But it was not to be. I had forgotten that I had volunteered my services to daughter number one. There was an ulterior motive to offering to do the cutting in on the decoration front (sooner it's finished, sooner she's moving out) so I was quite happy to get the brushes out. However, what I hadn't planned for was daughter number two offering my services as taxi driver to the Long Suffering Boyfriend (LSB) who had to be at a railway station an hour away at 8.00am. This meant getting up at 6.00am, which I may forgive them both for by sometime in March....
So it was a morning of decorating for me and the two girls. At 1.00, daughter number one decided that enough had been accomplished, and we all downed tools. She wanted to take us out for lunch to say thank you, which daughter number two and I thought was a damn fine idea. Daughter number one delved into a bag and took out a clean pair of jeans and a sweater, and got changed.
I looked down at my jeans, which had more white and less blue material after four hours of decorating. I took off the equally paint splattered sweatshirt, and turning it inside out, I tied it round my waist. Daughter number one then produced a pack of face wipes so that we could clean our hands. I was dubious, but it worked a trick, and my hands ended up as the cleanest bit of my entire look, but unless I was going to go into the posh pub with over zealous jazz hands, I couldn't see that this would divert people's attention away from my jeans.
Walking into the pub, daughter number one, in her clean jeans and sweater, led the way, with me and daughter number two looking like staff on a freebie. But it was lovely, and once I had got used to ignoring the strange looks from other diners, I was fine. Let's face it, it's not often you see a lady on the wrong side of middle age looking like an '80's throwback with her extreme stonewashed denim...
Getting back home, the husband was still at it with the digger and dumper. The drive was looking very pretty with its new stony carpet, and he was well on the way to removing what was left of the hedge. You'll remember the hedge massacre back in November? Well the hedge has been resembling something Boudicca might have erected to keep the English out, but it is now no more, replaced by a neatly dug border while we decide what to do. Knowing the husband and me, it will still be a neatly dug border this time next year...
The third schnauzer who has taken up residence with us for a few days has made himself quite at home. He has invaded Reg's toy-box, and redistributed the contents all over the house. He also has a way of looking at you while you eat which is reminiscent of a salivating hyena, and I have taken to eating in the downstairs loo to avoid the guilt trip. I'm not too sure how long he's here, but to be honest, when you have so many children and dogs already, you barely notice one more.
Going back to the house, it's about now that I start to get a little edgy when I look around. Every room bears scars of Christmas..
The lounge has unwrapped presents stacked up on the fireplace
The hall is full of the tree and a million dropped needles
The downstairs loo has a modern art display of empty toilet rolls stacked up on the back of the loo
The stairs carpet resembles Narnia, the only good side of this is that it covers the bits Reg chewed
The kitchen is a crime scene. Anyone who crosses the line runs the risk of emptying the dishwasher
The only room which remains relatively unscathed is our bedroom.
It's my sanctuary, and if the state of the house doesn't improve soon, I may lock myself in and not come out till February when it's safe...