So, we unearthed the inflatable mattress we got on Freecycle years ago, and have never used, along with the rechargeable inflating thingy and decided to set up camp on the floor in the sitting room at least until Small Dog is less distressed and more mobile.
We did this once before, when she was just 6 months old and had been spayed. We dragged a huge mattress downstairs for that particular escapade and spent three nights camping out in the sitting room while Small Dog convalesced. All would have been well had we not been awake trying to comfort her in the small hours of the first morning, and turned on the TV. Just about the only thing worth watching at 3.30am in those days was a shopping channel, and having just obtained Freeview we had never before seen anything like it.
We were completely entranced.
Entranced and mesmerised.
So completely mesmerised, that after 45 minutes of
In the few days before the steam cleaner arrived we daydreamed about just how clean the house would be. Grimy tiles would be a thing of the past. We could dispense with all the cleaning products cluttering up the cupboards under the sink and save hundreds of pounds. Utilising only the power of steam we would have floors you could eat your dinner off, and kitchen surfaces more hygienic than most hospital operating theatres.
Those few idyllic days before it arrived were among the best of our lives. We were living in blissful ignorance.
Within a few hours of its arrival we had indeed cleaned most of the hard surfaces in the house. We gasped at how it cut through soap scum in the shower cubicle. We thrilled to how quickly it dissolved dried on muck on the kitchen floor. We laughed with joy to discover just how easily it dealt with baked residues in the oven and on the gas hob.
Yes, the house was beginning to resemble a Turkish bath courtesy of the gallons of vaporised water in the atmosphere but that was a small price to pay for such sparkling cleanliness due to the simple power of steam.
Hindsight being a wonderful thing, if only we'd stopped there.
If only we'd just called it a day and opened a celebratory bottle of wine to toast our success.
In a final, fatal flourish, we set about steam cleaning the front of the kitchen cupboard doors, which were a glossy white. It started well enough, with no hint of the horror to come. We'd done three of the wall units and were just about to start on the fourth when we happened to glance back at the first. All over the door, the glossy coating which had hugged the curvy mouldings, had shrunk and either gone completely flat or all bubbly.
We gawped open-mouthed in horror, as all the coating on all the other doors slowly started to melt and deform. It didn't happen instantly, in which case we would only have ruined a small section. Instead it happened slowly, several minutes after the initial application of the steam, so that by time we noticed what was happening we'd already destroyed the front of every wall unit door along one wall.
So rather than save a small fortune on cleaning products, we ended up spending more than a small fortune on a new kitchen. Needless to say, the steam cleaner has been banished to the back of the understairs cupboard from that day to this. I do sometimes consider getting it out to deep clean the bathroom, or the kitchen floor, but the memory of that day is so seared into my psyche that I can't even bear to look at it.
So, over the next night or two, while Small Dog is still immobilised, we are assiduously avoiding watching ANY of the shopping channels, just in case we get the red mist and order another completely inappropriate bit of useless kit.
Small Dog is still not quite herself. She's not eating or drinking without a lot of persuasion, so getting her to take her medication is proving a challenge. However, she came with us to the Post Office earlier today, and on the way back we took a slight detour to a nice flat playing field, where she had a tentative slow walk (well not so much a walk as a hobble) for 5 minutes, as per the vet's instructions, before she went all wobbly and had to be carried.
She's currently all tucked up in front of the fire on the inflatable bed in the sitting room but here are some photos from earlier.