Monday, August 17, 2009


If a bucket handle has to break, why, oh why, can't it break when the receptacle is not full of dirty water?

I know, I know, for the same reason that toast always falls buttered side down, your printer always jams when you are in a hurry and bills always arrive when you have no money. Anyway, I turned the air blue when my bucket broke and flooded the kitchen this morning and then off I trotted to the supermarket to purchase another one, which cost me €14.90. OK, so you get a mophead and some floor cleaning liquid with it, but I still think that's a bit steep! [To be honest I probably resent it because it is not pretty, edible, wearable or displayable rather than for the price itself.]

You must understand, dear reader, that this sort of bucket is the only kind any self-respecting Italian woman will use - indeed she recognises no other - and Rosa, upon her return, would look at me as if I were mad were I to suggest that she manage with my very ordinary old bucket that I brought from Britain. Any Italian cleaning lady will also tell you that there is only one product that you should use on your floors - one which shall be nameless here but which does the job and leaves a strong and pleasant smell for a good few hours , thus proving to your returning menfolk [did I just write that? I'll be drummed out of the feminist movement again!] or visitors that the place has been well and truly cleaned. Our "five minutes and it's done" stair and landing cleaners in this building are much enamoured of this liquid and I'm sure they just spray it around and leave.

"Why the urgency to replace the bucket?" those of you who have got to know me a little may ask, for I'm not exactly one of your "dancing around with my oh, so clever all-purpose polish" ladies so beloved of the makers of 1960s TV adverts. Ah, well, you have to show that you have such a bucket, you see, for your average Sicilian female visitor will find an excuse to inspect every room in the house plus your balconies. If there is no reliable-looking bucket anywhere, vergogna [shame upon you]! This scandal will be all around the town as fast as you can say "disinfettante" and your reputation, along with that of your fellow-countrywomen, will be in ruins. I don't expect to fool anyone into thinking I wash all the floors thoroughly and cheerfully first thing every morning ["first thing" being about midday to me] and several more times after that but at least if I have the approved kind of bucket, I may be perceived to have good intentions, reader!

Title note: "Buonanotte al secchio", literally "Goodnight to the bucket" - Italian idiom meaning "And that's that".


Minnie said...

Ah, what the Chinese call the 'malevolence of inanimate objects' - or Murphy's Law as it's often known in the West. But wherever you are, the feeling will be familiar to all!

Devonshire Dumpling said...

You are the only blogger that I know who can write 468 humerous words about a bucket!

lady macleod said...

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall listening to you turn the air blue!

Everyone has their cleaning weirdness - my daughter's grandmother and I just don't think a floor is as clean unless you do some of the work on your knees - my child thinks we are bonkers and pointed out the fact we just want to be sure the housekeeper is really doing the job - well, duh! :-)

Whispering Walls said...

Hope Rosa will be back soon!

jmb said...

That looks just like my bucket but it is used seldom so I would not like to have the housekeeping police come to call at my house.

jams o donnell said...

I suppose it must be Sod's law Welshcakes

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Phidelm. I didn't know the Chinese called it that - I like it! Hi, DD. Was it 248 words? Blimey! Hi, Lady M. Simi gets thoroughly ashamed of me when I do that! You're right - everyone has cleaning weirdnesses. Me too, WW, me too! Hi, jmb. "The housekeeping police" - that's how I'll think of these ladies from now on. I'm sure it is, jams.


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