When is a bargain not a bargain?

It is with regret that I am informing you that Brown Sandals were not successful in their bid for ‘great bargain’ status in the Footwear category today. They easily met the eligibility criteria, which is to be purchased for less than £10 and early signs towards meeting the fit for purpose criteria were very promising. However by lunch-time their performance was causing concern. The tightness of the top strap of the sandals combined with the looseness of the lower straps across the toes led to a two pronged attack on both feet. Once again I was in considerable pain walking down my street at 3pm. Due to their lack of success they will be returning to the underbed holding area where they will stay until next summer when they will no doubt take part in their annual attempt to reach ‘great bargain’ status. It is quite crowded in the holding area. The ‘pretty black shoes from Asda’ and the ‘I just have to have those red clogs’ are just two of the other contenders for the title. The holding area is also home to other footwear which does not fall into the potential ‘great bargain’ category. The much loved boxer boots from the early eighties lie there waiting for the day when it will seem the right time to wear them again. The right occassion for the relatively expensive high heeled boots has also been elusive and so they too languish under the bed.

Although this blog has focussed on the Footwear category, there are many other categories in which ‘great bargain’ status can be achieved, or more likely not achieved in my expeience. In the Household Items category the eligibilty criteria isn’t as rigid and any cheaply priced item can qualify. Unfortunately, there is a high failure rate in meeting the fit for purpose criteria. I am regularly reminded of this when I use the pound shop oven gloves. It goes against logic but part of me holds onto the hope that somehow they will develop some heatproof properties. They may have caused me to drop a few oven trays but they are so strong in the cheap stakes that I can’t give up on them just yet.

If you are a regular reader you may recall my satisfaction when son’s friend’s parents called round to discuss holiday plans and their visit coincided with one of my infrequent tidy ups. Well there was no such happy coincidence earlier this evening when they brought the booking details round unannounced!! Frodo who has very little sense of decorum answered the door and invited them in!! I tried to head them off at the doorway to the living room and contain them in the hallway but got there too late to prevent them entering the living room. This would have been bad enough on its own given the piles of letters, papers, bags, clothes and shoes which have accumlated at rapid speed over the past week but even worse was the fact that the door to the front room was open!! In my defence, much of the ‘stuff’ in there is there as a result of D2’s house move but there is no denying it would not look out of place on Hoarders Next Door. D1 has taken this opportunity to add ammunition to her campaign to make me “GET RID OF STUFF”. Maybe I should start with some of the ‘great bargains’ that haven’t lived up to expectations.


Ending of an Era

As reported yesterday (Day 22), the socks have been picked up. They made it to the floor in front of the washing machine courtesy of D2 . From where I placed them in the washing machine. At which point Frodo took over and after a sunny afternoon out on the washing line they have now joined a pile of clothes on the sofa waiting to be taken upstairs. D2 claims her motive was that she wanted to tidy up before she went away for a month. Could it be that she had an inkling that someone else would pick them up in her absence and then she would miss the chance of being mentioned in blog comments which acknowledge that she has done the ‘right thing’? Any such comments will be gratefully received as they may prompt a repeat of this behaviour. What have I learnt from the investigation? Not a lot due to the sample being so small but it would suggest that if I ignore discarded items around my house they will eventually be moved by someone else.

In other news, I have found two more pairs of sandals. Another toe post pair and a pair with square heels. The latter pair were a real bargain several years ago and each summer I try them out with the same result – blisters. It has crossed my mind that this shifts into the ‘waste of money’ category but maybe this will be the year that they prove they deserve the title of ‘real bargain’. I’ll give them a chance to prove themselves tomorrow.  

one bad decision after after another

I am in quite a quandry over the socks. (22 days and gathering dust). D2, who was the last person to wear them, has returned to London for a month. She has left the contents of three suitcases strewn across her bedroom floor and pairs of shoes, clothes, dvds, cds, magazines, teddies, toiletries and various carrier bags with goodness knows what in them dotted around the house. On reflection the chances of her picking up the socks was always miniscule but it is now non-existent, for a month at least. Herein lies my dilemma. Do I await her return and continue the battle of wills, knowing it was 1999 when I last won one of those against her, and in the meantime leave the possibility open that another of my family members, who all have a ‘its not mine so I’m not doing it’ mindset, might take action OR do I remove them myself? Another factor which may come into play is my mother. If she visits next week which is quite likely then all speculation will end. This is what will happen. My mother will say “There’s a pair of socks down there?” and I will reply “I know”. There will then be a brief conversation where I try to explain why I’ve left them there and my mother will have the look on her face that says to me that she can not understand why anyone, let alone her offspring, would allow their house to be littered like this in the name of social research. She may well say “You’re crackers”. The subject will be dropped and then within a matter of hours my mother will inform me that she has put the socks in the wash basket. Her sense of household orderliness far exceeds mine or any of my family’s. I’ll leave the decision on what course of action to take for at least another 24 hours. ****see below

The bad decisions refered to in the title have left me in physical pain and mental distress. It all started on Thursday when the sunshine prompted me to search out the lovely white sandals I’d bought last year and kept for the move from boots to summer footwear. The shoe stage was skipped completely this year. At 8am I left the house thinking how comfortable they felt. By 9am I was thinking they felt a little tight. By 10am I was wondering how I would get through the day without crying. At 3pm I was hobbling down the street, my house in sight and pure mind over matter keeping me going. At 3.01pm I was peeling the offending items off my feet (they were not worthy to be called ‘the lovely white sandals’ at that point). The next day I had to decide what to wear on my feet. To be fair my choices were limited. Toe posts sandals are considered a health and safety hazard where I work and high temperatures ruled out boots so I was left with shoes or a pair of sandals passed onto me by my mother last year. I went with the sandals and foolishly pushed vital information to the back of my mind. The vital information was a) the reason the sandals were passed on was because they were too tight for my mother b) they are a size too big for me and c) I hadn’t worn them before. At 8am I left the house thinking how comfortable they felt. By 9am I was thinking they felt a little tight. By 10am I was wondering how I would get through the day without crying. At 3pm I was hobbling down the street, my house in sight and pure mind over matter keeping me going. At 3.01pm I was peeling the offending items off my feet. Wearing 50s style gym shoes to the Grease sing a long on Friday evening and no footwear during a stay at home Saturday caused me no problems. On Sunday I chose toe post sandals but after a long car journey and walking around a shopping centre my feet were swollen and beginning to feel uncomfortable. I had taken my boots to change into for an evening at SoccerAid but for some inexplicable reason I decided to stick with the sandals! This bad decision was compounded by another decision ie. to take off my sandals once we got to the stadium. I don’t really have to write the next bit as I’m sure you can all predict what happened next. I’m sure I knew what would happen because it has happened to me before, on more than one occassion, but I was prepared to take instant relief and deny the possibility of defered agony. As sure as night follows day the agony came when my feet were squeezed back into the sandals.

Monday morning brought further misery. No suitable comfortable sandals and feet too swollen to go into shoes. I was left with no choice but to wear my boots on what was one of the hottest days of the year so far. Today the swelling had receeded so I wore the toe posts. I avoided any health and safety mishaps but felt uneasy all day, knowing that I could fall at any moment and then be in trouble for not heeding the instruction to wear sensible sandals. I could go and buy a new pair of sandals …..but…..I do have a pair of lovely white sandals and a pair of sandals my mother passed on to me.

**** A few moments ago Frodo enquired as to whether I was writing about the socks going. WHAT!!!!!  I hadn’t even checked before I started writing. I had just assumed they would still be there but I’ve been to look and they are NOT. I’ve txtd D2 and asked what she knows about this development but have not received a reply yet. I will interview all family members asap and write my conclusions tomorrow.

Well a well a well a, tell me more tell me more

Socks still there. I feel the whole investigation has been comprised by D2 (daughter 2) reading this blog. I intend to let it run a few more days but may end it soon. However I am carrying out two undercover investigations which I will reveal the results of when they conclude. Until then the details will stay secret to me.

Picture the scene. Rows of women, interspersed with the occassional man, all with paper bags on their heads swaying and singing along to Beauty School Dropout. This vision is just one highlight of a momentous evening of gay adandon. My recollection of the evening, particularly the second half, is a little hazy – possibly due to my misjudging of the quantity of wine in a large measure. Nevertheless I will attempt to convey some of the wonderfulness of the experience. Having failed to secure a character costume, I arrived at the event wearing a 50s style outfit including large sunglasses which cleverly hid my own varifocals so I was able to read the on screen lyrics and look cool at the same time. Perfect. The commardie began building as pink ladies, T bird groupies, Sandies, Dannies and assorted Grease ‘extras’ arrived in the foyer. By the time each and every one of us had been given our ‘goodie bag’ the bond was cemented. Who would have thought a goodie bag could hold so much fun. It was incredible. Each humble prop contained in the bag was transformed into an essential part of the sing a long extravaganza.

The actual show began with a warm up host who introduced the goodie bag items and gave us details of how to use them at set ‘magic moments’ in the film’. He also suggested the reactions we might give the characters as they appeared in the film and demonstrated some dance moves which he expected us to follow. My Zumba training came in very useful. I was able to deal with my inability to do the moves at the same time as everyone else by switching on Zumba teacher’s voice in my head  “Good everyone”.

The main event started with flashing disco lights and as the opening credits rolled a roomfull of guys and girls cast aside any inhibitions they had, stood up and threw themselves into the sing-a-long. The contents of the goody bags were used in unison at each ‘magic moment’. Tissues were waved, balloons blown up and released, poppers popped and bags placed on heads. My personal favourite was the checkered flag waving and shouts of “Go Danny, go Danny” during the car race. Between the songs we all returned to our sitting positions but the interaction didn’t stop. Every opportunity to scream and swoon at Danny was taken, as were opportunities to cat call at Rizzo’s catty remarks and boo the Scorpians. Sighs and cheers abounded as the audience shared their emotions freely and openly.

All too soon it was Chang chang changitty chang shoobop and time for the Grease fraternity to go their seperate ways. But in our hearts We’ll always be together, We’ll always be together, We’ll always be together.

Each to their own (with reservations)

socks still there

The weather around my home has been glorious today. It was lovely to see all the people in their summer clothes enjoying the sunshine. However my ‘each to their own’ belief was severely tested as it came into conflict with my beliefs about what is appropriate in a particular situation. What people choose to wear is their own buisness versus the attack on my sensibiliities when their choices don’t fit with my idea of correctness. For example is it ok for a person to wear a scarf in the house? Not really if I have to witness it because it makes me feel very uneasy. Is it ok for Frodo to wear a scarf in the house? Definitely not if I have to witness it because it makes me feel very uneasy and sparks off a rush of silent rage inside me. I also have a set impression of how clothes should be worn. The sight of a slipper balancing on Frodo’s toe as he sits crossed legged on the sofa, swinging the offending foot/slipper, brings me close to carrying out a physical assualt.

Today’s clothing episode didn’t involve what people were wearing. It involved what they weren’t wearing. A burst of sunshine and suddenly men are walking down the street with no shirt on! It wasn’t so hot that a thin layer of clothing would be unbearable. In fact one of these men was wearing jeans and a jacket tied round his waist. How hot must his bottom have been? Where’s the logic in stripping off half of your body and wrapping up the other half? An urban street dictates top and trousers (mid thigh shorts an absolute minimum length). It did cross my mind to shout ‘get a shirt on’ out of the car window but I’m rarely that impulsive so I held my feelings in.

Oh Yuk. Just had a very unpleasant experience. I just noticed what appeared to be a spot of chocolate on my t shirt and being a very tidy person (ahem) I immediately scooped it up and popped it in my mouth. My sense of taste sprang into action and I was horrified as it dawned on me that it was in fact a blob of cold conjealed gravy. Having no available receptacle in which to spit it into I had no option but to swallow it. To make matters worse there is an emotional dimension to the physical calamity. Now that I have given the matter a little more thought, I have recalled that the ice cream I had was vanilla not chocolate so I am now feeling rather cross with myself for bringing this whole horrible event upon myself.

Perhaps the impetuous streak that caused me to stick an unknown brown substance into my mouth is the same thing that caused those men to strip off their shirts. There is a lot to be said for not acting on impulse and I suspect there will be a few sun burnt men considering the wisdom of their earlier display of flesh.

No progress on the Grease outfit. If I’d acted on an impulse last night I’d have been sitting here with a home cut short back and sides wondering how I could fashion a quiff with the remaining hair. 24 hours. Eeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!

getting very excited now

Socks still there.

What could be the highlight of my year is coming up on Friday. I have resisted mentioning it before as I get rather giddy everytime I think about it. Giddy, giddy, giddy. Can hardly believe its actually going to happen. I sometimes think I might have dreamt it and have to go and check the physical evidence at the first possible opportunity to reassure myself……………….Just been to check the noticeboard, tickets are actually there : ) Love, love, love Grease and in just over 48 hours I’ll be singing along to it!! How awesome is that??!!

Unfortunately, I’ve spent rather too long deliberating about what to wear. Sexy Sandy, sweet Sandy, rauncy Rizzo, barmy Blanche, dazzling Danny, fantastic Frenchie. They’ve all been possibles. Hours spent searching ebay for items that match my acceptable price to pay for something that will only be worn once, might not fit and might not even arrive in time have proved to be a fruitless use of my time. I am now reduced to the options of a/ visiting the ‘high street’ shops, b/ customising existing items in my extensive wardrobe, c/ hunting down a perfect rig out in a charity shop d/ wearing my usual going out clothes. I’d class d as the ultimate failure and a complete lack of respect for the occassion. a would probably be another wild goose chase – Matalan and Asda aren’t an obvious source of authentic 50s attire. b is likely to lead to another attempted ‘sort out’ of authentic clothing from the 70s, 80s and 90s. (my wardrobe/cupboard/binbags/boxes contents are extensive in terms of quantity as opposed to usefulness). When I pick up those size 10 drainpipe jeans and utter the words ‘they might fit me again’ even I will hear the hollow ring it has but it won’t be quite loud enough for me to consign them to the charity bag. b isn’t likely to lead to the discovery of clothes that fit me and are close enough to a 50s style to require less than 15 minutes to customise. Looks like c is the way to go.

Despite the dressing up issue causing me great concern it can not detract from the excitement that is stirring within me. I’m going to be part of “the must-see worldwide phenomenon!” Eeeeek. Must go and check those tickets again!!!!


Day 15- socks still on the floor.

In yesterday’s blog I mentioned ironing a T – shirt. In response I received this comment on facebook ‘IRONING? posted by the woman who once cast aspirtions on my cautious driving. It then crossed my mind that several readers may be wondering what ‘ironing’ is. My first response was to google it but ‘pressing clothes with a hot tool’ is rather unsatisfactory so I will endeavour to explain my take on ironing. To be honest I’m not overly familiar with it but I’ll do my best. I’m not directing this to the general public, who will be well aware of the activity; rather it’s for the type of people I tend to mix with. Basically, it is ‘pressing clothes with a hot tool’. However this simple definition belies the complexities of ironing. It appears most ironing is done so that clothes, bed linen, towels etc are smooth and unwrinkled until they have been worn/used for a few minutes, at which point they no longer look freshly ironed. From my own observations I’ve concluded there is a huge variation in both the frequency in which people engage in the activity and what items are deemed to require ironing. I briefly dabbled in ironing full sets of washing but soon gave up on this as my washing to wardrobe/cupboard technique includes a delay in transferring items to the storage areas, which tends to result in a loss of the ‘just ironed look’. This, coupled with the ‘stuffing’ action necessary to get them into the storage and subsequent rummaging to find things, renders them back to the original unironed state. Bizarrely given the quantity of ironing I do, I have three irons. All have black bits on the plates caused by burning mishaps. The black bits get added to regularly and at some point I invest in a new iron but retain the old one ‘just in case’. In an attempt to be seen by my children as a normal parent I do iron school shirts. Best frocks are ironed as and when required. I have reasons for everything I iron. The Zumba T shirt was because a crumpled T shirt might leave “that woman’s T shirt was in a right state” in some people’s minds instead of “that woman’s got the best moves in the place”. Mostly I do it because I think a lot of people (dedicated ironers) will feel sorry for me if they see me wearing wrinkly clothes. Instead I feel sorry for myself for wasting my time on a pointless task. It can be useful to dry wet/damp clothes that are needed in a hurry. One of side effects of ironing which I do get some pleasure from is when Frodo discovers the ironing board I’ve left up and has a mini tantrum as he folds it down.

A word about the person who did once cast aspirtions on my cautious driving. It would be too strong to say I bear a grudge but I think it’s a bit off when you drive someone to a National Trust property and then they have a go about the speed you drive. There’s nothing wrong with my driving. I have only been stopped by the police three times in connection with my driving. Once for not wearing a seatbelt, once for driving the wrong way down the M62 and once for ..……oh ………driving too slowly.

I don’t want to be Stephanie anymore

There has been an unexpected development in the sock investigation. D2 (daughter2) has started reading the blog and last night confirmed that she left the socks on the floor, adding that they were in fact her boyfriend’s. A fact, which it appears, has led her to think that this absolves her of all responsibility even though she was the one who had been wearing the socks and boyfriend who lives 200 miles away hasn’t been in our house for months. To be continued….

A twist to the usual Zumba night tonight. I always start getting ready ten minutes before I’m due to leave and then either drive away feeling very pleased with myself for getting changed, finding trainers, finding £3 and remembering a drink within the allotted time or feeling stressed because I have to use the stash of cash in the car to buy a drink or pay the £3. This comes back to haunt me when I have no change for a parking meter and the only cash in the car is three 2ps with some unidentifiable sticky sweet stuck to them. Tonight I was feeling extra pleased with myself as I’d also squeezed in ironing my T shirt. Drove the 2 miles to the community centre and when I was a couple of hundred yards away I suddenly remembered it was cancelled tonight! The only explanation I can think of for this last minute recall is that when wonderful woman instructor told us last week I was so bereft that I locked the information away in a dark corner of my brain so it wouldn’t slip into my consciousness during the week and make me feel miserable. On the plus side I had an hour free that I wasn’t expecting so I pulled up weeds in the front garden.

You may notice that my blog name is stephanierose. That’s not my real name. I did try to register with my real name, then with variations on it – roserose, rose2, rose2, rose3, rosierose, roserosie, roserosie1 were just a few I tried. I became quite exasperated the forty sixth time  ‘sorry, this username is already in use’ popped up. Then I hit upon the idea of using the name I spent years wishing was mine. At a very young age I was told by my mum that she had thought about calling me Stephanie. At that moment my coveting began, although it wasn’t until secondary school that it became focussed on a real-life Stephanie. She was everything I wanted to be – she could jump hurdles, she could swim, she wore a pencil skirt, she had wavy hair, she dated the boy of my dreams, she even had a Saturday job at a riding stables! Oh how I dreamed of being her and imagining how different my life would be.

Of course if I had been her I wouldn’t have the amazing life I have and I love my life now : )

I’ll keep that in mind the next time Frodo utters the words that send me into a state of despair – “‘I’m going up to fix the shower”. Equally bad is the question “Have you seen the big screwdriver?” I’ll just keep repeating “I love my life, I love my life, I love my life” until all thoughts of Stephanie subside, along with my visions of her relaxing in the perfect house built from scratch by her and her handyman husband extraordinaire.

Home sweet home

It has occurred to me that reading a daily blog is a huge commitment and that some people might not feel they can give that commitment. I understand.  I can also accept that for some people there will be a time to move on, a time to experience the heady days only a new blog can bring. In light of this I will start each day with a sock update for those who want a metaphorical quickie without taking things any further but need some sort of closure before they abandon the blog completely.

Sock Update – Socks have moved!!! Not off the floor but they are now lying under the radiator. I suspect this is the work of eldest daughter who had a friend round last night. Current betting odds for ‘pick up’ are Frodo (OH) – 10/1,  Son – 20/1, Eldest daughter – 20/1,  Second daughter – 35/1,  Rose – 50/1 (past form would put this at evens but I have inside information regarding her current mental state). Odds for ‘time’  are   Today – 60/1, next week – 20/1, next month – evens.

Moving on. I went out last night! And didn’t get in til 2 o’clock this morning!!!! I know young people do this and have heard about older women doing it on a regular basis but I’m usually far too busy with the dramatic happenings within my own home to ‘go out’. On the whole it was a very enjoyable experience. It did have its low points and difficult times but ended on a high. The lowest point was arriving at the venue and discovering the potentially soul destroying fact that Son’s football presentation night would involve watching the Champions League match. A rush of alternatives flashed through my mind – watch the football (no), go and look round B&Q (no), sit in a corner alone (no), sit in a corner with Frodo (no, no), drive home (no), sit in car and use time constructively (yes). So now my month’s backlog of undeleted txts has been deleted (I tend to hoard txts and it takes at least a month to let them go) and my blog details have been txtd to everyone in my address book (not sure if GPs receptionist will be that interested tbh). A dad came out twice for a cigarette and I began to worry that he’d think it was a bit odd I was still sitting in the car so I returned to venue.

Moving on. As the manager described the Goal of the Season even I was impressed by the skill of the player who had raced down the wing, outwitting and outskilling 6 or 7 players, before putting the ball in the back of the net (that’s football jargon for scoring a goal). Then it turned out it was my son!! Wow, so proud.

Moving on, literally. Some of the attendees moved onto a player’s house. Time for a bit of house envy. I suffer this almost every time I enter someone else’s house. This house was a 10 on my scale for style and orderliness. Houses featured on ‘How clean is your house’ and ‘Hoarders’ are a 1. My house hovers around 5 but can drop to 3 or occasionally rise to 7, the general state of decoration and mix n match furniture preventing anything above this. Fluctuating Fives will identify completely with this. My feelings about it fluctuate too. Some days I look around and see and feel the unique, homely, lived in ambience. Other days I weep internally as I survey the scruffiness and junk and breathe in the acid smell of the cat litter tray that needs changing yet again. My children don’t have such a range of feelings towards the house. Their range is from ‘this house is a tip’ to a very unflattering description which I don’t want to share just now. They are very dissatisfied with my interior design, hoarding tendency and the low priority I give to housework. Annoyingly, this dissatisfaction has not yet prompted them to do anything practical to remedy the situation.

The dishevelled state of the house and garden is in part due to the gap between Frodo’s self perception of his DIY prowess and his actual ability/skills. You may have heard of or experienced the stage in a project where ‘it gets worse before it gets better’.  Frodo’s projects do indeed make things worse at which point he invariably ‘has a break’. Myself and the children used to eagerly await the get better bit. Now we just wait. Hope ebbing away.

Inner thoughts v public personna

Recieved this message this morning. “Have you sent your booking form?”

Inner thoughts – F***ing hell. What’s wrong with her? Doesn’t she realise I have a hundred and one things to think about. I’ll send her an email back “Stop hassling me! I know I was meant to send it weeks ago, I don’t need you to tell me”  Booking form, booking form, booking form!!! (Aargh) I get hassle from my family, well one of my family, every week “Have you booked camp yet mum?” NO. Who cares anyway, even if it gets booked up they’ll let me go. I’m a regular and if they start saying ‘Ooo but we agreed at the meeting that we wouldn’t go over the numbers.’  What meeting was that then??? The one where we said we wouldn’t but then said we would or the one where we said we would but then said we wouldn’t but then said we’d book an extra site and then we would or the one where everyone got overheated discussing dogs and nothing was else was decided!!!! Anyway I wrote the minutes of the last meeting so I can say I forgot to put in that we agreed ‘regulars’ don’t have to book. (Oh sh*t, that reminds I haven’t written up the minutes, oh God where are they?? Now  I want to shout at the message sender ‘See what you’ve DONE, see what you’ve DONE. Now I’ve got something else to worry about!!’

Inner thoughts turn on me – Why didn’t you do it as soon as you got it?? Its not her you’re mad at, its yourself. Same old, same old. Never get round to doing anything. You’re just making it more difficult for booking person. Oh God, where are those minutes?

Public Personna – Sent message back “save a place for us : ) ” Made a mental note to do form today. Not done yet. Hey ho.

Socks interfered with my ‘monthly’ tidy up (monthly is approximate, my tidying schedule is influenced by many things, the calendar isn’t one of them though). Swept around them and they are now very visible as the rest of the stuff has been picked upoff the floor. This led an uncomfortable situation. Son is going on holiday with friend’s family. Friend is going too, (not just Owen and friend’s family). They rang earlier asked if they could pop round to discuss things. Fine I said, feeling a tingle of pleasure at the happy coincidence that this request came just after I’d tidied. I forgot to take into account the state of the hallway so ten minutes of frantic tidying ensued. When I say tidying I mean ‘throwing piles of stuff’ into the kitchen and shutting the door. Unfortunately there wasn’t time to do anything about the front garden but the feeling of shame did spur me into going to buy weedkiller after they’d left. I’ll go and do the garden later. oh its gone 6, best leave that for tomorrow. Back to the socks. Friend’s parents, who I’ve never met, arrived. All was going well til I noticed the socks then I lost all focus on what they were saying and instead fixed my eyes on them and tried to work out if they’d noticed the socks. They probably thought I was a bit odd and for a few moments I did question my decision to start the investigation as it occured to me that if I was to explain to friend’s parents why they were there It would sound like I was a bit mad. But I’m not one to give up (well I am if it involves any physical or mental exertion but this doesn’t) so I’ve brushed those thoughts under the sofa, which is where some of the dust is that I noticed after I’d put the dustpan away. My physical exertion only stretched to sweeping it under sofa not walking to the kitchen for the dustpan.

Interestingly, another pair of socks appeared in the other room which is rarely used. They could have been there sometime but were only noticed by daughter number 1 today. She picked them up and dropped them in the hallway, saying ‘someone’s left some socks here’. They were scooped up in the hall tidy so are now somewhere in a pile of shoes, papers, bags and other stuff in the kitchen!