Things My Nanna Taught Me

When my grandmother used to go visiting she would always find an excuse to take a look in their bathrooms. If she could get into their bedrooms so much the better but mostly she had to suffice with inspecting the toilets.

But why, you’re wondering. Well, Grandma was a very critical, judgmental person who loved to find fault. Of course people’s front rooms were always spic and span, they were only used to show guests into, when there was no one calling the rooms were virtually hermetically sealed. However, bathrooms were another story. She would inspect their toilets for lime scale, rust, any sort of discolouration and the action of the lid and seat. Taps would have a thumbnail scraped over them looking for any calcium deposits or the odd splash of toothpaste that hadn’t been cleaned up from the morning’s ablutions. The same went for baths, any chips, rusty marks or other imperfections would be noted and discussed at length as we walked home from our visits.

Now, if she was like that in their bathrooms, imagine what she was like if she ever managed to inveigle her way into some-one’s bedroom! Had the pelmets been dusted? Floors Hoovered? Clothes folded neatly and put away or hung up in the wardrobe? Had the beds been made, had they been made the way she would have made them or had they been lazy and used these modern fitted sheets? The list of things that would be checked on was endless and impossible to meet. Anyone who did come close to meeting her exacting standards was slandered on the number twenty bus; “What’s she been up to that she needs to keep her house looking like a new pin? Callers I imagine. Well, she never was any better than she aught to have been. Going to all that effort when it’s just her in the house? I should cocoa…”

So, was it better to have a cluttered, lived in home or a home in which you’d get into trouble if you stood still for too long for making the place look cluttered? Well, neither because there’s nothing you can do to assuage the judgment of a pensioner who never leaves the house without a handbag full of extra strong mints, tissues and spite.

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