Once upon a time the lure of horse-work would have far outweighed homework, no argument. And housework was something that someone else did (and grumbled and nagged about).
But once you’ve invested your hard-earned cash in your own home and the person who cleans the floors and loads the washing machine is YOU, you will know what I mean. Like a guilty conscience, housework is always there and it just won’t go away, (unless you can afford to pay someone else to do it)! And worst of all it eats into valuable horse time.
Whilst most horse-lovers admire and don’t begrudge the work involved in a tidy, well-kept yard and a freshly made up box, sparkling water buckets and beautifully cleaned tack, we’re less likely to feel so passionate about shining bathroom tiles and dust-free windowsills. And at this time of year the gap yawns even wider between the standards of housekeeping we aspire to (ie. wouldn’t be embarrassed to open the door to an unexpected visitor or one’s mother-in-law) and damage limitation minimum (getting out the vacuum cleaner only when the wisps of incoming hay form drifts in dark corners and the washing machine stops working again because the filter is full of horsehair).
On a normal, short-lived Winter’s day when the first thing you do is feed the horses and muck out the boxes, fetch barrowloads of sawdust, make up the haynets for the day and night, etc., etc., (so every day feels like “Groundhog Day”), and then there is whatever you do for a living or with your family and, if you’re lucky, time to ride. Not to mention the regular chore of thinking what to cook, cooking and eating it. Is it any wonder you’d rather slump in front of a DVD or catch up with your friends at the end of it, rather than attack a pile of ironing or swab down the kitchen floor?
And this is where I get myself into a bit of a vicious circle. To keep housework to a minimum, I reckon you need to outwit the dust and dirt. Muddy boots, hairy and hay covered fleeces, overalls, gloves and anything else should, in theory, get no further into the house than the porch or whatever room serves as the “transporter room” (as in “Star Trek”) the buffer zone between in and outdoors. But does this simple rule work? Nah, not a chance! There’s always the moment when you “just nip” back into the kitchen for something essential you’ve forgotten and think that muddy boots won’t leave a trace if you tiptoe. Or the top that looks clean from the front, until you notice in the bedroom mirror that it looks, from the back, as if you’ve been for a “roll in the hay”. Or the numnah you’ve taken inside to mend that leaves a trail of hair. And don’t even get me started on dogs, cats and children – though, (in housekeeping terms only, I promise), I’m lucky not to have any of those at the moment.
So would someone please invent something like an airport security x-ray portal, which, as you pass through it into your home, whips every fleck of dirt and dust off your clothes and footwear as you enter. Oh and can be set to “stun” for unwanted visitors!! 😉
So what would you prefer to spend time on….
Need I ask?!