The week started badly for LaPauvre, who wrote Please don't laugh, but I think I may have eaten dd's hamster, I am so upset. She had just polished off a pot of chicken casserole when she noticed that the hamster had disappeared and her poor daughter was devastated. "Honestly Lepauvre, if you ate DairyLea Lunchables like everybody else, none of this would have happened" scolds Blu wisely. "All the bones will make a superb stock," advises chester30, looking on the bright side. The thread clocked up the highest ever number of posts on the Pet talkboard, and threw up many hamster-related confessions. "My aunty hoovered up my cousin's hamster once," mused Ludaloo, an image that will stay with me for some time.

Flounce of the Week
This week we said goodbye to Cowmad, whose posts I rather enjoyed as she stirred us up until we were all foaming at the mouth. We think she was a writer, but Who was Cowmad? Janet Street-Porter? Rod Liddle? Yeahinaminute's guess is "an accounts clerk called Barry who has cup-a-soup for his lunch and secretly wants to be a feisty woman called Tallulah." Maybe we'll never know.

From one writing den to another, as FrannyandZooey reveals all in the thread, Here is my spare room. I have to clear it up, which excited mumsnetters on account of the massive Harry Potter poster daubing the door. ("In his Quidditch kit … <Swoon>" confesses FrannyandZooey, much to HowTheFillyjonkStoleChristmas' confusion, "Harry is about 9, isn't he?"). Talk then turned to the fan fiction genre of hot boy-on-wizard action known as Slash, and FrannyandZooey's revelations that she had penned "a homoerotic science fiction saga on the 25 rolls of toilet paper stacked in the corner, involving Tony Blair and Jamie Oliver" I wasn't really sure if she was joking or not.

Housework is on our minds this week (well, ALL the time really) and there's always plenty of excitement to be had from the FLY threads. The FLYLADY is an American cult leader whose beliefs centre around not letting the sun go down on a grimy sink. You will find her followers on Mumsnet's Good Housekeeping board and this week's hot mission was Monday Fly – Declutter Bathroom. This thread includes 127 posts from ladies giving moment-by-moment updates about their bathroom cleaning routine and their sneeze count, interspersed with some debate about the difference between sultanas and raisins.

But the thread which really spoke to my inner housewife this week was ssd's Would love to meal plan but God my life's boring enough without knowing what I'm making for tea next Tuesday. Like Iota, I choose to live life on the edge and never meal plan. Others like Cappuccino adopt a different approach: "It's quite nice thinking 'What shall we have for tea tonight?' and to check on the list and think 'Ooh that sounds nice' and to find all the ingredients already in the fridge, rather than standing in front of the cooker holding a hunk of cheese and weeping."

Getting us into the festive spirit, this week Soapbox launched Operation Christmas Mumsnetter in Important Thread – Please read everyone in which she proposed that those of us with spare toys or vouchers get together with the Mumsnetters who could do with a bit of a boost and a few more presents for their little ones. Soapbox is doing the tricky co-ordination. All you have to do is have a rummage and see if you can find that annoyingly loud electronic toy to drive another mother to the brink of madness. Hurray!

MORNINGPAPER XX