Monday, July 30, 2007

101 things

1. I've never written a list of 100 things on this blog.
2. Therefore I decided now is the time to try it.
3. This may not be a post that you would want to read if you have just eaten.
4. Or is you are eating right now, or about to eat.
5. Other than that you're probably alright, although I will totally understand if you want to stop reading at any point.
6. My Mum has had these weird marks on her arms (and later the rest of her body)
7. But we didn't know what they were
8. Nor did the doctors
9. Although at least three different ones had a go at diagnosing her.
10. These marks went on for a long time, and it almost turned into a game - where will the marks appear next?

11. Meanwhile my Mum and Dad were also finding unexplainable spots which looked like blood on their sheets.
12. Then HP, Steve and I went off to Brighton to the New Frontiers conference. (I would self-link back to my posts about that, but it's gonna take me long enough to come up with 100 points, without adding links as well).
13. We had a fantastic time.
14. On the Thursday my Mum decided to clean out the drawers under their bed.
15. She's begun to come to the conclusion that all the marks must be bites of some sort, but she didn't know what from.
16. I forgot to mention that the week before we went to Brighton I'd discovered lots of bites on my legs.
17. My bites were very itchy.
18. My Mum's were not itchy, just red.
19. I'd put mine down to the grand 'woodlouse hunt' that my class had done in the school playground (science experiment * )

20. * No woodlice were hurt during the events leading up to this blog post being written.
21. Anyway, back to the drawers.
22. She found some crawly things in there.
23. She looked 'pests' up on Google and discovered that they were probably bed bugs.
24. We officially had (still have) bed bugs.
25. She contacted a company to come and deal with the bed bugs.
26. Bed bugs are apparently rife in East London at the moment.
27. They cannot fly, but this company's research has shown that the bed bugs travel on bus and tube routes.
28. The bed bugs are lazy, so like to hide in cracks and crevices.
29. (Here comes a pretty grim bit)
30. From the evidence (you don't want to know) it appears we may have had the infestation for as long as six months without knowing.

31. The man checked, and found that we had them in two rooms.
32. The man from the nice company sprayed the beds
33. (I believe, being asthmatic I wasn't actually allowed back in the room for several hours).
34. Then they broke the news to my parents that we would now have to sleep in the beds for the next 14 nights to act as bait.
35. Our conference ended so HP, Steve and I headed home.
36. We also gave a lift to a bag belonging to Angela (who blogs over at 'The King and I' - click over on my sidebar if you're so inclined. And if you're fed up with beg bugs, then I don't blame you)
37. and my friend Joy who I have known since we were six,
38 however I hadn't seen her for ages because she has been living in York for the last few years.
39. She was going to spend the weekend with her Mum in London
40. and it seemed a good opportunity (the only opportunity) for us to catch up.

41. We arrived home safely
42. But it did take a long time because it was a Friday and there was lots of traffic.
43. My Mum told me that I had to sleep in my bed for the next fortnight.
44. I was not happy about that prospect
45. even when she told me I'd been doing it potentially for the last six months without realising.
46. I did eventually go to bed, but only after I'd got my Dad to thoroughly check my bed before I got it in.
47. I reckon I can cope with things coming out to bite me so long as I can't seem them trying to do it.
48. We had to keep a record of any bed bugs we found
49. And had to kill any that we found if they were not already dead.
50. I've reached the half way point and haven't run out of things to say.

51. For those two weeks we were not allowed to clean those two rooms
52. But once they were over we had to thoroughly clean them
53. In the meantime we had to wash or freeze everything we could to kill any bugs on them
54. This meant all the linen that was in the drawers under my parents bed
55. All the clothes in our chests of drawers
56. All the clothes in our wardrobes
57. The curtains
58. and anything else you can think of (for example soft toys, bags, towels etc)
59. To kill bed bugs you have to either wash at 60 degrees or leave the item in the freezer for ten days.

60. Turns out there's not a hugs amount of room in our freezer
61. especially when you take into account all the woollen things that you really don't want to wash at 60 degrees.
62. However, also turns out some friends of ours had a chest freezer that they weren't using, so we were able t put some stuff in it.
63. It makes you realise how attached you are to particular pieces of clothing when you have to decide whether to wash them at high temperatures even when they say 'hand wash only'
64. Also turns out that actually most things do survive at that temperature
65. And things you actually hoped would shrink somehow manage to come out seeming larger than when they went in.
66. When you don't put your clothes back in your room because you don't want to have to wash them all again they fill up the rest of the house.
67. Ikea sell some great storage drawers, but it's amazing how many different storage bags you can look at before you manage to find one that doesn't have any sort of air holes or places that bed bugs might get in
68. because you want to have the possibility of being able to store things back in your bedroom without them being at risk again.
69. Vacuum sealing bags are quite fun to use
70. buts it's best to get the ones you use a vacuum to stuck out the air, rather than the ones that you just roll, which are actually quite rubbish.

71. It's also interesting to note just how many people can get confused when looking at the box of said bags and wonder whether their vacuum cleaner does that (as in suck. It is actually quite confusing when you're in that situation).
72. Our downstairs is full of piles where ever you look.
73. Upstairs my bed is currently on it's side because I've been steam cleaning the base of it.
74. Although the stuff they sprayed was meant to be killing them off by now we still seem to be finding quite a lot of bed bugs.
75. We are deciding whether we need to have the rooms re-treated.
76. It's amazing how long it takes to wash all those things
77. We are extremely thankful to God for all the good weather to dry our clothes.
78. And also for washing machines that don't break, despite being used to do at least five loads of washing a day.
79. And for instruction manuals for the vacuum cleaner which told us it might stop over heating if we changed the filter.
80. We are all absolutely shattered from dealing with all the stuff and trying to get through the intensive cleaning.

81. Bedbugs can climb high, even to the top of curtains.
82. It is unlikely that you have bedbugs if you have a few bites and have started panicking.
83. However if you Google them you will be sure to come up with some useful pointers as to how to identify if you have them, and what to do if you do have them.
84. As you've seen there are lots of reasons why I haven't blogged lately.
85. This week I will be looking after B and J on Wednesday and Thursday.
86. The little one and his family have been on holiday for a couple of weeks.
87. When I saw them at church on Sunday I was amazed to see how much the little one and the little flower had grown.
88. We are going on holiday to Cornwall quite soon.
89. We can't wait to get away, all five of us.
90. It is five because Bekki will be coming too.

91. We are hoping to have got rid of bed bugs by the time we go on holiday
92. but at the current rate it is not seeming likely.
93. I have discovered how fun steam cleaners can be
94. but also quite wet, so it's useful to have a pile of rags or old towels handy to mop up the run off.
95. Tomorrow we are going food shopping. Yay, I like sainsburys :-)
96. We also need to try to sort and deal with all the piles downstairs before we go mad.
97. I need to go through my clothes and work out what actually fits me, and what I can send to the charity shop.
98. I will try to write on my blog more frequently
99. But life has been really busy lately.
100. This is officially the summer holidays.

101. We're just waiting for life to let up a little so we can actually have a rest.


Kathleen said...

What a great post!
I'm really, really very sorry about the bedbugs. Thinking ofmy own wardrobe, I think I might actually throw out most of the clothing rather than wash it all, but then I would be spreading the bedbugs, wouldn't I?

Rest up!

Mary deB said...

Ugh, bedbugs! Worse than headlice....