Today I have mostly been tidying up. Not from any sense of shame at the hideous slovenly state of the house - I have managed to suppress that after years of practice.
No, it's to make the place look tidy for next week.
Because, dear reader, we are finally admitting defeat and addressing The Staff Question. As a result, the WithaY house will benefit from the professional attentions of a cleaner, once a fortnight.
It has been dawning on me over the last few months that doing my new job, which entails 3 14-hour days a week in London and two busy days working at home, I have neither the time nor the inclination to spend the evenings and weekends doing the ironing, washing, cleaning etcetera. Mr WithaY is an absolute star, and does the vast majority of the cooking, but even so there is a lot left to cover.
Mr WithaY is very busy with work too, and away from home a good deal one way and another, as well as having Father-in-Law WithaY's house, garden etc to manage, so he doesn't have the time either.
So, what's the solution? Why, pay someone else to do it, of course.
As a result, I have had that episode of The Simpsons* in my head - the one with Steve Martin, where Homer takes over managing the rubbish disposal, with the slogan "Can't someone else do it?" Maybe it's residual guilt for being too crap to manage my own home.
Regardless of the small inner voice saying "Shame on you, you lazy good-for-nothing hussy, are you not even doing your own ironing now?" I am going ahead, and the cleaner starts next Friday.
Other news: The WithaY courgette harvest is doing well, we have had several off the two plants already, and there are more flowers forming. I have a fine (if small) crop of basil holding its own in the garden, and the chives aren't entirely dead.
There are also several thriving Mystery Plants which we grew from seed. I have no idea what they are, so will take a photo when I remember and see if any of the keen gardeners out there can identify it for me.
They had a Green Day** at work and dished out vegetable seeds, so I took some home, and these were some of the results. I have no idea what they are, as they were in a little screw of paper; I am thinking possibly chard. But I don't know. I tasted the leaves and they aren't obviously poisonous, always a bonus in a vegetable.
The fiery phoenix is still looking mighty fine out in the garden, you'll be glad to hear. I am now eying up Rosemary the Sheep speculatively***.
*"Trash of the Titans" - I love the internet. There's an answer for every question.
**Ecology, not music
***In an art way, not a dodgy West Country sheep-botherer's way.