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The PFPT Guide to Being a Domestic Whizz

Old Iron

An “iron” allegedly

My darling chums often comment on what an inspiration I am when it comes to all things domestic. They often marvel at how I seem to always be well turned out, have a wonderfully balanced diet and don’t have rat droppings festooning PFPT Towers. Well, you lucky little tinkers, I’m going to share some of my closely guarded secrets with you, so that you too can gain status as something of a legend in the homestead, and with far less chance of getting jailed than if you use Martha Stewart as your role model.

Floor Hygiene
Sweeping, vacuuming and mopping are highly time consuming and thoroughly disheartening, for as soon as you’ve got the floor clean enough, some idiot comes along and throws their dinner all over it, bends down on one knee and proceeds to test out the exact standards of your housekeeping by scooping up bits of pea, potato and carpet with their fork. Well, in order to avoid such literal lunacy, I say leave your mop in its bucket, allow your Hoover to stay safely tucked under the stairs with your abandoned running shoes and banish your broom to the place where it gets wedged behind the fridge with the dust bunnies and invest in a decent pair of flip flops. Never again will you be afraid of catching syphilis from your own bathroom floor or suffer the torture of treading on a rogue Lego brick, for your feet are a good centimetre away from the putrid parquet below. You may need to muck out at least once every 9-12 months, or invest in waders.

You’ll find that you only need to do half the amount of laundry and that your detergent will last twice as long, if you invest in a bottle of Febreze Fabric Refresher. I find the Classic scented one complements my Chanel No. 5 beautifully.

The Seven Minute Dinner
If I can’t eat it within seven minutes of entering my domicile, after a hard day of tormenting tourists, I don’t want to know. Now, this sounds like a recipe (excuse the pun) for disaster and take away menus but trust me, you can make any number of wonderfully wholesome meals in less time than it takes for the pizza parlour to answer the phone. Here are some of my favourites. Enjoy!

1. The PFPT Sandwich: Place sliced cheese between two pieces of bread, top with lashings of salad cream.

2. Broccoli Pasta á la PFPT: Steam broccoli in microwave, add to fresh pasta, top with lashings of salad cream.

3. PFPT Salad: Empty can of tuna onto bed of lettuce, top with lashings of salad cream.

4. PFPT Surprise: Toast, topped with lashings of salad cream.

5. PFPT Royale: Open champagne bottle, pour into glass, sink into oblivion. Not so much of the salad cream.

Making The Bed
My bed always looks immaculate and the sheets still bear the freshly laundered fragrance of one who has a housemaid (I don’t. Apparently you have to actually pay them real money) and the reason for this stems from a great love of watching late night cult classic films and drinking red wine, the combination of which generally causes me to lose consciousness on the sofa until around 04:00, at which time, I drag my wine stained carcass to bed and am only in it for 2-3 hours. Barely enough time to sully the pillow slips or besmirch the valance! Sure, the sofa may look like a gang of bohemian bordello madams have taken up residence on it, but that’s surely a very small price to pay for a bed that looks like it could satisfy that Princess and her pea-detecting buttocks, and only having to change your sheets every other year.

An additional tip for that perfectly made bed is a patented move I’ve developed, called The Breakfast Roll. When hunger for your breakfast drags you from your slumber, don’t merely rise from your pit like a plebeian! Straighten your duvet while still encased within and then quickly roll out one side of the bed, landing with catlike grace (or flat on your chops – your call), leaving the bed covers perfectly placed and ready for a matronly inspection

Quite simply put, I don’t believe in ironing. I can’t explain it more explicitly than that. Much like religion, I know that it exists, I simply do not believe in it. How then, you astonished slaves-to-the-ironing-pile ask, do I not look like a tramp’s cravat? The answer is simple. As soon as my clothes have taken their turn about the washing machine, they find themselves strung up on a coat hanger and thrust straight into the wardrobe, where they obligingly drop all their creases like a frightened granny at gun point. If there happen to be particularly stubborn blouses, holding remorselessly to their kinks, I find that the insertion of a hot body and a sweaty train commute soon shifts them and no-one need ever know you use your ironing board as a handy place to store all your unopened utility bills.

The main causes of domestic disharmony and kitchen chaos are visitors, children and pets; all of which should be kept outside. If you are unfortunate enough to have a ground floor dwelling, you will need to keep your curtains closed at all times to prevent them spotting you and expecting to be let in. If one such visitor should happen to break through the front line, it’s customary to keep an array of good quality beverages for them to choose from, even if you yourself don’t enjoy these items. A recent guest pointed out to me that the year “2010” on the coffee jar wasn’t a “fine vintage” but was in fact the use-by date. Apparently these things matter.

If all these tips still seem like too much hard work, I wholeheartedly recommend getting hired help. However, if you’re thinking of getting a cleaning wench to do your household chores, beware, they don’t take kindly to being tested. I once casually left my toenail clippings on the floor in an innocent quest to see how thorough her attention to detail was. Not that I’m saying she was put out about it, but I later found my extra-strong sleeping tablets in the box for the painkillers. I no longer have a cleaning wench.


About prettyfeetpoptoe

I live in London and have both my own legs so I am fortunate enough to get out and about on occasion. I form many views on the things that I see and do and love nothing better than a session of linguistic gymnastics in order to share these views.

49 responses »

  1. I could not agree more and have found that once the prison undergarments come off, the third glass of wine has been consumed and the lights are turned down to the evening murk setting, it really doesn’t matter how filthy the house is. In fact, this is the point at which one might almost consider doing some entertaining.

  2. The Salad Cream Truth

  3. I don’t iron either. I try to catch the clothes right out of the dryer, but if I don’t they either stay wrinkled or I rewash.

  4. Never heard of salad cream. Now I know.

    But yes, I have to agree with your household cleaning philosophy.
    If it’s going to get dirty again anyway, why do it?

    My rare bouts of vacuuming occur in a last minute rush before visitors arrive – or else I just hope they don’t look at the floor.

    Maybe I should have a story ready about how thieves broke in and stole my vacuum cleaner – who would disbelieve such a sad tale of woe?

    Or there is always the religious fallback – if God had wanted my place to look spick and span, then he wouldn’t have invented dust, now would he?
    In that case, it would be almost sacreligious to vacuum it all away.
    “I would have vacuumed, but I didn’t want to get struck by a bolt of lightning!”

    Works for me.

    • For some reason, salad cream hasn’t been unleashed on the world. We give you One Direction, Simon Cowell and Jamie Oliver but keep that little gem to ourselves. We’re not stupid.

      I tend to go with a tale of how ultra glamorous my life is and how I’ve been far too busy quaffing Champagne in helicopters with international spies to prepare my humble abode for their gracious visit. Then I get them too pissed to care.

  5. I gave up ironing in 1965 after inserting a two pin plug with an iron on the other end, into an adaptor so festooned with other two-pin electrical implements that it resembled an electric hedgehog – and fused not just my landlady’s entire house, but the whole street. An omen, I thought wisely.

  6. You really must meet my daughter who also lives in London and complains about similar issues. Loved your comment about Febreze complementing your Chanel #5. I unfortunately have/had pets, visitors, children in varying combinations. Remarkably, I’m still alive…my house, not so much. You have to laugh…the ironing or cleaning or cooking will wait…and wait…and wait. Ever tried popcorn and ice cream for dinner? I highly recommend it…

    • You’ve had pets, children AND visitors? You need to invest in thicker blinds and stronger locks. 😉

      Popcorn and ice cream, you say? Sounds like the perfect accompaniment to a bottle of Prosecco!

  7. How on earth would you know what a gang of bohemian bordello madams looked like? That’s hilarious!
    I don’t iron either. Haven’t in over ten years. I’m a heavy believer in Permanent Press.
    Is salad cream the equivalent of mayonaise?

    • I know what a gang of bohemian bordello madams would look like from the wrackage of my old sofa – make-up, red wine stains and carelessly strewn bras. Maybe I was born in the wrong era and wrong profession. 😉

      Salad cream isn’t the same as mayo, we have that too. it’s an English delight that makes EVERYTHING edible. Like a creamy looking vinagrette-spread hybrid.

      • missy amber

        Aaaah, Salad Cream, that uniquely English condiment. (Except that it’s usually in a Heinz bottle). It’s the glamourous older sister of mayonnaise, the sauce of champions. Well, basically mayo with sugar and lots of vinegar. But damn, it makes a fine coleslaw.

  8. Your dinner options sound gut wrenchingly delicious, the bed making policy is delightful and you attitude towards visitors is positively brilliant…… I’m not sure why you’re having roommates issues at all 😉

  9. Is it just me, or does “salad cream” sound slightly pornographic? I hail from the Land Down Under (no one calls it that) where we have this thing called “mayonnaise”. And this other thing called “vegemite”.

    I have a cleaning method know as “Drawer Dumping” I patented in the great Apartment Inspection of 2010.
    Step 1. Open Drawer.
    Step 2. Using open hand, sweep all items on top of said drawer housing/casing (such as a desk) into open waiting void.
    Step 3. Close drawer. Walk away whistling.

    I also enjoy Seven Minute Dinners, my favourite would have to be “& Rice”. Essentially, it can be added to any food. “Chicken & Rice”. “Vegetables & Rice”. “Rice & Rice”. Another staple in my house is Peanut Butter. I’ve even had “Peanut butter & Rice”.

    • We also have mayonnaise, we just choose to keep superior products klike salad cream to ourselves, it would seem. Vegemite isn’t made from excess brewer’s yeast and therefore not even vaguely booze related so Marmite will always win.

      Love the Drawer Dump technique. Every home should have a “mystery” drawer, where everything useful is buried under the items that needed dealing with last week. This drawer should be topped up whenever anyone is due to visit.

      Love your “& rice” recipes, they sound marvellous! Similar to the cookery book I shall publish called “on toast”.

  10. Sound advice – on salad cream – tell your fans to store the bottle upside down – improved flowage and texture of this marvellous of products.

  11. This post is an absolute riot! I read it aloud to my sweetie pie, and had her rolling on the floor, which is carpeted, by the way. Thankfully, she didn’t encounter any alien beings while down there, as she was busy defragging her laptop, and was sitting at the little game table where both of our laptops reside. Happily, due to the legs of the various chairs and the table, all temporary visitors, like erant popcorn kernals and the occasional dust bunny, seem to migrate toward the area where the vacuum cleaner can’t be brought to bear upon them.

    Thanks for brightening our day! About the only down side to your approach to neatness is that we are not helping the high unemployment rate by hiring a cleaning wench.

    • I love that you call her your “sweetie pie”.

      I look forward to old age producing the sort of poor eyesight that will allow me to think dust bunnies and rogue food bits are part of the carpet pattern.

  12. I use Mayonnaise instead of salad cream because it has no carbs (Diabetics enjoy that fact). But the open Tuna can, put meat in bowl and add Mayonnaise is a tasty alternative to the tuna salad with walnuts or fruit, costs about 75 cents and has great protein with no carbs at all.
    Wonderful post; laughed so hard, I almost dropped my tuna.

  13. I’m with you. Up with ironing!! Also, way ahead of you on the Febreze thing.

  14. At last! I can stop spending all my money on penicillin! Bathroom floor syphilis is narly.

  15. missy amber

    I never understood the reason for candle festooned baths. I now know that it’s so that lazy slatterns like myself can enjoy a relaxing soak in a barely lit tub without being grossed out by the sight of fungus and hairball colonies.

  16. Diego Serrano

    thank you for spreading the word about syphilis and bathroom floors. One would think the true cause of this widespread malady should have been more widely publicized by now.

  17. I told myself I was going to clean my entire house this week. Now I’m telling myself to go to sleep and not wake up until the week is over… although your guide makes it seem much more exciting than previously thought. Especially the part about the salad cream.

  18. Having spent a few days cleaning my rental flat, and Hoovering up pubic hairs and nail clippings from the previous filth bug tennants I can only hope that the next occupants don’t subscribe to your blog. I have however left them a bottle of salad cream in the fridge as a welcome gift.

  19. Ahhhh ironing. Why does it need to exist? Honestly, if everyone were as lazy as we are, then the world would be a far better, albeit, wrinklier place.

    • We’re not lazy, we just have far more exciting and glamorous things to be doing with that 10 minutes a day that people spend on making their collars look, well, exactly the same as they did before.

      • Exactly. Which is why I also agree with your delicious meals (I have no idea what salad cream is though…English thing?) Why waste time cooking that you can spend on drinking? Honestly.

  20. The Dilbert comic suggests buying shirts (or blouses) in the same colour as your toothpaste. How often do you have to launder clothing that smells minty fresh?

    Tinned foods get a bad rep, but I find canned beans and whatever random canned fish in brine (baked beans in tomato sauce, and sardines in tomatoes does not sound like a good combo, too red) or vegetable oil tends to make for a hearty meal. And the hearty meal leads to a farty deal and entertaining guests becomes a problem of the past.

    • The t-shirt idea is genius, I’ve just been telling people Jackson Pollock is my favourite fashion designer.

      For a fun and exciting dinner, remove all the labels from your canned goods as they go into the cupboard, then, at each meal, select 3 at random for a surprising tasty treat! Tapioca cat food supreme, anyone?

  21. umm…salad cream…sorry I know you said lots of other good stuff there but…umm…salad cream…you can tell I don’t get to eat it often, can’t you?…


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