We are two people, husband and wife for almost 24 years, and have a dog.
We live on a boat, own a new car and get on with just about everybody.
Yet I found myself wondering how people see us, and Hubby thinks they are probably confused.
One of the biggest things is that neither of us work, so our time is our own and we can be lazy if we want to.
The next is we don’t have a lot of money, but don’t owe a penny to a soul.
Yet if anything needs doing to the boat/car, we get on and do it together, on a budget of course.
One of my very early posts was about losing one’s way through Loss.
Hubby and I have never had ‘his and hers’ roles, although maintenance of the house nearly always fell to him with me being his gopher or holding things whilst he hit it with the hammer.
Cooking, cleaning, washing, in fact anything domestic was always shared (and still is) as was mowing the lawn, tending the veg patch and replacing those damn fence panels!
Now, he makes sure I’m involved in the running of the boat. I have little notes for starting up the engine, and I am confident to fill up the water tank and empty the loo cassette.
But what if he weren’t here?
When he was away in November, I was on my own for three days.
Although I didn’t run the engine and we’d filled the water tank before he left, I still kept on top of the loo (not literally!) and swept through the boat every day. I made the bed, washed up after each meal, fed and walked the dog (even when it was chucking it down with rain) and kept everything clean and tidy.
To be honest, in a small space you have to, as just one thing lying around or out of place makes the boat look cluttered.
When I first met Hubby, he was living in a bedsit, and Thursday was his blitz day. Everything got thrown on the bed and he cleaned throughout, then took the bedding and his other washing down to the launderette.
Since we’ve been together, we’ve lived in a flat, terrace/cluster house, semi, 2 detached bungalows, a few tents, a caravan and now a boat. We have always kept ourselves and our accommodation clean and tidy. To us, there is no excuse not to.
I have been in homes that are so cluttered, you can hardly move. Some are clean, some are not. Some even make you want to have a shower at the earliest opportunity after you leave.
I find it strange that someone will spend a fortune on new furniture, yet take no pride in their home cleanliness. Crockery badly stained or left dirty in the sink, sticky floors, grubby tea towels, stale crumbs and dried sandwich filling on a cutting board, and toilets that haven’t seen a brush, disinfectant or bleach for months.
I found the ‘For Sale’ particulars of our bungalow from 2007 a little while ago.
The first thing that struck me was how shabby our lounge furniture looked (it was 10 years old at the time), but the property looked clean and tidy, and the bathroom and kitchen practically shone.
I’m not saying that everyone should keep their house immaculate at all times (having a dog and/or kids makes it bloody impossible anyway) but I cannot get my head round anyone who is content to permanently live in a dirty mess that they call home.
We all expand into the available living space, and I guess when you haven’t got very much, space or ‘stuff’, it’s easier.
When they say how the other half lives, they’re not wrong.
Depends on where you’re happiest I suppose.