I don't much mind missing the weekend's big event, since it was no doubt much the same as last year.
Instead, I have been both Ugly Sister and Cinderella, finding things to clean, dust and polish before my house-swap. It's my own fault, I suppose. If I kept on top of it the rest of the year, I wouldn't suddenly be noticing how the undersides of door-handles suddenly seem a bit sticky, how the freezer needs defrosting, and suchlike niceties. So yesterday the noise of the racing planes zooming overhead had to compete with the extraordinary racket of the carpet washing machine I hired, and today, I have rediscovered dishpan hands.
On the bright side, heaven knows how many pounds I've sweated off (but what a nuisance it is when one drips on something just polished). And I shall go to Paris with a slight glow of rectitude: there's no chance of returning to find my visitors stuck to the kitchen floor. I can't imagine they'll will be looking down the back of things to check my standards, but it's a bit like making sure you've got clean underwear on in case you get run over by a bus and taken to hospital.