Home is where the heart - and accidental injury - is

Wet and dry vacuum cleaner

My household goods were turning against me. - Credit: pxhere.com

For many years, Monday was my domestic duties day: a beginning-of-the-week purge created a fresh start, beneficial to body and mind.

Monday mornings would thus witness me, duster and vacuum in hand, flitting round our house humming with haphazard cheer and delighting in all I did.

Can you picture the scene? No? I am not surprised - it is not at all reflective of how I must have looked.

An expression of grim determination and the odd scowl would probably be a more authentic portrayal. I do not love housework - until it's finished, suffusing me with a deep glow of relieved satisfaction.

At some point, I capriciously switched my housework day to Sunday, slotting various tasks between rising and attending church, and sundry others between returning home and enjoying Sunday lunch.

Any remaining chores were completed post-roast. Sadly, Sundays soon became harried and irksome (for Sundays, read: Me); a change was needed.

I spent two happy years in a four-piece girl band that met every Friday at the home of my best friend to rehearse, chat and imbibe - a social highlight of my week. In preparation, this friend would devote Friday afternoons to readying her home, explaining that it stood her in good stead for the weekend.

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Appreciating the sense in these words, I took a leaf out of her book and transferred my domestic day to Friday; there, for the most part, it has stayed.

Alarmingly, I am starting to think there is a good deal of truth in the notion that most accidents happen in the home.

Recently, walking past our tiered saucepan rack, I dislodged a pan, toppling it off. The curved metal lid-handle swooped down and struck the bridge of my foot with malevolent intent, manifesting a large bruise.

With commendable stoicism, I'm sure you'll agree, I made light of the injury - the text I sent my husband at work was merely to inform, not sympathy-seek.

A few days later, I anticipated vacuuming the stairs with a rare degree of pleasure. For some time, our cylinder vacuum cleaner had a cracked fitting on its pole, rendering it awkward to use; seeing me struggling, my husband ordered a replacement.

A box containing an entire spare parts set, complete with shiny pole, duly arrived. Friday rolled in, and I rolled out the vacuum.

All began well: I vanquished the dining room with vigour, swept through the kitchen with swagger, and started up the stairs, paying little heed to the longer length of the new pole until, navigating the stair turn and wielding the hose with enthusiastic zeal, I knocked against a high-level corner shelf that flew into the air, striking a large wall clock with enough force to shift it from its hook, causing it to land vertically and with full force upon my little toe.

Eschewing the solicitous attentions of my husband and daughter, I continued vacuuming to the top of the stairs but my heart was no longer in it; it was throbbing in my toe instead, generating a purple swelling that kept me limping for days.

To add insult to injury, it was the same foot that had been damaged by the saucepan.

My household goods were turning against me.

These incidents pale into insignificance, however, when compared with those that have befallen my husband.

One evening, I heard him call for me in strangled tones. I approached the front room with cautious speed to discover him bleeding copiously from a cut in his hand, caused by the propeller of a model aeroplane; the razor-sharp blades had sliced ruthlessly into the flesh between two fingers.

Thankfully, no serious injury had occurred - except my concern regarding the alacrity with which he removed his wedding ring - slightly too enthusiastic.  

On another occasion, I returned home from work to his pseudo-casual request that we visit A&E. He had been fitting a new carpet in our dining room and, while trimming the excess, had slashed through the carpet and his forearm with a Stanley knife, causing a narrow but deep wound.

Remarkably, he escaped grave damage once again. Moreover, to his credit, he had managed to stem the bleeding, thus safeguarding the carpet - and had finished laying it, to boot; what a trouper.

Home is where the heart is? Huh! More like the hurt.

It's nearly enough to persuade me to sacrifice housework duties. One more strike, and I'm out.