So this morning mum popped in for a cuppa and while we were chatting I moved over to the bookshelf where the tv is and noticed that a lovely piece of pottery sitting there appeared to have a rather flecked and speckled appearance I hadn't really appreciated before. I picked it up and ran my finger across it and oh dear! The speckled appearance was all the soot, dust, dirt! It came off on my finger and let me know - it's time for a 'Spring Clean'. So I have 'sprung' to action. Curtains are down and swishing about in eucalyptus fragranced bubbly bliss out in the washing machine...I hope they will survive; it's on 'Delicates'. Fingers crossed. Mum kindly pointed out a cobweb and I have since discovered lots more around the curtain rods. And I'm sitting here writing. Well a girl has to do what a girl has to do! Call it procrastination if you like. I don't mind.
As I glance around the room, I realise that winter months...arriving home late from work, focused on feeding myself and unwinding at the computer or tv screen...mean that I've neglected housework apart from the bits that I've had to do. I don't like living in a dirty place. I thought it was clean...ish. But my eyesight is going and I have so much else to do all the time, that it does get relegated to the end of the list quite often. It's only dust. Not hurting anyone. However, today I have made a start and I'll tackle it in bits n pieces. Having a wood fire does rather increase the amount of dirt that finds its way into a home. Carting wood in is one thing and the smoke from the fire is making a lot of sooty fallout. I was a bit surprised to see how much of it there was. I guess I haven't dusted for a while, but what bothers me most is that it must be in the air all the time and I'm busy breathing it in. Thank goodness for nose hairs. You know, those annoying little numbers that start to peek out beyond the end of your nose as you get older. Have you ever tweaked one of those? I have. It's one thing I know that brings tears to my eye; I just can't believe how much it hurts! I don't have to do it often...a good thing...just now and then. Well, right now I'm feeling really grateful for my nose hair because it might be stopping most of that sooty gunk from getting into my lungs, and frankly, I'd rather have it on the furniture than in my lungs.
I'm an ex-smoker. You know what we're like. Extreme-ist haters of smoke and anything smoke or soot like in or on our person. I was a died in the wool Serious Smoker in my youth. My beautiful but misguided grandmother was a committed smoker of Park Drive cigarettes, and somehow she managed to get me to start smoking them too at the tender age of eleven. I know. Shocking! We all have skeletons in our cupboards you know...I'm just letting you meet a few of mine! So I became a smoker. I used to pinch money from my dad's 50 cent piece collection which was (rather oddly) housed in a fancy old plastic talcum power dish was a lid. I think it was probably an off cast from one of mum's birthday or Christmas gifts. In fact I think it may have been Avon...Anyway, in an effort to increase my popularity with my school mates, I'd buy Woodbines which back then were about 22 cents a packet of ten. I think the smaller packs were easier to hide and easier to afford on stolen 50 cent pieces. I only ever took fifty cents at a time and I only stopped when the collection got down to one lonely piece staring at me from the bottom of the bowl. I was afraid that if I took that one, he'd notice. Just quietly, I reckon he had noticed already and was stashing them somewhere else, otherwise that little goldmine would never have dried up!
I could tell you more about smoking; about biddies and Viscount and Alpine...St Moritz and Cocktail Sobranies... but for now I won't. I'll get back to stopping which happened several times during my late teens and early twenties but happened properly when I was in my early thirties and planning my first baby. I'd never been able to stand seeing anyone smoking around babies and I knew that smoking could affect a baby even before it was born. So I stopped. I had good motivation. I've never had another smoke and I'm proud of that. Sometimes the hardest things are just about finding the right motivation and then boom...it's all over. Then I read somewhere that it takes fifteen years for a smoker's lungs to get back to the point where you have equal chances of getting lung cancer as a non smoker. After stopping that is. So I celebrated all year on that fifteenth year because I felt like it was a hell of an achievement to have stayed stopped for all that time. I'm still proud of myself for that. I'm really very lucky. I am not tempted to smoke any more and haven't been for years. I had a hair analysis done long years ago and one of the things I proved intolerant to was cigarette smoke. Yep. It's really not nice when you are an ex-smoker. I think we tend to have a super sensitivity. So apologies to those of you that might think we just carry on. Sorry. We can't help it. Perhaps one day you will know.
So back again to the Spring Cleaning. I'm about to go and get the curtains out of the machine. Wish me luck. It's a beautiful day here. I might just find time to get some cobwebs down and the dusting and vacuuming done in time to get ready to hit the town tonight. I'm off to see Phantom of the Opera!! Can't wait. See you tomorrow or the next day. Let me know your Spring Cleaning tips. I think I might be needing them over the next few weeks. Oh, by the way...the grout is still looking mighty fine!!
Enlightenment...I really was taken aback by the amount of dust in my lounge, but then I had a little revelation. I had recently been given a load of wood by some friends who said it made too much ash. I of course, thought it was ash in the bottom of the fire, but now realise that it is very fine ash that has spread around the place every time I've opened the door of the fire. It was blackwood (a Tasmanian wattle) and it burns very well and very hot so I've had some really beaut fires but, a friend told me, it does make a lot of ash! All the same I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I'm grateful for the wood and wonderful heat it provides. I'll have to dust a bit more often and keep my nose hairs in good trim until the fire is back on a hardwood diet!