Today I am entirely brain-dead, having spent the entirety of Saturday, Sunday and Monday tidying the house, filing away or shredding huge piles of paper, recycling newspapers and magazines, scrubbing surfaces, polishing sinks, mopping the kitchen floor, dusting and hoovering, and washing any piece of fabric which isn't actually nailed down.
For various reasons, the time and energy B. and I have available for cleaning activities never remotely approaches our limitless capacity to leave stuff lying about the place, shed dead skin cells and accumulate random pieces of paper. And the cats discard fur almost constantly, and never seem at all interested in running a hoover around after themselves.
For this reason, under normal circumstances, our house is neither the tidiest nor the cleanest I've ever seen. Today it's up there with the best of them, which makes me feel both proud and immensely knackered.
The occasion for this unprecedented housepride is the forthcoming visit of our very old friends (in the sense of the chronological duration of our friendship, not of their actual age) H. and M., presently of Southern California, whom I mentioned seeing at a recent wedding, whom we haven't spent time with properly in two years and who bring with them to Bristol a serious dust allergy and a rather-less-than-two-year-old daughter, both of which we felt warranted a certain amount of concern on our part.
Very much looking forward to seeing them, now that that somewhat nightmarish aspect of the preparation's out of the way.