In a household of 6 - the bog-house got a good workout.
This wonderful bedroom was where I spent my childhood hiding from the world, obsessively *rating* the same songs every weekend, inhaling books by the hundreds and writing atrocious stories and poetry.
All this to the soundtrack of toilet sounds from the room next to mine.
No wonder I have a warped sense of humour.
Because of the stunning location of my bedroom, I am quite frankly, chuffed, to announce these defining moments in my childhood. I submit these to the Head Shrink Doctor as evidence :
* Listening to my little brother, proud to now be house-trained, loudly counting the number of turds he was depositing in the thunder-box. Let me tell you for such a small boy, he had a production line going there.
* Gasping in awe over the thunderous farts emitted from a tiny, 100-year-old lady who stayed with us for a few months. Was my little brother hiding around the corner, sniggering into his grubby little fists. You betcha!
* The same little old lady was let loose in the house at night. She would wander around in the wee dark hours, scratching the walls with her fingernails like something in a horror movie; drawn to the siren call of the dunny. I would lie there in terror with the blankets pulled up to my neck. Then one night, it happened!! The door swung open - and there she was, silhouetted in the doorway. As I lay there quaking in terror, she shot over to my bed at great speed, propelled by machine-gun-like farts. Then she tried to get in the bed with me. I think it's the only time in my life I have ever screamed. Once that happens to you, the sight of a big hairy spider holds no fear ever again. I promise you this.
* Before the interruption of puberty, I slept with the door open. Every morning, at about 6am, I would watch my mother backing out of the toilet on her hands and knees. Much as I'd love to say it was because she was driving the porcelain bus, and hung-over from partying the night before - sadly, this is not the case. Every morning, my mother would SCRUB the toilet and kitchen floors - on her hands and knees.
I would watch in awe, because it was kind of like something out of a Catherine Cookson novel. She did this for years. There was no mop and bucket until many years later.
I bet you're feeling all warm and fuzzy now.
I don't even know how I got onto this subject. Oh yes - cleaning.
The other day I did my bi-yearly vacuum of the flat. I felt virtuous afterwards, I could look at my carpet without shuddering. The dust bunnies were no longer breeding in the corners.
But the thing is, the only reason I did this was because I'm expecting *visitors* this week.
Before I go further, I should explain that I never have visitors. Apart from a few ebay customers who want to pickup items, the only people who have been to my flat are my parents, my sister, my younger brother and my friend Sue, who I sell items for on Ebay. For me having visitors is as rare as a UFO sighting (actually, perhaps rarer).
My ex-in-laws visited once - a couple of years ago - just after I moved in. I felt I should invite them then because they had helped me find the place at a time when all I wanted to do was curl into a ball and stay hidden from the world forever. I never saw them for two years after that. This was because I felt guilty, and I felt like I was a disappointment to them because I had not managed to 'do my duty' and pump out any grand-children for them.
About six months ago, I learned through another source that my ex-MIL was sick. So I rang and found she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer and had gone through a horrible time. So I began visiting and taking her books and DVDs and flowers. She was lucky enough to have a husband who looked after her, but I felt sorry for her, as her only child was living the life of Riley in the US and didn't care to interrupt his fun long enough to come home for a visit.
Bottom line, we see each other regularly now, and I'm happy about that. I always go to their house, because I'm not very proud of mine.
But now they say they might *pop-in* to drop something off. Scream!
My flat has not changed since the day I bought it. The walls are still empty of pictures or decorations. The garden beds still lovingly grow weeds. The entire 'decorating' theme of my unit is called "Ebay Stock". I have no knick-knacks, no cushions or throw rugs - I have towering piles of dusty videos, board games, books and cardboard boxes of misc. I don't think that I could get away with saying that the new 'look' is rummage-sale-chic. (Believe me, I've tried)
So I vacuumed, and I hung one small picture on the wall. Then I got bored with it all.
I thought, sod it. I'm trying to impress my ex-MIL who has a fantastic sense of decorating. Everything matches in her house and it looks like a photo from Better Homes & Gardens magazine, but this is not me.
Everything does match in my place. It's fairly clean, a bit neglected, and a bit of a mess - but then so am I. Ergo ... my flat = me.
Oh and my toilet, it's not next to the bedroom. But since I'm the only one who gets to use it, whilst in occupancy, I throw caution to the *wind* and hum a jaunty tune just in case any nasty toilet flashbacks pop up from my childhood.
Yes doctor, I'm quite sane. Really I am.