Dust busting and other adventures

In a bid to determine what is making my 7 yr old cough, sneeze and stream from the eyes whenever he is in the house I’ve been cleaning like never before. And anyone who knows me knows that this is not my forte. I have followed the Allergy UK advice on allergen avoidance and sprayed the whole house with flea killer in case the culprit is our dog.

Freezing and washing all of my son’s soft toys and his bedding seems to have helped him stop coughing at night but he is still struggling in the mornings. So I decided to call in an expert. My neighbour Nathalie who as well as being a fountain of knowledge on all things allergy related, shares it with people through her website The Intolerant Gourmand.

“I bet it is your sofa,” she said. Having spent many hours in my house drinking coffee and prosecco (not at the same time – usually) she was well aware that we’ve had a fabric sofa for as long as we have had the dog, three years.

“Here try this,” she said thrusting a golden pyramid shaped device into my hand. I assumed was a hoover of some description. “I’ve hoovered the sofa already,” I protested. “Just try it,” she said knowingly.

I bowed to her superior knowledge. Her son has severe allergies and she has to work really hard to stop him reacting to things so if she says it worked then I believed her.

I wish I could tell you what it was like to use but I can’t. You see the second I stepped through the door with a new gadget in my hand the husband grabbed it. “I’ll do that,” he said and got to work on the sofa.

If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, the proof of the vacuuming is in the filter. This filter was full, even though I had already hoovered the sofa with my Miele.

“What do you think?” I asked the husband.

“The filter is really good and it gets all the fine dust. But the suction needs to be further forward so you can get deeper into the corners and I kept turning it off with my hand.”

Did I mention that he is a perfectionist? With massive hands.

I am hoping that the build up of dust and dog hair due to my crap cleaning is to blame for my son’s runny nose and that he is not allergic to the dog or developing asthma. He’s currently puffing into a peak flow morning and night to monitor it so time (and the doctor) will tell. He does seem a lot better now that I’ve killed all the dust mites in his room.

Meanwhile the sofa is much cleaner. The hoover is a Philips anti allergen dust mite handheld vacuum cleaner and I will be buying one after this little episode. Or perhaps I’ll get the husband one for Christmas – he does love gadgets.

The missing keys…..

Norm has lost his car keys. This is a MASSIVE problem for me. Because even when I tell him exactly where something is he still can’t find it.

“Dette where are my boots?”

“In the shoe cupboard.”

“No they aren’t”

“Yes they are”

Because they are. Admittedly there are about 100 pairs of other shoes in there too but they are there.

“Oh yeah, under the other ten pairs,” he huffs like it is my fault that we all have feet.

So in respect to the car keys I am clearly going to have to find them because there is no way that he will. I have looked in all of the usual places, then I looked under them and then I looked in the unusual places – next to the toilet, in the bins (gross), in the kids rooms, in Norm’s pockets, in the garden, in all drawers in the house. No keys.

Naturally at the time of seeking the keys I needed to go out and the clock was ticking. I had one hour. Every 15 minutes Norm would call and say helpful things like:

“Have you looked on the sideboard where I always put them?”

I’m not a moron Norm.

Then 15 minutes later:

“Have you looked under the sofa?”

Stick to building state of the art race cars Norm and leave the tricky shit to me.

The keys did not reappear in time for me to go out. “No spare?” asked a friend. This made me smile because Norm wouldn’t buy a spare key. “For £300? No chance,” he said.

I continued to pull the house apart checking all the washing baskets (we have many – too many), under all the beds, in toy boxes (just in case), on bookshelves, even in the Halloween sweet buckets but the more I looked the less convinced I was that the keys were in the house. We had established that Norm was the last person to use them and I suspected that he still had them somewhere. Somewhere like in his pocket. I could imagine him shouting down the phone at me “For the last time Dette they are not in my pocket”while the keys sat there in his pocket laughing at him because they had been there the whole time.

A couple of hours later Norm barged in waving the keys with a huge grin on his face like a kid waves a medal. “They were on the drive Dette. They must have fallen out when I was lighting the pumpkins last night. Feel how cold and wet they are”

Yes they were cold. And wet. But Norm is no fool. He clearly rolled them in the wet grass after he found them where they had been all along. In his pocket.

“They were not in my pocket Dette,” he keeps saying every 5 minutes.

The lady doth protest too much methinks.

The mysterious keys. I plan to hide them from him tomorrow so that he can spend 3 hours searching the house…..


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