On the same day as Andy Murray ensured that we all knew where we were when the first British man for more than seven decades won Wimbledon, I experienced my own particular triumph.
That evening I attended the rather fine show by City Voices, the Cardiff choir celebrating five years together with a concert at St David’s Hall.
Transposing 77 years of pain for 77 years of stains, the post-interval raffle that accompanies any City Voices concert served up its own victory in the form of me scooping – wait for it – a free lounge carpet clean.
Now I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t have preferred to have walked away with a holiday, meal and leg wax or other goodies on offer, but as far as the practicality of the prize was concerned it was a gift from the gods.
In fact, I’d go as far as to say some higher being was sending us a message – namely one that said, ‘Go on, treat yourself and discover what colour your carpet actually is’.
Anyone with kids will attest that the beautiful cream-coloured shagpile you once trod on barefoot pre-children, and which felt like you were being carried aloft by a million miniature feathers, now resembles a Jackson Pollock print.
If I ever go hungry I know that I can quite easily cut a square of carpet and chow down on it, given that most of my daughter’s food has, at one time or another, ended up ground into its maltreated fibres.
I don’t quite know what the calorific content is but given that over time most of her vegetables have been jettisoned from her plate with a dismissive scowl and a disgusted flick of her wrist, I’d probably be getting all of my five-a-day in one bite-sized mouthful.
It’s not that we haven’t tried to eradicate the stains, but you soon learn that through the combined evil of food, paint, crayon, and toilet mishaps (which is the polite way of putting it) your idealism is quickly reduced to futility and frustration.
The worst offender is glitter. So much glitter!
Having a little girl beholden to the joys of fairies and princess, the trail of glitter strewn around the floor must surely resemble Tinkerbell’s kitchen after she’s been making cake. (Or loo, after a night out on the tiles…)
And if I ever forget and take my socks off, I go to bed with my feet looking like Ziggy Stardust. (There’s a puppet show waiting to happen there I think.)
So while I may have balked at my raffle prize, I know that a free lounge carpet clean is secretly what every parent desires.
Until your child next eats spaghetti, curry or beans that is.