None who have been to our house recently have felt the overwhelming need to praise us for our clean and tidy living quarters. There has, after all, been a lot of mess lying around, and the dishes are often left in a dirty pile. From time to time a bad smell permeates the house from something left too long in the fridge.
Things have hit a new low, however, as our so-called Routine Inspection took place last week. This inspection, which is not, as one might expect, of our routines, but rather of a routine nature, is to examine our house and the standards in which it is being kept. You see, of course, that we do not own the house, but must rent it from the owners in Singapore.
Previously these inspections have not presented much of a hurdle. A peek here, a cursory examination there, a cross word advising us to mow the lawn, and we were all on our way. However this last time disaster struck. A new inspector, one raised in the strictest Calvinist traditions of spotlessness, was summoned to our house to perform the inspection. Routine this was not! Our house was derided in the harshest possible terms. Disgusting, it is apparently. If the landlords were to see it, we would be out on our ear.
This abrupt change in standards is frustrating. There was no warning that we suddenly had to aim for a higher standard. Also the house is far cleaner than it had been during the previous tenants' occupancy. However, we are taking no chances.
We have a further inspection next week, in front of a panel of inspectors. Hopefully our efforts at cleaning will satisfy the majority of them.
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