So my son had his birthday party on Thursday. They're pretty easy to organise these days: tidy living room, provide nibbles, drinks and extra batteries for game console remotes, and shut the door. Half way through, supply pizza and birthday cake.
Nah, that would be boring.
I promised my on a special lunch. He'd been asking to try American-style biscuits for ages, so I'd rashly promised to do them. The morning vanished faster than expected, as mornings do, and I returned from the supermarket much later than planned. So I dumped the shopping in one corner of the supermarket and got cooking.
As I'd expected, the biscuits themselves were simple enough (very like English scones) but the rolling out bit meant a lot of cleaning up before and after. By the time we sat down to eat it was 3 pm and the kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it.
And there was the not-so-minor matter of the living room, which I've been ignoring in favour of writing for months. By the time we'd eaten, we had 40 minutes.
In the end we shoved everything in boxes and bags. Some wound up in the bedrooms, and some in the kitchen. By the time the first guests arrived, the kitchen was looking like a neat-freak's worst nightmare.
So I left the boys to have fun and cleaned and tidied and cleaned and tidied and cleaned and tidied.
We had a phone call. "We'll be delivering your new mattress in about half an hour."
I had to say no. I wanted that mattress, but I had to declutter the route from the front door tot he bed before we could take it, and I had no time. Besides, the only place to store the stuff temporarily would be the living room, which was full of happy teenagers.
So I cleaned and tidied until about 6 pm, when I produced pizza and cake. Then I cleaned and tidied some more.
Actually, by the time the guests left, the kitchen looked quite reasonable again.