks for the tip as regards the burnt pans. Uncle Hugh's the chef and so he doesn't care what mess he makes, it's mum who has to clean up after him and his speciality is burnt pans!!!

FFancy - I think mum might ditch the bin altogether and just put stuff straight in a black bag and keep it in the boiler cupboard. Mum goes to the UK on 8th March, back on 13th and then every second week after that. She's actually looking forward to it now. She's being purposefully positive about it. Trouble is, she's not got any work clothes anymore after working from home for so long. I'd better not go on. We'll end up chinwagging won't we???

Indi - I am seriously excited about being your new wallpaper. That's like being famous isn't it? I mean - I am now your pinup. Do I get paid for being wallpaper? Can my mum stay at home now instead of going back to the UK??????????

SSP - (Henry giggling) - sorry, I can't help it. I can't stop laughing at the image of you dusting in the middle of a desert. Now that IS amusing. I forget that my blogging buddies are spread all over the world. xxx

Juliet - mum says wow! You have one lovely hubby. Can we borrow him? Uncle Hugh does absolutely NOTHING around the house, but he does do ALL of the cooking. He occasionally, very occasionally unloads the dishwasher. Mum says if Uncle Hugh does anything, it always means her having to re-do it. I reckon he's a very smart guy;)

amuse me said...

Hi Henry - My lady puts away stuff, strips the bed, does the laundry, and shooes me out of the house; all because every two weeks another lady (that is a really sucker for giving me lots of treats) comes to do the "heavy" cleaning. I guess that means the toilets and floors because my lady hates to clean that stuff. I really, really like how the house is so clean and smells so good after she leaves, but I fix that -- a few hefty shakes and I spread the wealth of my fur everywhere! :) KC

lady jicky said...

G'day Henry. My Mum hates to iron and do windows too! I am so glad I do not have to wear cloths but.....she has this thing about brushing me! I am so OVER it! I hear "if God made you a shih tzu x then along with the natural cuteness comes Brushing" Bloody hell!
OK Henry , lets meditate together..Ommmmmmmm
See Ya!

Irish Gumbo said...

I just make my cats do all the dusting and stuff...

Lovely pics, Henry!

Of you, not the bin :)

Stubby said...

My mom wouldn't clean windows if her life depended on it. This is why we can't even see out the windows.
As for ironing, Mom makes Dad do it and he actually enjoys it - go figure.
Mom is with your mum on the toilets though, they must be sparkling clean all the time. I don't really get it because they are just going to get all poopy.

darkfoam said...

henry ..
you may be small, but you seem to be quite a sturdy pooch ..

as far as what i don't like to do ..
i don't like to put the clothes away.
as far as i'm concerned the clothes hamper is a perfectly fine place for them to live.

Lee said...

Oo...Henry! Spreading the dirt on your Mum, worldwide is a brave, nay, courageous act!

Dog_geek said...

Nice butt shots, Henry. Much nicer than the waste basket shots.

Henry the Dog said...

KC - maybe that's why mum did all the tidying before Kath came - I see. A good shake can relieve one's coat of lots of things can't it? I'm fairly full of debris at the moment, but I don't shed. That's why mum loves me:)

Kenzo - I hate that brushing lark with a vengeance. Mum makes me put up with it from time to time but mostly she gives up and walks away mumbling under her breath that I'm a "..complete precious wuss..."

Irish - no the bin pics are a disgrace aren't they. In defence of my mum, she let it get like that without really noticing, it wasn't until she read FFancy's post that she had a GOOD look at it. It was a shock to her, I'm not sure if she'll ever get over it;)

Stubby - mum can't understand why ANYONE could enjoy ironing, but surprisingly now you say it, her own dad used to enjoy it too when he was alive. But she does remember that it used to take him ages and ages to do one item, then expect masses of praise afterwards, as if he were a dog performing a trick. I don't get it with the toilets either Stubby. Surely poopy ones are much more interesting?

Foam - (Henry clearing throat) Madam, I do hope you mean sturdy and not the 'f' word??? I've heard whispers between mum and Uncle Hugh lately and the 'f' word, relating to me, has been used a few times. Trust me - I'm all muscle. Like a little boulder I am. I do a four mile walk a day with my mum, sometimes more, and considering that I'm running around offlead for most of that, I reckon it might equate to about 8 miles. Yep, I'm sturdy. Putting clothes away? Mum has piles of them all over her spare room. So, no, she doesn't like putting away either.

Lee - I have the heart of a Lion, I'm as brave as they come:)

Dog Geek - I agree entirely xx

French Fancy... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
French Fancy... said...

I know what mum means about the works clothes sitution. If I ever have to go back to the UK for a work spell (and it could happen) I'd be stumped. My bum has got so big from sitting around blogging that I could never fit into all the smart clothes I used to wear for work.

(and if we have any more weekends like last week I *will* have to go and get a job. Mad, impulsive Mr FF)

French Fancy... said...

I don't know why it got duplicated - Blogger is a law unto itself. What do you think of the new Followers format? I think I preferred the old look

Anonymous said...

I can't say I blame your mum for not liking changing the duvet cover. I hate that as well. It's just such an awkward task. My other most hated chore is cleaning the hardwood floors. It's a job that requires getting my hands and knees and cleaning it. Thus, quite some time goes by in between cleanings.

What were you looking at when you were staring out the picture window?

Henry the Dog said...

FFancy - you make us laugh the way you go on about your big bum. Big bums are scrumptious. Uncle Hugh's always staring at them.

Kathryn - hardwood floor? Wow, sounds like lots of work. I always run to the window if I hear a car (which is NOT very often where we live) because it might be Uncle Hugh coming home. I know he's not due back from Switzerland until Saturday, but I live in hope:(

Egg Tart said...

Haha looking out of the window, standing... Your dog is so cute!