So, a bit of information about one of my (VERY MANY) quirks I am the proud holder of!! The very annoying Obsessive Compulsive Disorder aka OCD, or as I like to see it written…..alphabetized…..CDO….there, that is better!!
I am a minimalist, a neat freak and a clean freak. When I moved into my current home approximately fifteen years ago, even the rose bushes fell victim to my quirky condition.
“I am removing all the rose bushes,” I mentioned to a friend, who also happened to be an avid gardener. The previous owner was an avid gardener too, tending to his plants every day. There were rose bushes, chilli plants and a variety of other flora, which I totally failed to appreciate at the time. All I wanted was lowest possible maintenance and no chance of any hint of disarray. Not on my watch!!!
“Noooo you can’t, WHY??” my bewildered friend asked,
“The petals always fall off and are very messy,” I replied.
“Well then I will take the trees,” she said, willing to do anything to save these poor rose bushes from this unmentionable fate.
The chilli plants escaped my wrath, but only because they were not considered messy. Yes, sure they were also self-sustaining, but that was not even thought in my head at that stage. I even used some of those chillies on the odd occasion (when I remembered I had the plant). Naturally these plants did not survive, as they needed things like water, TLC and pruning….who knew?? Who cared??
Another potential victim of my disorder, were the carpets in the bedrooms. I mean….carpets….eeeeeeuw!!
“Why?” everyone protested, “carpets are warmer.”
“Cos I DON’T DO CARPETS.” I insisted. “Carpet stains…… dust….allergies….trapped dirt……eeeeeeeeuw. If anyone is cold, they can put on a jersey!!”
At that stage, I had a five year old and eight year old. Now how in the world of immaculateness was I going to keep those carpets clean??
Once they grow into mature and responsible adults (cough…splutter), I thought to myself, I will relax the House Rules.
Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to replace the carpets. So…..HOUSE RULE NUMBER ONE, NO EATING OR DRINKING IN THE BEDROOMS……like ever!!!
Of course, my well behaved and conscientious children totally complied with this House Rule…well except for Salt (sigh….there’s always Salt)….who I would discover here and there over the years, had snuck in treats, and had thrown the wrappers (aka “evidence”) behind his bedside table…….as one does….as opposed to throwing it in the dustbin…..
So we had fifteen years of clean carpets, no rose petals lying on the ground for no good reason, and the rest of the house was as neat as a pin. The minute I saw anything in a place it was not allocated to, I would rectify this situation. Not totally pleasant for my children I am sure….but you know what they say….”happy mom…happy home”.
Fast forward to COVID. Honestly, I have no idea how I was blindsided by these NOW GROWN (and supposedly mature and responsible) ADULTS. I looked around my house a few days ago, and what did I find?? Well…..Salt’s carpet had definitely seen some food and/or drink. These were no longer the crisp and clean carpets of yesteryear. That was not even the worst of it.
Early into the lockdown, my Salt decided to try and grow a mango tree from the pip of the mango he had just eaten. Not eaten in his room mind you, as at that stage, I still had things under control! So ever the improviser my salt is, he found some plastic container, cut it to size and carried on his merry way. This all while Pepper and I were watching “The Walking Dead” on Netflix…..oh the days when work and studies were locked down….
Anyhoo….Salt is quite the potterer (excuse the pun), so one doesn’t really take notice of his every move, as most of it doesn’t make sense to the rest of us. So there he was, behind my back, well in front of my eyes, but my eyes were glued to the TV screen, planting a mango pip! A short while later (could have been days….who knows), I saw a strange object in the garden. Now our garden is tiny, so it was not hard to spot. But, you can be sure, that even if our garden was a smallholding…my beady eyes would have spotted this.
“Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaalt” I screamed.
Salt sauntered in….which, as you will know by now is what Salt does.
“What’s wrong mom?” he asked, ready to deny he had done WHATEVER I was about to accuse him of, or fight till the death about how he always gets the blame for everything.
“What is in that container?” I asked grimacing and contorting my face like I had just seen a truckload of manure being dumped on my property.
“I am trying to grow a mango tree from a pip,” he said hesitantly (he knows me too well my Salt does).
“Please don’t start messing this house now that we are all home. I mean how long does it take to grow a mango tree? I mean what is the bloody point??” I said as calmly (not) as possible.
“But mommmmm, what is the harm?” he whinged.
So I decided, new times, new mom, child probably battling with the lockdown…..what was the harm indeed??
“Just make sure you don’t mess with all the sand, and make sure that you don’t mess the tiles with the sand, and…..” I said being cut short by Pepper yelling that episode 1079 of Season 112 of The Walking Dead was about to start.
A few days later, I see Salt (as he crosses the TV screen) furiously looking for something. Now, in another time, I would have asked what he was looking for, so I could nip WHATEVER he was about to do in the bud. But now….new times, new mom and The Walking Dead, put a stop to that.
So, a few days later, I see a clear plastic bag has been adjusted to be used as cover to protect the (now budding) mango plant. Rope has been tied around to keep it secure….bright blue rope….so cheap and tacky looking….
Again Salt was summonsed, and again I caved.
So very long story short, from then until now……Salt dabbled in hydroponics, aquaponics, planted seedlings in soil, clay pebbles, coco peat soil………the one room has now become the “store room” for all the items ordered online……..and so on and so bloody on!!!!!
Our first “harvest” was A green bean. That’s all the beans our plant produced….ONE…which I snapped off and savoured every mouthful of. I mean……WE grew that!
Salt and I were simply devastated when a hail storm damaged OUR bean plant. Tomatoes have started growing…quite a few actually…..but I continuously have to remind Salt that he cannot drop the ball, as our household uses loads of tomatoes, and I am expecting never to have to buy them again.
One such tomato has one more day to ripen, at which time, the three of us will sit around a table, each with a plate, knife and fork, and we will engage in some fine dining as we divide this culinary delight between us!!
Oh….we also have a green pepper doing well, some gooseberries hopefully soon, harvested some Kale the other day, and we are going to start a whole other produce section in the last remaining space in my ”garden” …….both indoor and outdoor, as apparently, wherever Salt finds space, salt is vegetating.
So there I was looking around my once spotless and neat house, wondering what the hell went wrong???? But shortly thereafter, I trotted off to ensure Salt had tended to all OUR produce.