Any woman knows , by the time that the children have left for school it takes at least two hours to clear away the debris and make the house look half way decent for visitors. Any experienced wife/house husband can spray a bit of polish about ,chuck stuff into cupboards, clear worktops (or “bunkers” if you come from the East of Scotland, aren’t they things that soldiers take cover in , or you put coal in?…..) and you can give the impression of tidiness.

So I get a bit tetchy when the Rev. makes appointments for folk to come to The Manse at 10 am. I can manage 10.30, because that last 30 minutes gives me just enough time to compose my self and pretend that the house always looks tidy.

Today it was the turn of the fabric conveners, both lovely chaps, who came to discuss stretching our accommodation a bit as we are bursting at the seams, and we need a bit of space for visitors to stay over, and for meetings.

I had done the usual cupboard thing, throw stuff in and shut the door quickly, so I was a little anxious when the Rev. chipes up, “We were thinking of getting a dish washer..” , That meant that they opened all the cupboards in the kitchen to see which they could take out to give room for my much-needed appliance. 30 mugs ,plates etc take a long time to wash up after a “soiree”! Of course on show was my recycling cupboard full of plastic stuff and a million jam jars for Messy Church, my cleaning cupboard full of “who knows what, from dusters to mouse traps”, drawers I had just emptied the worktop clutter into….. I worked on the basis that these were men and hopefully didn’t notice.

As I have not been well lately, the garden has been put on hold. Well have you ever tried to put nature on hold? Out we went to see if an extension was possible. I have lived in Police Housing before, and much rented property, so I am acutely aware of taking care of the land and housing I am lent.  Our compost bins are overflowing , we have the most spectacular crop of Groundsel, (a weed if you not a gardener) and the sharp frost the other day has damaged my veggie plants and they look black and curled, and the gales had uprooted shrubs and decorated the stone walls with them.  So I was feeling a bit mortified by this time.  Could we be trusted with a larger house seeing that this one was a mess.

I suddenly noticed the washing  that we had all had to negotiate and realised that a great deal of our underwear was on display too.

We all traipsed back through the garage where wet shoes that had picked up hen poo, were now  liberally coated with straw that I use for the chooks bedding . The Rev. and church officers continued their discussions  in the hall, and wandered around whilst chewing over the facts that they had gathered, then all three left to go to other appointments.

I looked at the carpets……. why did I worry it all looked much worse now… outside had come inside and our decor was near  matching the  Hen House. Best get Henry the hoover  and sort it out….think we may need a gardener for a couple of hours a week though!



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