Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Women spend 3 hours re-doing partner's chores.

An article on The Telegraph website makes the above claim and then goes on to list a 'Top 20' of poorly performed jobs. These are obviously generalisations, but come on! Seriously?

1. Wipe worktops after washing up
If they don't look that bad why bother? Furthermore, many households use their dishcloths to do this which have been proven to harbour potentially dangerous levels of bacteria, due to being left around for too long etc. Therefore, it is highly likely that although it appears to make things cleaner, by using dirty cloths (they should be replenished daily) these women may in fact be spreading more dirt than they are cleaning up! If you're interested, apparently, we are advised to used disposable kitchen towels. 

2. Plumping cushions
Someone's only going to sit on them and flatten them. So the point is...? 

3. Straightening and flattening the duvet 
Just how many people's daily commute involves travelling through your bedroom? I can see the headlines now: SHOCK – The Neal's Duvet in Disarray!

4. Cleaning the oven 
Since we heat our food to the required to temperature to not only cook it, but also kill off any harmful bacteria, surely that same heat cleanses the oven? If we're talking about visible debris – it's not hurting anyone is it? And whose going to check inside your oven anyway? Okay, if it starts to burn, yeah, take it out – but that's okay because it's a manly thing. "Me man, me prevent fire – me hero."

5. Failing to plump pillows on the bed 
Oh please! See above comments concerning cushions.

6. Not straightening bottom bed sheet 
Unless someone does an impromptu inspection, the only people that are going to know about the state of your bottom sheet is you and your spouse (one would hope anyway!). It's when your man starts to straighten the sheets and puff the pillows that perhaps you should start to worry...

7. Not putting things into drawers tidily 
Words fail me. 

8. Not returning things to their rightful home 
Aha, but who is to decide where an item's proper place is? Perhaps the man has just decided that the place his dear partner uses for the 'thing' is not in fact suitable. He therefore chooses to re-home it, probably by keeping it in an more readily accessible place.

9. Not spacing out wet clothes whilst hanging drying 
It's all about efficiency. The more clothes you can get on a drier the better; he's just being frugal.

10. Not putting away wet dishes after washing up 
And why would you want to put away WET dishes?

11. Vacuuming in the middle of the room and not the edges 
There are different types of vacuuming. The full deep vacuum and then the 'Panic People Are Coming Round In 5 mins Vacuum'. Every vacuum doesn't have to be a deep clean - after all where do people tend to walk? Not many enter the house and then cling to the walls to spread their dirt there.

12. Ignores dirty mugs whilst washing up
Again, perhaps this is efficiency. I, myself, tend to re-use a single mug throughout the day - perhaps he hasn't finished with it...?

13. Separating darks from the lights when washing clothes
It's not always that black and white though... what do you do with the light greys and pastel colours...

14. Not pairing socks
But at least you don't end up with a sad sock because it's lost its other half.

15. Wearing shoes in the house after vacuuming
Isn't that what our guests do? You've just done your emergency vacuum, they come round and say, "Shall I take my shoes off?" And you reply, "Oh no, that's fine."

16. Leaves dirty washing on the floor next to the washing machine
It's damage control. In my experience the good lady of the house has got a master plan concerning when and how different loads are going to go in – it's practically a science. Unfortunately, not being educated in Washingology, I think the man humbly lays the garments down as close to the machine as he dare and is merely acknowledging the superior wisdom of his dear lady. Because, let's face it, if he stuffs his dark blue t-shirt into the load of whites, what's going to happen? So it could be seen as an act of thoughtfulness, care and damage control.

17. Doesn't shake clothes out when hanging them up 
Sorry, Washingology again.

18. Doesn't fold clothes before putting them away
Perhaps this is due to the specific and individual needs of each garment needing to be treated in a particular way. Get it wrong – you pay the price.

19. Doesn't decorate the bed with cushions when making it
Oh my life! Why would you do that anyway?

20. Loads the dishwasher incorrectly
Totally disagree. My duties include washing up and one quickly works out the most efficient way to use the available space in a dishwasher, ensuring the maximum amount of items are loaded, whilst allowing the washing arms to still rotate and thus everything to be cleaned. If this is not done, one ends up re-washing up. In fact, I am so passionate in my dislike for washing up, that I am the one who reloads the dishwasher after my wife has loaded it.

Now, I was going to compile a similar list of jobs that men find women don't complete satisfactorily. Unfortunately, I... erm... well... er, couldn't think of... Ahem. Let's not go there shall we!?!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Missed connections & email.

Having received Sophie Blackall's book, Missed Connections, I have been introduced to the whole concept of 'Missed connections'. This occurs when people see a stranger and realise that this could be The One. Unfortunately, as testified to by Sophie's book, a good number of folk don't take the opportunity to introduce themselves and later come to regret it. And so, not knowing the object of their affection's name, they resort to writing a missed connection advert, with the hope that their potential loved one will come across it. Confused? Just think, 'message in a bottle'.

But it's not only connections that get missed. It's no secret that physical mail gets lost, and ends up at the 'Dead Letter Office' or as Royal Mail now call it, the 'National Returns Centre'. According to an article by the Daily Mail on March 2011, Royal Mail send about 25 million letters annually 'to the shredder'. How many people have been waiting to hear about job interviews, but have never heard? How many people have been expecting a birthday card from someone important, but due to the mysteries of missed mail, took offence at not having received one? And how many romances have failed to blossom through lost love letters? The directions that lives take, the decisions people make, the assumptions, the anger, the hurt and all that, just from missed mail.

But who writes letters these days anyway? It's all about email, well, it is for those of us who don't use Facebook anyway! And this is my reason for writing. You see, I was waiting for an email and it didn't arrive. Well, actually it, did, but not until seven hours after it had been sent. And what do you do? Do you email again, saying, 'Did you get my email?' Tricky, because you don't want to appear rude or impatient etc. But if they didn't receive your email and you don't chase it up, then someone's going to lose out on something! How many opportunities have people missed out on because the sender thought the person they'd emailed wasn't interested in coming for an interview etc, when in fact the person never received the email? You can see, the scope for problems.

And as for where missing emails (assuming they're not just in your junk or spam folder), then where do they end up? Is there some crafty email thieves randomly stealing the occasional passing packet of data? Or is there a Dead Email Office somewhere, with huge servers dedicated to storing all our lost email? And they'd be some old Emailarian who could take you round and tell you how "This is one of our oldest ones – it's a real gem, it's been here since the dawn of email in the early 1970's..."

Anyway, back to my email problems, if you have emailed me and I haven't responded, then perhaps I've just been too busy (sorry), or perhaps I've just forgotten (sorry again), or perhaps it sitting in the Dead Email Office? Whatever the reason, here's my Missed Email advert to the world: 'Sorry I missed you, I didn't get your message. Won't you try again?'

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I like this girl's style...

Sophie Blackall is an illustrator and I loved her stuff so much that I felt compelled to order her book. Check out her blog. There's a nice little video as well :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The downfall of dieting.

I have never been concerned about my weight. This is probably because I've always been able to eat what I like, when I liked. However, about a year ago I had a shock. I won't go into too much detail, suffice to say, as I dried myself after a shower I was horrified to see just how LARGE my stomach had become. It was not the most pleasant of discoveries and it set in motion two new and slightly peculiar behaviours.

Firstly, I began to have to Hold My Tummy In. What? Hello? How did it get to this?

Secondly, I began to watch what I ate. Nothing serious – just saying 'No' to the extra slice of cake, or foresake the pack of crisps etc. Anyway, I'm boring myself here, so I'll cut to the chase: I lost weight – and lots of it. Great, but the loss of weight brought some unexpected problems...

None of my trousers fit. Well, actually that's a lie. All the trousers that I used to wear about 15 years ago (and kept just in case) now fit. Remarkable! Unfortunately they're either all well out of fashion or worn out (why DID I keep them?). So until I can afford to replace all of my trousers, I'm walking around in trousers that are seriously a good few inches too big. These require a belt – but there does come that point when the bunching of the material starts to look rather silly AND belts seem to work with varying degrees of success. This has the unfortunate task of leading to that awfully unsightly 'hitching-up' of the trousers whilst walking. So all round, not a good look.

The second downfall of dieting I only discovered today. Over the last few weeks I have been reading about the Reformation. No seriously, it is actually really very exciting! And as I have an essay to write on the Puritans I have been reading the biography of a bloke called John Bunyan – he was awesome – one of the best preachers of the time. Well, I got so enthused at one point, that I stood up and did a little jig (try not to picture it) – which for some reason involved a vigorous waving of the arms. Where upon my WEDDING RING shot off my finger! Now, that's never happened before. Thankfully I managed to retrieve it before the wife got home, otherwise how could I have explained that? "I'm sorry my love, it just fell off!?!"

So, there you have it; the downfall of dieting is, that not only does the weight fall off – so does everything else. You have been warned.