Creature Comforts - Mairead Farrell on Making a House a Home
I’ve been such an insufferable bore for the last two weeks… (maybe some of you would say longer!)
Fourteen days ago I started to properly reorganise my house. I moved house this time last year, but never really fully unpacked in a way that I was happy with.
But, with an au pair arriving this week, I had to start with what will be her room. Once that was finished, I was on a roll. Wardrobes were attacked and I showed them no mercy. I flung out dresses, tops and a heap of knickers!
Dara’s toy boxes got a going-over with a heap of stuff going to a charity shop. In the kitchen I killed off mop heads, scraggly sweeping brushes, chipped plates and ugly mugs. Any lightbulbs that weren't working were chucked and new ones fitted. Bathroom tiles wer re grouted so, now it's all shiny and new looking.
I've been so busy all summer long working on Celebrity Bainisteoir at the weekends that I’ve just had enough time for ‘surface cleaning’. But oh my god I've really enjoyed the rolling up my sleeves and turning my house into a home – finally!
When I was younger and my mum would nag me; ‘don't hang your coat there’ or ‘don't you dad leave this house with your room looking like that’, I would roll my eyes to heaven and think she was such a pain in the ass. I wanted to tell her to ‘chill out its only my coat /bag/ whatever’, but I was never that brave.
My mother always had a neat, pristine house. Not clinically clean, more of a spotlessly clean home. One where you actually could eat your dinner off the floor. My lovely mum Maureen died 11 years ago and sitting back this evening I know she’d be very proud. She was a real stickler for "putting things back in their place", something that up until recently I wasn't very good at.
Is it sad to say that I'm really happy, because right now, as I type this, I can put my hand to absolutely anything I want in my home? Needle and thread, passports, wrapping paper, torch… you name it, I can find it in 30 seconds.
All last week the talk in the Today FM office was; ‘Are you going to the Picnic?’ I could have gone on Friday or Saturday, but instead I lied and said I was ‘working’. Honestly, I was too excited about putting the finishing touches to my abode.
As I left for work this morning and closed the hall door behind me, I felt like a massive sense of achievement. Like some wonder woman I can proudly say; ‘All scarves are in the second drawer down, gym gear last drawer, shorts on the left, tops on the right’, ‘Dara’s colours and paints are in the top box’… oh I could go on!
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During the spritzing of CIF, vacuuming of corners and clearing out the hot press I did find some things I was looking for. But I discovered something new too... I'm SO like my mam, and that's a really good thing.
Something funny did happen in my non-eventful week though. I was contacted by a Sunday newspaper to do a sit-down interview. I responded by text, saying; ‘Yeah, sure. But I'm not gonna talk about my boyfriend.’
Haven't heard back from the journalist since I sent that text!
Must write about him here sometime…