It has often been asked of me, usually by the same person, what precisely I bring to the household contract when I seem to find so much time to do things I enjoy doing. And I agree that I do have a job where a large amount of the things I enjoy doing can be labelled work, or 'research' if you're really going to split hairs. But since a lot of the hours I put in are when the rest of the household is at work I offer this list in a spirit of gentle self-defence:
1. I re-stack the dishwasher to take into account the likelihood of water, when sprayed from any apparatus, continuing to move, by and large, in a straightish line.
2. I search the pockets of all garments placed in the washing basket for:
Paper tissues (likelihood 90-95%)
Used railway tickets (35%)
Shop fixturing (10%)
3. I transfer all garments labelled 'hand-wash only' to the 'hand-wash only' basket. I make enquiries when unlikely items are found in the laundry basket (e.g. recently - shoes, suspiciously clean towels).
4. I turn lights off in non-occupied rooms.
5. I move furniture away from radiators to ensure smooth air flow (winter only).
6. I move furniture away from walls to prevent marking through repetition.
7. I sort through waste bins for stuff that could have been recycled.
8. I shop for items in the store-cupboard that need replenishing using a system of telepathy given the regular emptiness of the whiteboard when SOMEONE HAS FINISHED THE PICKLED ONIONS.
9. I know when it is green-waste day and when it is non-recyclable rubbish day.
10. I take in parcels for a wide range of local houses.
11. I am default cook.
12. I remain cheerfully sober until 'Can I have a lift from the station it's wet' is no longer possible.
13. I avoid rows and keep my sanity with passive aggressive social media posts.
14. I watch TV programmes only I like when only I am around.
15. I plan our box-set viewing, gig-going and social entertaining.
16. I can live with the fact it may have been me who finished the pickled onions.