Fiona’s Corona Diaries (2nd April)

Christmas housework

Paradise lost? Well perhaps not quite yet but I have today noticed a few hairline cracks in my temper. Unplugging the kettle and ordering the rest of the family out of the kitchen whilst I baked to Woman’s Hour was supposed to restore my matriarchal sanity. In reality it just caused a row. Apparently thirty-year old children want strong coffee at 10 o’clock in the morning, not Shrewsbury biscuits.

Before I give you my Thursday briefing, please could you answer a burning question. Has everyone else really been cleaning their bathrooms?

Corona diary updates

  • According to social media, the whole working-from-home world now has super-clean bathrooms. I don’t. My bathrooms look really grubby because the extra hand washing has spread the soap much further than usual.
  • I do however have clean floors. We have three washable floors but I usually only clean them with actual cleaner and water on Christmas Eve. Today they became just one more victim of my bad temper and were sudsed within an inch of their lives.
  • When I chose my kitchen floor I distinctly remember having a mental list of likely dirt and choosing an average brown colour to match. Since then Mr Darby has become a baker and most of our dirt is white.
  • I’m not going to be ordering a white kitchen floor anytime soon. Surely that’s just an invitation for someone in the household to become a black pudding expert.
  • After cleaning my three floors I turned my attention to the garden and mopped the outside of the greenhouse. It made sense to me, I can’t reach the top and I don’t like ladders. Hopefully I gave the neighbours something to laugh about.
  • I seriously considered mopping the inside of the greenhouse as well but realised just in time that people in glass houses shouldn’t scrub biomes.
  • Either we Darbys have been overdosing on Masterchef, or the channelling of obvious UK talent into the placement (with tweezers) of micro herbs on egg yolks really is a ridiculous as it sounds.
  • By the way, I have some micro herbs in the greenhouse. You would probably call them small lettuces.

Conversation of the day

Sitting on the front garden bench (we have a 2-metre front garden)…

Me: Oooh a van… A smelly van… Wonder where he’s going

(2 minutes later)

Me: Oooh a car… That’s two vehicles… Wonder where they’re going

(1.5 minutes later)

Me: That car’s got a trailer… Wonder what’s in it… He’s got big brown paper bags… Must be a stealth delivery

(3.6 minutes later)

Me: Oooh a red van… I like red vans better than white ones…

Word of the day – furlough

Today’s news says that half of UK companies are looking to furlough their employees. The idea of time off on 80% wages might once have looked attractive but is now a very scary thought for many of us. When you take into account pensions, annual leave and national insurance payments, furloughing looks like it is going to be a complicated business (some useful information here).

If it is possible to squeeze any good news out of our current use of the word furlough it must surely be that it indicates a temporary arrangement. From a complicated mix of Dutch and German, furlough can be either a verb or a noun but then so can pancake, glaze and duck, and I know which I would prefer (sorry definitely too much Masterchef).


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