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Around this time of year at Swallowtail Hill the husband spends more time in the kitchen.  This isn’t because he is cooking me gourmet dinners, it’s simply because it’s the warmest room in the house so he moves his ‘office’ to the kitchen table.  

This is obviously highly annoying. Not only does this mean more mess and untidiness but it also means I have to tolerate him ‘helping’.  ‘Helping’ comes in various forms but most often consists of unloading the dishwasher.  A simple task one might imagine. Wrong.  He can ably remove around three quarters of the contents of the dishwasher and return the items to their rightful homes, but the items that cause him to panic are Tupperware boxes (other makes of plastic pots with lids are available but we all know what I’m talking about).  Tupperware strikes fear into my husband’s heart.  Tupperware is kryptonite to his kitchen-super-powers.

Stowing the Tupperware in the cupboard is a challenge he’d prefer to avoid.  Despite the fact that the left hand side of the cupboard is clearly ‘lids’ in a neat pile and the right hand side is ‘boxes’ stacked inside each other – this system is – to him – the enigma code of kitchen ciphers.  When faced with the dreaded Tupperware cupboard he adopts one of two strategies.  The first (when I’m not watching) is to shove all the clean boxes and lids back in the cupboard as quickly and randomly as possible and then shut the door fast before it all falls back out again; this gets the job done in super speedy time and also provides him with comedy potential for when I open the cupboard later on.  The second (when I’m watching) is to neatly leave all the boxes and lids on the worktop just above the cupboard – presumably for the Tupperware fairy to put them all away at a later point.

We’re very good at storing and using up leftovers but this requires another skill.  Selecting the right size pot and finding a matching lid.  This presents the husband with another challenge. The net result is that we regularly end up with one leftover sausage stored in a box that could accommodate an entire roast chicken.  Or he’ll spend half an hour forcing three tonnes of leftover mash into the tiniest pot available.  Most often he entirely gives up with the lids, he simply puts the pots in the fridge without an airtight cover, which kind of defeats the purpose of decanting leftovers at all but by this stage he’s usually either close to tears of frustration or swearing about the ‘stupid system’ – as though I’m involved in a high-level conspiracy with the makers of all plastic containers.

However the aforementioned provides with endless hours of amusement as a spectator.  It’s so much fun I’m thinking of pitching the concept as a TV show: Man About The House.  It’s going to be a range of domestic challenges for men to undertake against the clock.  Round one will be blokes selecting the right size Tupperware pot and then finding a matching lid.  To make it more complicated there might be added distractions like scantily clad women wandering past while the task is being done, or suddenly a buzzer will sound and the man will be required to do TWO THINGS AT ONCE.

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