Girl Friday

One question pops up today.


What does this family really need?

I detest ironing but on a day like this, when I can hear the thunder roaring outside and raised angry voices inside, it’s good to have something to focus on.

In old Bible stories, people used to run to caves for refuge when they were running away from someone or some situation. I guess the laundry room is a kind of modern cave. For me anyway.

It’s tiresome. The thing is, everyone here quarrels over the simplest of things. They are clever and each feel their way is best. They have their own things they care for: a luxury German car, pet dogs, antiques. Left to live each on their own, they would be perfectly charming. But together under one roof?

What this family really needs is a Daphne Moon.

Remember the wonderful Miss Moon who could calm the tempers and smooth the fraying nerves of the Crane boys in Frasier? She’s my inspiration as I go through the daily To Do list. Of course if I could dance the tango like she does (season 3 episode 13) I would be a complete woman.

In the past few days these are the things that needed attending to, besides the usual cooking and cleaning: a broken lightbulb, a blocked sink and subsequent bathroom flooding, a surgery wound that was seeping fluid, a bout of food poisoning, a dog that irresponsibly and greedily ate up our lunch of nasi lemak, a large flowerpot turned over in a thunderstorm, stitching up a tear on a soft toy, disposal of a broken cooker hood, replacement of a 35 year-old set of plates, collection of drycleaning and the banking in of cheques.

There were great concerns over constipation. Let’s just say that Chinese parents are honest and tactless in equal measure.

The latest request from my father was to have four belts tightened as ‘I have lost so much weight and my pants keep falling down’. This task took a bit of feminine guile as I homed in on the one male sales assistant in the Robinsons Department Store, to ask for an extra hole to be be punched into each belt. A female assistant would simply not show the same interest in a man’s belt.

So what are we going to do? I can play at being Girl Friday for three weeks, and aim to be a Daphne Moon to humour myself, but this family really needs more than a temporary helping hand.

I will have to think outside the box, or outside the cave as it were. Doing mundane chores like cleaning actually frees your mind to think, so I am heading back to the studyroom to see if I can clear more books and find a solution to this problem.

I have actually found two copies of this book. If I find a third, everyone will be given a copy for essential weekend reading.




The book might fail, but in the first instance we really need to try. Or dare to dream anyway.