Some days a bus stop rainbow is the best and only option. The run-up to Christmas is all about preparatory domestic admin. The week or so after New Year is about clearing up. Over the festive season, a couple of Gherkins had made their escape from their pickling brine. There was a bitter smell coming from the fridge. It is amazing what gets put back into a fridge over Christmas.
My plan was to de-Christmas the kitchen and dining room but the bitter whiff of escaped gherkin in the fridge made my number one priority clearing out the fridge. Our fridge has an energy-saving function that means when 2 minutes or so have elapsed, with the door open, it squeals like an urban fox in the mating season. It took me 30 minutes to empty the fridge and find the whiffy gherkins. That’s an awful lot of squealing. It is possible to silence the alarm but only by pushing the door-activated button. But that only buys another 2 minutes. OK while I was up close and intimate with the fridge not so great when I was discovering, over at the sink that the salad and vegetable drawers, were not water-tight after I had filled them with warm soapy water. Only a fool would shout expletives at a fridge, I was that fool.
So an hour or more into the big post-Christmas clear-up, Christmas was still untroubled by my plans for domestic order, I had an unplanned clean, twinkly, and most importantly silent fridge. Half a lemon that never got to dive into the fizzing abyss of a Gin and Tonic and two nearly empty jars of mayonnaise.
There was also a bin with out-of-date stuff dating back 18 months. An archive of unrepeated recipe ingredients stretching back to the day we moved in.
Sidetracked by the mayonnaise jars I decided to move everything off the mid-century modern, solid wood furniture and nourish the wood with the leftover mayonnaise. Once that was done I moved some plants into a window to refresh their light-starved leaves.
And then at 4 pm as the light started fading, I took the Christmas tree down, packed up his baubles and lights, folded the tree into his cardboard box, and posted him up into the roof space. At 5 pm the bus stop rainbow had gone. Where exactly had my day gone?