Tuesday 19 September 2017


A while ago I lived for a couple of years with my then girlfriend. It's a period I look back on very fondly, but I also describe it as a reign of terror:

  • No smoking inside the house.
  • Front door to be kept locked at all times.
  • All laundry to be placed immediately into the designated basket.
  • No coming home too drunk to keep your dinner down.
  • All washing up to be done on the day that it is generated.
  • Clean bed linen every single week.
  • All carpets and surfaces to be kept clean at all times.
  • "Strictly Come Dancing" to be watched attentively and in its entirety on the day of first broadcast.
  • Differentiation between soup spoons and dessert spoons to be carefully observed.
  • No snoring.

One day during the reign of terror I came home, unlocked the front door (even though it was my own house and somebody else was at home) and had to ask "What the fuck are you doing?". She said later that given the situation it was a fair question and eloquently phrased.

She was on her hands and knees in the kitchen, mopping the floor, wearing only her bra and knickers. This wasn't some sexy roll-play acting, this was earnest housework in a state of undress.

In my absence she had made a large jelly, balanced it on the top of the fridge freezer, and then before it was set, knocked it down – drenching herself and most of the kitchen in sticky liquid and mandarin orange segments. She put her wet clothes straight into the washing machine and wiped it all up before stepping into the shower. I came home in the middle of that process.

I used to car-share with my boss. My girlfriend says she's very glad that he didn't come in for a cup of tea that day.

Richard "No animals behind the sofa, no gnawing on the skirting boards, no urine on the carpet" B

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