The clean, clean class of home

Going on holiday is one of life's greatest pleasures. Or at least it should be. The trouble is that by the time you've tied up all the loose ends before your departure you're almost too whacked to be bothered at all. The worst of all the chores to be tackled is, of course, cleaning the house. There's nothing more disturbing than returning to a grubby abode after a relaxing break, so bin bags, broom and bleach it is.

Well, try as I might, I can never get the cleaning thing right. Whenever anybody says something ridiculous like “Put your favourite music on - that'll help,” it's all I can do to avoid committing homicide by dust pan and brush. How can these foolish people confuse the heavenly high of listening to your favourite tunes with the infernal nadir of scrubbing the bathroom floor. It's like mixing the wholly marvellous experience of enjoying a roast lamb dinner with hitting yourself lightly on the head with a claw hammer. No, such extremes of joy and misery should never be brought together in union. Never trust anyone who says otherwise.

“It's not so bad once you get started.” That's another of those anodyne expressions of tomfoolery which leave a man quite speechless. It's actually far, far worse once you get into it. Every little thing you tidy up becomes a distracting temptress of desire. Ooh, look! A pen and a piece of paper! I wonder if I could draw that disallowed goal Alec Lindsay rocketed home in the 1974 cup final against Newcastle. Or was it 1973? I'll just look it up, it won't take a minute.

Four hours later, you're watching Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle singing Diamond Lights with a dried up mop in your hand wondering where the time went. The house is still a muckfest.

And then there's the worst culprit of all - the guitar that's perched on its stand in the dustiest corner of the room. There's a reason for that. Trying to clean around an idle guitar is like trying to clean around Anna Friel in a mini skirt offering you a neck and shoulder massage. “What were the chords to By The Time I Get To Phoenix again? It's ages since I played that.” Soon you're deep into Glen Campbell's obscure B sides, and that plane flying majestically overhead is the one you were supposed to be on.

Oh, and by the way, you've no idea how difficult it's been typing this particular distraction in cheap rubber gloves.