Stop, Little Pot, stop!

If any of you don't know that story of "The Magic Porridge Pot", then leave a comment, and I'll recount it in another post.

Meanwhile, do any of you have any idea of how far a pan full of porridge spreads when it is dropped from a height of about three feet? I have!

Yesterday started off like most other days; Freda was out of bed first but last in getting her breakfast. By the time her porridge was on the hob, I was clarting on with the laptop, having finished my breakfast 10 minutes ago. It seems strange to me that someone wouldn't want their breakfast when they first get up, but that's the way with some folk, apparently, strange?

Anyway, there I was; tap tapping away, when I heard this almighty crash, and felt a burning sensation on my left leg. The porridge pot was lying on the floor next to me! We've been having porridge for breakfast for a long time now, and after it's cooked we leave it for a minute or two before putting it out, thus:

Safe as houses? One would have thought so, it's in the corner, where no-one walks past, the pan handle isn't sticking out where it could be accidentally caught by a galabiya sleeve or anything. This is where it has stood time and again over many months! If you look closely; you will notice that the pan is standing on top of the two hot-plate covers, the smaller of the two is on top of the larger one, which is still on top of the large hot-plate. However! The covers aren't perfectly flat, they are very slightly raised in the middle, it's so slight that you can hardly notice it! But, this time it seemed that the curvature was enough to allow the pan to slowly slide off the cover, with disastrous results!

Look at the picture again, you can imagine where the porridge splattered. Up the sideboard door and onto the shelves and contents, into the meshrabiya, and the same on the cabinet to the left. As well as all over the tiled floor, it covered a portion of the camel-wool carpet which we put down in the winter, and as well as my left leg, it also splattered on the side of the sofa and sofa cushions, and shopping bags, which live hanging on the end of the sofa. The coffee table also took its fair share of the impact.

With hindsight, I should have gone back to bed right then, and left the clearing up to Freda. But (being the perfect husband that you all know me to be) I just got buckled in and started straight off. Obviously, this was to be a major operation, all the furniture was going to have to be moved, the carpet would have to go outside, all the shelves would need to be emptied, you can imagine the work involved.

It's no good only doing half a job, that's obvious to anybody! So all the rest of the furniture in the room also had to be moved to facilitate cleaning all the floor properly. It just so happened that, in the opposite corner, stood the tent fabric wall hanging which had previously been hanging outside. When Freda moved it, she commented that we should have it back up. "No problem" I thought and said, after all, it only needed a couple of the 'hard-wall' hooks (from Wilkinson's) banging into the wall and the hanging hooked onto them! So that was the intention, while the porridge was drying on the carpet which was now lying in the sun.

But, when we got it outside in the daylight, it became plain why it hadn't been put back up before; it was too faded to any longer be the striking decoration which it was originally meant to be. "Oh, I've got some more somewhere!" came the confident voice, which so many husbands have learned to dread and fear. By now I was resigned to the fact that I wasn't going back to bed (possibly EVER!). I took the cushions from the little dikkeh so that I could open the lid and find the upholsterer's stapler and staples in my toolbox. The new fabric appeared, and was a different pattern to the original, matching the cushions which Freda had made for the dikkehs, lovely! I had the fabric stapled on in no time at all.

Next, was to see where it needed to be positioned on the wall. So with the hanging in my grasp, I jumped up onto the dikkeh, and simultaneously heard the sickening (to me, that is) sound of splintering timber! I'd only shattered the side timber of the dikkeh lid, hadn't I? Of course, Freda had to have a dig about my weight! So, to add to the vacuuming and washing of the camel-wool carpet (and the other two carpets, which might as well be done while the gear is out!) I now had woodshavings and sawdust to clean up on the roof terrace, which was only just cleaned yesterday!!!!!! Never mind, I should know by now that it 'never rains but it pours'! I patched the lid with a piece of timber which I brought from England many moons ago. It was actually part of a packing case of sorts, which I'd knocked up to protect something during transit, it still has my name and phone number on, in case it went astray!

Anyway, it eventually went upon the wall, what do you think?

After the carpet dried, was vacuumed and washed and dried again, it went into the bedroom to save me having to step onto cold tiles when I get out of bed.

So, the moral of today's story is that porridge is a dangerous commodity! You don't need to have forgotten the magic words, to stop your magic pot cooking, to have a disaster on your hands which could take all day to sort out.

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