Monday, December 28, 2009

Well known phrases and sayings - No 7

My Glamorous Assistant is in his shed whittling a heron and I'm at the kitchen table with a coffee and am defeated by the crossword. I'm putting off the inevitable.

Which inevitable would that be I hear you ask? (Hint: a dust-bunny scuttles under the sofa and sunbeams bounce off the dog nose-prints which adorn the glass door.....)

The inevitable post-festive tidy-up that's what - because as everyone should know: 'After the Lord Mayor's Parade goes the man with the brush and shovel'. It seems that only short hours ago I was primping and preening, bedecking my halls with boughs of holly, setting the perfect Christmas scene in fact. Now my visitors have all been and gone, we're partied out, tired and weary - and so is the house. I feel it has the interior decor version of a hangover.

Today I am the equivalent of that man with the brush and shovel - after the pomp, pageantry and glitz somebody has to clear up the crud. I wonder if today's slightly less familiar 'well-known phrase' has its origins in Victorian times? A quick Google obligingly came up with 'The Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894' - and a number of interesting facts; that the average horse produces between 15 and 35lbs per day - in the Times of London in 1894, one writer estimated that in 50 years every street in London would be buried under nine feet of manure. It all has got to go somewhere.

I ponder this as I dust and vac and remember that old chestnut:
A little boy goes up to an old gardener and says 'what do you put on your rhubarb?'

'Usually well-rotted horse manure' replies the gardener. 'We have custard on ours' says the boy.
Yes. Well.

10 comments:

elizabethm said...

I can't really go round with the brush and shovel just yet as we still have an extra three adults, one dog and one tiny baby - thank God for the cottage I hear you say. I am contenting myself with walking younger son's dog, cuddling the baby and having another glass of wine whenever the dust eddies past.

Friko said...

dustpan and brush? already? there's plenty of snow and ice yet to come, besides, there's not enough sun coming into our house to show up the dog hair bunnies. Once I've slaved over the kitchen, the rest can wait.

Pam said...

I can't face it yet. Maybe when the tree comes down I'll go mad with the hoover. I really do like the way your mind wanders!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

the word verif is PSISTE - think that says it all really - knee deep in it over here

Fennie said...

I love the phrase 'I don't mind you noticing the dust but please refrain from writing your names in it.'

Frances said...

What you've observed in general and more closely round your house ... well, I identify with all of it!

And...as my eye wanders round this apartment, I continue to avoid that very dormant urge to get the vacuum cleaner out, or even think of dusting.

What I fill my mind with just now, after Christmas, is a quietly calm sense of having connected with friends and relatives via cards, calls and gifts, and knowing that even if I wait another day to do that clean up, those pals will still be my pals. They know me!

Sometimes, on New Year's Day, I do a bit of de-cluttering activity, and feel a bit light headed. xo

Wipso said...

My Mum would have said "while you are writing in it you could have cleaned it" :-) guess that memory comes from the many times I wrote in it instead of cleaning it ...and why spoil a habit of a life time now?
A x

Preseli Mags said...

Your home always looks so immaculate on your blog - I never thought it would ever have dust in it! I love the description 'interior decor version of a hangover'. Houses always look a little forlorn in January once all the decorations are down. I'll be scrubbing today too. Spring cleaning has started already!

her at home said...

Bah! pooh to housework it isnt even the new year yet so far too much entertaining to do before then to worry about dust!I did a big clean and scrub up before chrisimtas that should last until next year surely!!

ChrisH said...

Oh bum, that's reminded me I have to do ours. Have already stripped every bed in the house and now have mountains of ironing to do before New Year guests arrive. Also have folks viewing the house on 2 Jan !!

Happy New Year to you and yours!