Catch of the Day strikes again…

It was nearly a year ago that I posted this story – A Steamy Situation – Domestic Battles on the Homefront

Fletch using the Beldray steam mop...

Fletch using the Beldray steam mop…


You’d think that would have been enough public humiliation for husband Fletch to give up his addiction to Internet shopping site Catch of the Day – but NOOooooo…

Only last week, another domestic appliance arrived to clutter up the laundry cupboard. (In case you were wondering, that was the last time he used that useless steam mop.)









Not just ANY ironing board. It’s a REVOLUTIONARY SPLIT ADJUSTABLE IRONING BOARD!! Well, that’s what they called it on Catch of the Day’s website.

Apparently, having two ‘arms’ instead of just ONE plank to iron on, helps save time and energy, makes ironing an absolute joy and sends masses of endorphins pumping through your veins. I wish. Ironing would have to be my most hated domestic chore, so I would have welcomed something to ease the pain, but this device doesn’t do anything of the sort.

In fact, contrary to its claims, it’s a complete and utter piece of crap. I tried it. Shirtsleeves do not fit over the arms – like it claims – because they are too fat. The clamp in the middle takes twice as long to hold a collar in it to iron than doing the damn thing in the old-fashioned way, PLUS it’s a good metre shorter than the old faithful ironing board that we’ve had for twelve years and never had a problem with in the first place.

How to put an ugly crease in ALL your ironing...

How to put an ugly crease in ALL your ironing…

But the ‘piece de resistance’ of this contraption, is what happens when you put the arms together for ironing. Instead of a SMOOTH plank, you have a crevice down the middle, so that anything you attempt to iron ends up looking MORE crumpled than when you began. It’s hilarious that anyone could have thought this would be a good idea in the first place.

You might think I’m being unreasonable and ungrateful, but I challenge you to try one yourself. Actually, don’t. You’d just be wasting your hard-earned cash. And I am appreciative that Fletch thinks these gadgets can in some way make life in the Fletcher household rosier, but I’m of the view that we need to start getting RID of STUFF, rather than accumulating MORE.

Like the useless Beldray steam mop, I placed the said crappy ironing board in his office for him to ‘RETURN TO SENDER’. No such luck. It’s found a home next to the steam mop,  on top of the ever-growing chaos inside our laundry cupboard.

So please, Fletch, NO MORE Catch of the Day super specials. And can you book a hard rubbish collection before Christmas???


Who IS that stranger hiding from the camera?

I broke my blogging rule regarding family matters last month. Originally, the intention was to forewarn Fletch and the kids if I was intending to write about them, but that went out the window when I posted a story about Fletch’s addiction to the Catch of the Day website – without his prior knowledge. Thankfully he didn’t mind.

Tom's desk and school books

Tom’s desk and school books


So I figured, once a personal rule is broken, it no longer exists – right? Which meant I started writing a story about my 15-year-old son without him knowing, only to find he is SO much more sensitive about that concept than his father.



Mid-year exam results

Mid-year exam results

I WAS going to write about how well he’d done at school this year and how hard he’d studied for his exams, which are now over. In particular, I wanted to draw attention to the fact that he is developing beautifully as a writer and I am often filled with wonder and delight when I read his work. The way he’s going, I wouldn’t be surprised if he publishes a book before me.


With that in mind, here’s the conversation that ensued when I approached Tom to take a photograph. I always like to keep Blog photos as recent as possible – as any journo knows, it kills a story if the pictures are dated.

‘No, you can’t take my photo, Mum,’ he said, running for his bed and diving into it face down, pulling the sheet off the mattress.
‘Oh, come on….’ I pleaded. ‘I need a recent one for a Blog.’
‘What’s it about?’
‘It’s about what a brilliant writer you are.’
‘I’m not a brilliant writer. That’s not even interesting. You can’t do a Blog on me. Especially photos. What about privacy?’

My attempt at a 'selfie' with Tom

My attempt at a ‘selfie’

‘You put your own photos on Facebook all the time, plus you have already let me use photos of you from a family holiday earlier and now you’re more than six foot tall and fifteen years old, I think you’ll be safe.’ I said, well aware he was looking for excuses. ‘Let’s do a selfie!’ I squealed, snapping away, my inner-paparazzi relishing the challenge.


Moments before the pillow fight

Moments before the pillow fight


Hmm, that’s obviously a completely embarrassing idea. He jumped off the bed, grabbing his pillow as camouflage. Before whacking me with it. And starting a pillow fight. Which isn’t fair because he’s now taller and stronger than me.

I think the photo sequence that follows speaks for itself…



A flurry of activity follows as he tries to escape his evil mother...

A flurry of activity follows as he tries to escape his evil mother…

There's no unlocking those arms...

There’s no unlocking those arms…

A rolling manoeuvre as he attempted escape….

A rolling manoeuvre as he attempts escape….

…only led to a crash-landing.

…only leads to a crash-landing. For a split second, I worry about his back…




…but he rebounds, defiant.

…but he rebounds, defiant.

…even daring a glimpse from undercover, but I'm not quick enough.

…even daring a glimpse from undercover, but I’m not quick enough.









I grab for the doona, and he dives back to the bed...

I grab for the doona, but he dives back to the bed…

Again, he covers himself and at last, lies still and silent.

Again, he covers himself and at last, lies still and silent.

And then…

He has the final word.

Tom's final word

Tom’s final message

I gave up. Sometimes I really feel for the paparazzi.

But I lie. There’s no way I’m giving him the final word. As if. One last story before I sign off to explain why I know Tom will be a writer. Or a journalist.

Off all his essays, in particular, I loved the biography he wrote after interviewing his Grandma. He described how his Great-Gran left England, ‘inhaling deeply as she boarded the gang-plank to the ship, as if taking a last breath from her homeland to her new country.’

‘Beautiful’ I murmured, as I read that line, sighing with the poetic impression of it all. ‘Except Tom,’ I said, ‘that you know your Great-Gran was born in Australia. She never set foot on a ship leaving from England.’

‘ Yeah, ‘ ‘I know’ he said, shrugging nonchalantly. ‘It just made for a better story.’

See??? Of course he’s going to be a writer!
(FYI – he did actually approve this in the end – even though he thinks it’s completely stupid.)

A Steamy Situation – Domestic Battles on the Homefront

I am about to commit a Blogging sin. I promised – in my Welcome message – that if I wrote anything about my husband or kids, I’d run it by them first. Ahhhh geez…. that was months ago and the rules have changed. Well, they change when I want them to. But if this post disappears very quickly, you’ll know the reason.

Exhibit A - Husband

Exhibit A – Husband

I have a very good husband. A very, VERY good husband who most of you know as Dr Karl Kennedy from Neighbours. You all know the TV show The Good Wife? Well, if they made one called The Good Husband, Fletch would be perfect for the role. Yes, he’s also an extremely talented actor and a lot of you adore him, but if you were married to him, (as in any marriage) – you WOULD find foibles.

Again, I have to say, I am lucky. I know this. He’s not a drug addict, he’s not an alcoholic, he’s not even a gambler, nor has he ever laid a finger upon me except in the nicest possible way. He works hard, contributes domestically, we have fun together and most of the time, we love each other. Yep, a pretty normal relationship, right?

Except that he has one SERIOUS problem. I’ve let it slide without much comment for about a year, but it’s now at the point where this has to be addressed. I want to know if anyone else out there is facing a similar battle. I can sum it up in four words:

                                                 CATCH OF THE DAY

The website, that is. Every day, this website advertises a new bargain. Now, maybe it’s born from an actor’s uncertainty about where his next meal ticket is coming from, and even though I try to remind him he’s been on Neighbours for 18 YEARS, it does nothing to deter Fletch from being a Catch Of The Day addict.

What is it about bargain hunting that’s so appealing? It’s not like nailing a wild beast on a a safari – surely? Besides which, Fletch is an animal lover. Is it that the thought of a bargain and saving money excites to the point where one doesn’t consider the value of the item being purchased? I have put up with our house being filled with superfluous objects for too long. For example, we didn’t need any more plastic containers in the kitchen, but Fletch found a bargain on Catch Of The Day that sold a variety of the buggers in a multitude of sizes, promising to keep food fresh till the next century. Now I can’t open a cupboard without being rained on with plastic…

Then there was the mobile phone charger set he bought me – even though I already have a mobile phone charger. Go figure…

I am also getting tired of being interrupted mid-work on the computer at home, to answer the doorbell to Australia Post.

Beldray steam mop

Beldray steam mop

But the piece de resistance came with the grand arrival of the Beldray Steam Mop. Oh. My. God. For some reason, I was expected to be excited upon its arrival. Fletch certainly was. Apparently it was going to save us a bucket load of money, mopping floors and steaming the carpets.

We gave it a test run. The floors got wet – yes. But were they clean?? As far as I could see, there were only residual murky water marks covering the floorboards that hadn’t been there before… I pointed this out. ‘Honey, this actually doesn’t work. The floor looks like crap. Can we return it?’ ‘Hmm, you’re right, he said. ‘Yep, Catch of the Day make it easy. I’ll send it back.’



Wow. I had scored a major victory. For a while, accessories and plastic wrapping accompanying our new steam mop lay on the dining table. After some time, I shifted them into Fletch’s office, knowing he was busy but would surely return the said useless mop as soon as possible. After all, I wasn’t the Catch of the Day addict – it was he who should go to the bother of re-wrapping it and returning it – right?

Several weeks later I went to fetch a broom out of the laundry cupboard. I opened the door and CRASH – everything spilled out over my feet. Brooms, dusters, pans – clattering and falling in slow motion. But standing amid the mess, red, shiny and gloating, was the useless, space-consuming STEAM MOP.

‘ARGHhhhh!!!!’ I screamed. ‘FLETCH!!! What the hell is the steam mop doing in the laundry cupboard?’ Why didn’t you return it???’

Turns out he’d experimented with the mop again and found it quite successful. Skeptical, I proposed he couldn’t be bothered returning it. ‘Oh no,’ he reassured me. ‘It’s fantastic at removing stains from the carpet. I tried it when you were out.’

Steam cleaning Fletch

Steam cleaning Fletch



I scornfully denounced such a thing to be possible so he pointed to several carpet stains he’d worked on, marvelling at the improvement.  Quite frankly, I couldn’t see the difference. Determined to prove a point, he set to work on a new set of stains. It’s a bit annoying how he makes housework look like fun. With remote headphones and a cup of fresh coffee, he glided into action. He wasn’t even bothered by me taking photos. Over and over, he ran that mop over a light stain on the carpet. I took a before photo. And an after photo. What do you think?




Stain Before

Stain Before

Stain after

Stain after






Hmmm… now I bet you’re all thinking – WHY DIDN”T I GET ONE??

I probably shouldn’t complain. After all, there’s not many men who’d put up with me for starters. But quite frankly, what annoys me most, is that every time I want to use the old basic broom, I spend half an hour trying to extract it from the chaos created in the laundry cupboard. My plan is to make the red beast a garden feature by Christmas. And I bet Fletch won’t even miss the bugger. He’ll be too busy checking out what’s new on Catch of the Day.