Friends are coming to stay at the weekend. From London.

I have been left a list of instructions, the main one being that by the end of the day the cottage must be spotless. Thus, I have been getting in touch with my feminine side by doing some dusting.

What is this dust thing all about? Where does it come from? What purpose does it serve? It’s extremely irritating, and also causes arguments – mainly over the level of dust that needs to be reached before the house needs a full clean.

Her: “There is a speck of dust on here. Clean the whole house immediately.”

Me: “I can write the word ‘bum’ in the dust with my finger. I’ll make some time to run the hoover round at the end of the month.’

I protest that dusting too much is bad for the furniture. Sooner or later my dusting will wear it down to nothing. But this falls on deaf ears.

So I whizz round with the Mr Sheen. I am getting quite proficient at this now, gliding from surface to surface.

Dust! Dust! Dust!

Honestly, I am like Edward Dusterhands.

Like in a car wash, there are various levels of service you can order. I do the equivalent of gold programme extra shine wax long life protection foam polish, and move the ornaments instead of dusting round them. If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth… etc. (every other time).

The place is now shining and spotless. No hospital superbug here!!!

They arrive this evening. And better bloody comment on the state of the house.

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