Different strokes for different folk

Hygiene is something that divides us all. Some people seem able to wallow in the deepest crap while others always a have a disinfectant wipe at the ready.

On a scale of 1 to 10, if 1 equalls drowning in detritus and 10 is as clean as a saints bath, I guess I come in at about a 7.

Abuse of kitchen worksurfaces, or counters as the Americans call them, gives me the most gyp. I hate seeing programmes on the telly where people are actually sitting on them. This is the surface where people prepare food, so how can it be alright for people to sit on them and leave fart rings everywhere.

Having cats in the kitchen seems unhygienic to me, but some cat owners don't mind a few hairs on their toast. They also don't mind if their beloved pet walks all over the worksurface and lays down on it to lick its own giblets. Who knows where the little darling's feet have been?

My mother was a lovely woman and a stickler for hygiene. Don't get me wrong, she wasn't fussy, she just liked things to be clean, especially where food was concerned. I was one of 6 children and we never suffered from the sickness that seemed to dog the less clean kids in our street.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, including my father, was allowed to touch her tea towel, so perhaps you can imagine my surprise when the following happened when I was courting my first wife. One week-end I was sitting in her mother's kitchen while my wife was preparing to go out. She was fully dressed and checking herself over when she noticed that her boots were dirty. Without a second thought, she grabbed the tea towel off the oven handle, gave her boots a damn good cleaning and put it back.

A genuine case of different strokes for different folk, me thinks.