Once in a blue moon I become the domestic diva from hell...bottle of bleach in one hand and yellow duster in the other, no surface, nook or cranny is safe...spiders are tossed out of windows to land with a thud in the front garden...windows are scrubbed spotless with a dash of vinegar and vigorous rubbing with scrunched up newspaper...plug holes are poked with old toothbrushes and heaven help the woodlice I find scuttling about in the bathroom...

I polish until every surface gleams...squirt canned air into the laptop...yank the television off it's shelf and wipe away the dust with a damp cloth...the remote controls are cleaned with babywipes, the taps are polished with toothpaste, I squirt anti-bacterial spray over everything, including the dogs if they stay still for long enough. Then I stuff the washing machine with anything that looks slightly grubby...throws from the settee ...cushion covers and rag rugs...bed sheets and tea towels...nothing is safe.

But...and it is a big but...I think it'll last. I hope that cleaning spree will last a good month...six weeks if I'm lucky. I've never quite come to terms with housework you see...it always seems a waste of perfectly good time which could be spent wandering down the road to the river to see if the water-lilies are out...or dead-heading pansies...or peering into the ivy on the old pig sty to see if I can see the Wrens nest...while I'm scrubbing limescale off the bathroom taps I could be cutting out fabric for a wall-hanging or looking up William the Bastard or reading the rest of the thriller which has me engrossed...

There is a sort of conspiracy about a well kept and ordered home...your pillowcases ought to be lightly starched and edged with dainty lace and your t-cloths folded and tidy in their drawer...your shelves should be spotless and your milk jugs in a neat row and woe betide the housewife who has smelly floorcloths soaking in a bucket or unwashed cat food tins piling up in an ever growing heap...

I'd quite like to be neat and tidy and have undusty furniture and I'd like to find a stack of freshly washed towels when I have a bath rather than those from the last time heaped onto the radiator...it would be quite nice to have properly plumped up cushions rather than severely squashed ones that the dogs have been sleeping on...

Spiders lurking in corners don't bother me....woodlice scuttling across the bathroom floor are harmless and only going about their limited lives after all...and I quite like when the mouses move into the roof space in the back end of the year...I'd rather they didn't wear hobnailed boots, but you can't have everything. Just sometimes I have a forward vision of myself on my own...surrounded by heaps of books waiting to be read...cats on cushions and draped across the back of the settee...a film of dust on every surface because I've forgotten where I put the dusters and don't care anyway...wandering down the street at dusk in the hope of seeing the old Badger plodding along...

Being a domestic diva is fine...just once in a while...but I'd rather be just me.