21 April – Hoarding the “billionaire” way

Location: Monaco

When we are not wandering around Monaco or making good use of Franco’s free tickets to various events, we spend our time exploring the boat.

An 80-foot boat has an amazing amount of storage compartments and I am horrified by how untidy and disorganized everything is. There are tools and sunscreen in with food and utensils. DVDs and maps in with books and medicines. Every single cupboard in the galley and adjoining storeroom is crammed to bursting with cutlery, crockery, out-of-date food and old shopping bags, while the full-length pantry is a haphazard mess of mixed foodstuffs, all stuffed on top of one another and various cooking appliances. Add to that the all-pervasive odour of an old, damp carpet, amplified by the enclosed space on the boat.

“You must wash the settee covers before we go sailing,” says Brenda.

I pull off the fluffy big towels covering the built-in seats wrapped around the salon table, to reveal spotlessly white settees below.

“Gosh. They are beautiful,” I murmur. “And they look very clean already,” I add peering more closely and surreptitiously sniffing them to determine whether they are the source of the odour. They aren’t.

“Yes, they were washed at the end of last season,” says Brenda. “But they have been sitting all winter and must be washed before we leave.”

I am confused. Beautiful luxurious settees, surrounded by mini junk-yards on every flat surface around them. And she wants me to wash the clean stuff?!

I take a deep breath.

“Noooo…. problem,” I say. “I can do that. Do you mind if I go through some of the cupboards so I know where things are? Perhaps I could check if there’s any out-of-date food?”

Brenda’s smile remains the same but her eyes take on a more calculating look. I hold my breath.

“Why?” she asks.

Fair question really but how do you tell your employer that they have a psychological problem with hoarding, without offending them. I decide it’s an impossible ask, so resort to shrugging and feeling like a dumb-arse, inarticulate moron.

After a small pause, she nods.

Thank goodness.

Looking from our cabin, through the guest head, into the guest room, full of junk (starboard side)

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