Confessions of a Domestic Goddess

By - June 21, 2005 (Updated: November 30, 2014)

This morning, shortly after 7 am, I awoke to what sounded like a jack hammer in the condo below us. You would think that this would be a bit disconcerting, but actually I’m quite used to it. You see, there are quite often noises that sound like someone will shortly be drilling right through one of my walls. I’m convinced that somewhere in this building, someone is constructing a cruise ship, or maybe an office complex. And it’s not just here; we heard the same noises at our condo on the Pratterlaan. I’m not sure what it is about the Dutch, and condos, and building things that require chainsaws and backhoes in their condos. Frankly I’d find it a bit odd to have a concrete mixer in my house, but that’s the Dutch for you … Now ask me if I’m going to miss condo living…

Speaking of dwelling places, we drove down to the future C-M abode yesterday afternoon for the house inspection. We signed a few papers, wrote down water and electrical readings and had a wander around. This will be the first place I have ever moved into that won’t require a thorough cleaning before I unpack. Our landlady spent all morning cleaning and getting the house ready for us. She had flowers on the deck and even brought juice, beer, coffee and Champagne for us. She seems very sweet and eager to help … in fact, she’s taking me out next Monday to show me where all of the shops are. Honestly it’s a bit intimidating. I really want her to like us and not think we’re going to trash her house, but I’m not sure I can live up to her expectations. I’m not exactly a domestic goddess and this woman seems to be a neat freak on terms with my Mom. (Not that that’s a bad thing Mom…it’s just not me.) Anyway, she was a bit concerned about the size of our dog and the fact that he will be in the house. She has no idea how many cats we have … Oh well, let the sucking up begin.

Despite my lack of domestic goddess-ness, I have a new best friend. I call him Sucky. He’s my new vacuum. He’s a blue Sebo K3 (with 3 hospital grade air filters). The vacuum at the condo conked out on Friday, so Saturday we took a trip out to the Maxis for a new one. We figured we will have it for a while, and dealing with all of the pet hair we wanted something up to the task. God bless the Germans and their efficient little hearts. Sucky is amazing. He is tiny and light and cat hair is no match for his suckiness. He can leap over tall buildings… no wait, he doesn’t leap, but he’s a really great vacuum AND he managed to get all of the cat hair off the couch … I’ve never had a vacuum that could do that!

Ok, so you don’t think I’ve become a total homebody, we did have a great day out Sunday. It was in the mid 30s all day, so we went to the beach. It was packed; it was hot; it was so sunny and I loved it. We’re both a little fried now (Andrew who insisted on not putting sunscreen on right away is more than a little fried) but it was worth it. We’ve had so much rain and grey weather that it was exactly what we needed to recharge our solar panels. We stayed on the beach all afternoon and had a few quick dips in the sea (it was still pretty cold) and then had supper on a patio and gelato for dessert. It was a very nice, restful day.

So now I go off to think about packing. I probably won’t be posting or e-mailing too much this week because I have a lot to get done. Hopefully this will be the last move for a while. Somehow in the next few days I have to break the 3 hour car ride to the cats … I wonder where you can buy body armor in Amsterdam…

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
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  1. Comment by AsharEdith

    AsharEdith June 23, 2005 at 14:24

    Nice pictures of you two on the beach!

  2. Comment by Ash

    Ash August 8, 2005 at 16:29

    I also have a pet vacuum cleaner. He is called Mr Dyson and somehow he has inveigled me to bring him out daily for a run around … I love him intensely! My DH is jealous, but there is nothing he can do about it. Were it not for my deep relationship with Mr Dyson my home would resemble a biscuit-crumbed, sand -ridden and otherwise filthy pit. 😉

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