Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Over to you mother.

My darling children took this photo in San Francisco for me to comment on. First off, I would like to thank Alexa and Zach for their recent guest posts and for the opportunity to analyze the above picture. This is a perfect example of why you should pick up after yourself. Or your dog. Not everyone looks down at the ground when walking. In this instance, it looks like someone with a small foot was oblivious to this leave behind. It could have been a child or even Cinderella. Regardless, this person then tracked the contents along with them to their next destination. The slide at a playground. Prince Charming's bachelor pad with shag carpet. As for the color, I have no idea what one would have to eat to produce this two-toned marvel. Miss.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One way to build immunity.

My friend Madelaine who lives in San Francisco told me when she was younger she used to bite her fingernails while alternately hanging onto a bus handrail. She thinks she's built up her immune system for a lifetime. I know what the Hygiene Hunter -- my mother -- would say about that. "Plastic bubbles exist for a reason."

By Alexa (& Zach)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Clean air is important too.

San Francisco's climate makes this city walkable. The hills, granted, can be intimidating. This photo honors all individuals who do their part to keep the air clean by walking and cycling. Mastering the hills on a bicycle is a real accomplishment.

By Alexa (& Zach)

Monday, January 25, 2010

A nice idea in principle.

My sister and I wondered if this grocery cart cleaning service at Whole Foods in San Francisco is the equivalent of triple-washed lettuce that comes packaged in a clamshell. You kind-of-sort-of-trust that it's washed, but you wash it yourself anyway. Our suspicious nature is likely due to the fact we're Children of the Hygiene Hunter. That's better than being Children of the Corn.

By Zach (& Alexa)

Friday, January 22, 2010

You dropped something.

In the lovely Presidio, an area of San Francisco bundled high in the hills, you're less likely to see unwashed trinkets on the street. Having said that, my brother and I trekked up a steep 90-degree hill only to stumble upon a filthy pair of underwear wrapped in a ski jacket. As HH's correspondents we were thrilled at the sight of matter-out-of-place. Zach warned, "Eww, disgusting. Don't get too close!!!" I replied, "When it comes to capturing hygiene mishaps our job is to be bold, not wimpy. So here hold my purse." With that, I leaned in to snap this photo. Some say, "You're never fully dressed without a smile." HH and her children say "If you're undergarments aren't clean, or worse, dirty and left on a curbside for all to see, your smile can't save you." 

By Alexa (& Zach)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Canine speak.

We were impressed to learn dogs in San Francisco can read signs and are thereby doing their part to keep the streets clean. We thought the Hygiene Hunter would also be impressed.

By Zach (& Alexa)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Motherly advice.

This sign in a San Francisco park has helped us to better understand our mother -- the Hygiene Hunter. We always thought she was just worried about us bringing sand into the house.

By Zach (& Alexa)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We know.

After, "I love you." my mother's favorite phrases are "Wash your hands." "Did you wash your hands?" "Are your hands clean?" She is clinically obsessed with soapy lather. She is also obsessed with observing other people's actions.

Oddly, it wasn't too much of a surprise when I picked up a lucky penny off the gritty ground in San Francisco only to look up and see a big, bold message commanding me just like Mother. I wondered if she was having my brother and I followed.

By Alexa (& Zach)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Passing the feather duster.

Life is rough. Blah. Blah. Blah. My mother is the Hygiene Hunter. So. I sent my children to San Francisco as Hygiene Hunter Correspondents to see if they share my genetic disorder to the same degree. Yes, I did catch my son eating a sliced tomato that fell on the kitchen floor. Admittedly, I am to blame for his false sense of security. Over to you Alexa and Zachary for this upcoming week.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tastes clean.

The Wolseley in London, England is without question my favorite brunch destination for food, ambiance and the fact they consistently and thoroughly spray down tables between diners. If you wanted to, you could eat directly off the table top. You. Not me. Hit.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This is not a public toilet.

Spikes are installed in window sills in London, England to keep pigeons from defacing them. I wonder if spiked hair creations also have the same effect? Hit.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The bidet update.

The water was turned on by my Personal Faucet Handler. And that is about as far as I progressed with my bidet experiment because I was not quite sure which position to assume. Bent-Over Row? Pelvic Tilt? Lunge? Downward-Facing Dog? Bucking Bronco? Crouching Tiger? Hidden Dragon? I think a disposable water bottle could be just as effective and far more straightforward.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The only way to watch a movie.

I like the concept of movie theatres. Large screens. Impressive sound systems. It's just the 'other people' part of the movie going experience that I'm not particularly fond of. Other people talking. Other people coughing. Other people breathing. The private screening room at the Covent Garden Hotel is another reason I enjoy staying at this property. Hit.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Such a charming idea.

Dearest Covent Garden Hotel Housekeeper:

When I returned to my room and found the bed cushions on the floor I fainted. When I came to I was grateful they were on the ground because they cushioned my fall. In my concussed state I mulled over the benefits of sleeping on the floor since that's where you placed my pillows. A floor sleeping arrangement would definitely eliminate the need for my signature mattress inspection. In theory, I would not have to concern myself with bed bugs since technically there would be no bed. And maybe, just maybe, more people would wear slippers in a room if they too were forced to sleep on a floor. All excellent points with merit. Then I became practical. The downside obvious. Lifting a mattress pad to ascertain a stain-free sleeping surface is relatively straightforward compared to tearing up a carpet. Being the Hygiene Hunter you just know I would have to know what lies beneath.

Air Kisses,

Hygiene Hunter.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A smoke break.

Yum. Yum. Let's hope at least more than one person enjoyed these cigarettes outside a SOHO restaurant in London, England. Miss.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My top attraction.

I have often been asked what I love most about the Big Smoke. London cabs top my list because they are so clean and drivers keep their hands on the wheel -- not up their nose. I was told drivers can be fined if their cabs are deemed less than perfect by inspectors. The worst I've ever encountered in one of their cabs was a driver's unfortunate choice of cologne. Hit.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Say it isn't so.

A communal nail brush at a patisserie in London, England? What if someone with very large teeth and no hygiene compass confused this with a toothbrush without a handle? This is why I always carry a camera with me. Miss.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Clever protection.

Not one, but two. Not thin, but thick. Covent Garden Hotel does have it right when it comes to protecting their mattresses from human indignities. If for instance someone chooses to use the bed as a toilet then CGH only has to replace the mattress protectors -- not an expensive mattress. This is a planet friendly and Hygiene Hunter pleasing move more hotels should consider if only to make my life easier. At CGH, if all goes well, a mattress has a two-year life span at which point it is automatically replaced. Personally, I am a fan of virgin mattresses. Hit.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Clean at twice the price.

I don't normally buy things from street vendors, but the excellent cocktails created by the bartenders at London's Covent Garden Hotel made me do it. When I found a suitable T-shirt at this vendor, I discovered it was slightly soiled. My request for a clean T-shirt was granted, but I was informed it would be twice the price. Oddly, I can get into that. Hit.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How to?

Bidets are rarely seen in North American hotels. Although I've travelled to Europe many times, I've never summoned the courage to investigate this hygiene paradox. So I plan to spend my day today attempting to determine just how to use a bidet without the assistance of Google or the ever helpful, knowledgeable and discreet Covent Garden Hotel concierge team. And most importantly, without any of my body parts making contact with the porcelain basin. I will let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year cleanse.

In addition to my external cleanliness habits, I do believe it's important to stay clean on the inside. That includes diet, exercise and massage. One of my favorite therapists practices in London, England. Jenny Waite always offers good advice along with her services at The Treatment Room in the Covent Garden Hotel. I choose reflexology and a deep massage to help eliminate toxins from 2009. As Jenny explains, even she can't accomplish that in one session.

On this visit, she confirms the human race tends to hang onto too much stuff. Stress can be stored in the large intestines and anxiety can lead to stomach troubles. Regularity is affected by a combination of diet and stress. Ideally your bowel pattern should include more than one visit to the loo a day. Jenny says colon massage can help you on the path to pooping like a baby and attaining the four-a-day goal believed by experts in this field to be the ultimate. I will make this my New Year's resolution number two. Hit.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Hygiene Empress.

A sochu-based cocktail at Roca in London, England made me reconsider my Hygiene Hunter moniker. I admit I very much enjoyed being referred to as Empress every time I was served a drink that coincidentally was named Empress. Hmmm. Happy New Year.