please empty your brain below

I take it you have scruples, or at least reservations, about employing a cleaner?

Me too.

I've also had zero visitors. I think it's probably a London phenomenon around single people: i'm living in too cramped a space for my possessions so it looks untidy already, I work too many hours to spend my free time cleaning, and I'd rather meet people in a pleasant external space than invite them 'back to mine'.

(Plus - I don't have a romantic life, obviously)

Suggestion: like London open house days you too DG can open your doors to us! Name the day in November (that sets the target for the cleaning up operation, salvage, deep clean, de-grease, fumigation as necessary) and your loyal fan base roll up all day (charge a nominal fee to cover loses on endowment mortgage), allow us to um and err at your surrounding, maybe even touch your keyboard. Surely a £5 for a photo with DG at work or leaning on your street sign. I thank you, AICMFP.

And your non virtual visitor numbers will grow.

Jesus, DG, have you been living my life? I'm with you on the housework - the flats not gone to pot but it needs a bit more effort. I'm pretty close on the vistors front as well. It's not zero but they're not exactly queueing up. I live in Crouch End round the corner from where Mr Trebus used to live. I used to stop and have a chat with him when I was passing. He was a nice old boy, mad as a hatter, mind, but very pleasant to pass the time of day with.

How much would you clean up if you knew your Mum was about to make a visit?

Well, you never invite us round, do you, DG. We wouldn't want to intrude!

Yes agree indeed.

And if anybody does come round I always manage to get them drunk enough so they will forget all and send them off before daylight!

Or else all may be revealed like my inordinate booze consumption, Haribo collection, and tendancy to blog at 4AM! And that would be very bad PR indeed.

If I were to die I reckon my husband would turn into Mr Trebus. Not the dirt so much as the clutter. But as long as it's not unhygienic - clean, if not tidy, kitchen and bathroom - I don't see that a bit of dust and a few piles of stuff really matter.

*considers whether should go and inspect tomorrow on way home from exhibition in London*

This evening? This evening?

Having visitors can be over-rated DG.

This tidy up "frenzy" you are planning tonight...hmmm are you planning to have visitor/s at the weekend? Is there anything you want to tell your loyal followers? Apart, of course, that you are tidying up tonight..

Snap! One possible alternative to visitors that you may want to consider is the procurement of a cat - and I have just the one for you! How does a cat work, you ask? My sofa and carpet got cleaned several times over last Sunday due to said cat bringing in and then releasing in a distinctly undead state, not one, not two, but three rats who all wanted to set up home! The last one was finally evicted at 1am leaving the place covered, for the third time, in rat piddle and poo. Cat was subsequently threatened with the business end of the hoover and a future existance as the trimming to a pair of Kim and Aggie's gloves should she fail to administer the coup de grace in future. Seriously, she's yours if you want her

Sue - he once shared his life with a kitten, one of my finest in fact, and he wasn't enamoured. In fact, I believe the present kitten 'phobia' that is seen en blog from time to time stems from this time... let's not make it any worse!!!

Crack open the toilet duck and put the kettle on DG: I'm popping round after work for a cuppa!

BW - what happened to the kitten? *worried now - Kitten au vin? Kitten in the hole? Kitten stroganoff?*

I'm with Zoe. Clean kitchen and bathroom (or at least the other half does ) but life's too short to get excited about tidying and dusting.

Yes, get a kitten, post photos, blog aout it, put your address up and hordes of lovely young ladies will want to come round to see your kitten and pet it and have their photos taken with it ... you can take it form there. Or alternatively do what our local motor spares shop did and put a notice on the door saying Nuisances welcome.

I find it's easiest to continually invite people round and then use that as an excuse for why the place is an unholy mess.

I am untidy, not dirty. If the visitors don't like it they don't have to come do they?............Oh that's right, they don't. Oh well, bugger them, tidy up for yourself DG and no-one else.

Collyer n. a home excessively packed with junk, trash, or belongings. Also Collyer mansion, Collyer house, Collyer apartment.

Etymology: "After the Collyer brothers, who were discovered dead in their junk-packed apartment at 2078 Fifth Ave and 128th St, March 21, 1947. The two were hermits for decades. Homer was blind and bed-ridden; Langley took care of him. A booby-trap set for intruders trapped and eventually killed Langley; without care, Homer starved to death in his bed. About 140 tons of debris were removed from their home, including a Model T and at least 10 pianos."

Today's research has been enlightening! Here's another bit that describes it oh so much better!
When 65-year-old Homer Collyer, blind and crippled by rheumatism, was found dead in his dilapidated, junk-filled Harlem brownstone in March 1947, the discovery made all of New York's newspapers, as did the subsequent hunt for his younger brother, Langley, whose body was finally located under piles of debris.

Please, be careful, DG. No stacks of anything over three feet high, okay?

I had a friend who rented a room in Kilburn from a man who collected tetris milk cartons, cardboard boxes and newspapers. Each collection had its own room, traversable only by a maze fashioned out of the piled up collection. It was really quite alarming to visit. On one occasion my friend was also listening to Alaistair Crowley on a wind up grammar phone. I expect this level of hoarding is only possible in a self-owned property (landlord would get quite alarmed I reckon).

OK, let's make a start.
Surfaces first, I think...

Yes, surfaces first! Every professional cleaner knows: always start at the top and work your way down, as that's the manner in which the dust settles.

Pictures, we demand pictures...

Always start at the top and move your way down in every aspect of life...

I could do with one of them old grammar phones.

I must be going wrong somewhere... I have visitors but the place is still a mess.

Then stop wasting time and invite us over for a visit = : - )

Given that it is well over 4 hours since DG started his Cleansing Operations, and that my cleaner spends 3 hours in doing what is probably more than double, if not triple, the square metreage of DG Mansions, I suggest we get worried...

Yeah, but if he's anything like me, he'll do a bit of cleaning, get distracted, do a bit more, get distracted .... and before you know it you've only dusted a couple of shelves and hoovered the hall carpet and 4 hours have gone past. I wish I was one of those people who could clean non stop for 3 hours. It's just so boring and without someone threatening me or offering intimate rewards I can't be arsed. Have a break, DG, there's always tomorrow.

Yeah, he's almost certainly writing next Wednesday's blog post as we speak Johnny
(hence why I employ Cleaner BW)

That's better.

The hallway carpet's slightly lighter, there's a lot more workspace space in the kitchen, it's possible to slouch on my sofa without sitting on a pile of mortgage documents, and I've found a couple of things I've not seen for months. Lucky I'm not allergic to dust.

Now, where are the visitors?

SueR, three f***ing rats?? Amazing, this cat of yours...

Glad you've made a start.
Any before and after pictures?
If I was still in London I would have come round.

Just time for a couple of hours sleep before you have to get up and go to work.

Nearly 6 hours?

I shall be round later with my white gloves

Bugger, got stuck on the Central Line for 2 hours last night so didn't make it

Pepe in Spain - plus a mouse on Friday! Do you want her? (Still, at least either she had the decency to kill the mouse or it had the decency to die of fright, unlike the effing rats.)

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