Musings and wanderings in the Daemon Wastes...

Day: December 12, 2008

And not a creature was stirring, not even a dust bunny…

Here’s the thing, housework is not something that I am __good__ at; not even remotely.  I ought to be good at it – my parents are both accomplished cleaners, and I am not going for laughs here, I mean it.  Amongst their many talents they are both very good at cleaning up.  Certainly their profession is one with a reputation for cleanliness, at least in certain environments, and even though they have both mellowed a little in these last few years, toilets and kitchens are still places that shine and sparkle in their homes.  Not only has their influence been strong in the shaping of who I am, but I also went to a British, boys’ boarding school.  Have no illusions, the money that was spent on my education was spent wisely, on talented and interesting teachers, excellent books and equipment, but as anyone who went to my school will tell you, a good half of all the domestic cleaning was done by the boys.  On looking back this was also a good thing, it taught us how to sweep and mop a hardwood floor, or clean a bath – I don’t think that it was a bad thing at all…

So why is it that now, as an ‘adult’, with a job and a flat and (some) spare time on my hands, I find it __so__ hard to keep my living quarters clean and tidy?  I mean is it as simple an equation as there are no longer other people with more authority telling me what to do and when to do it?  Am I in fact a victim of my own lazy, idle tendencies, and without someone who can send me on a run up a hill before breakfast or who can keep me in on a Saturday night, re-doing my French homework I am in fact merely a slob?

In my own defence I do work a full-time job, and when I’m not doing that I am trying to maintain an active social life, write a piece of short fiction every day and work on three concurrent artistic projects, not to mention other random blogging (like this) and occasional meals and trips to the bathroom.  More to the point, after eight hours at work, doing a job that is not all bad, but by God could be a LOT more exciting, and spending __some__ time getting back into Reading through the unaccountably awful evening traffic, the VERY LAST thing that I want to do is empty the bin, wash the floors, sort the laundry, clean the toilet and do the washing up.  Am I alone in this?  I have a feeling that I’m not, but the very fact that (currently) I am not sharing my living space with another human being means that the only person who actually suffers is me, and insidious though it may be, at first it seems to be worth it.

I have recently got back on top of the cleaning situation in my flat, thanks in no small part to two friends who wanted to give me an Xmas present that they didn’t have to buy.  They came up with the suggestion, it went a little like this:

“You know how you do from time to time complain about how awful the state of your flat is, but then you never do anything about it?”


“Well how about we help you get started on it as a Christmas Present from us to you?”

I’ll be honest with you, I was not initially excited about the prospect of letting even such close friends into my flat to see my shame – I mean don’t misunderstand, it was not a health risk or anything, but I had not let things go quite so badly downhill since I’d been a student, and there was a part of me that was indeed very ashamed.  They cajoled and persuaded for a little while and I relented as long as they would take a gift of some wine that was left over from my exhibition opening as a return gift, basically to assuage my guilt.  They agreed and last weekend they came around at the appointed hour and the cleaning began.

I am writing this now from a clutter free desk in a tidy and clean flat – well I still need to sort out my bedroom, but I feel confident that that will be dealt with by the end of Sunday – and I like being here again.  It was so lliberating, I cannot even begin to tell you; I have learned the hard way that the trade-off in terms of mood is so pernicious that I can never let it get out of hand like that again.

So here’s the problem, I’m still working full-time, and will be for the forseeable future; I am never going to be comfortable with the inconvenience that housework represents, and yet if I let it slide I risk letting the dirty demon back in, and I know now that sadness and shame lie down that road.  What to do?  Well I suppose the lesson of my youth, cloistered far from the bright lights of the city and from the delights of the opposite sex, would be to just buckle down and do it.  Does anyone think that is likely?  No.  What I __am__ going to do is retain a cleaner, and join the ranks, finally, not only of the middle-class, but also the middle aged.

I can afford a cleaner, particularly for this tiny flat where a pro should only need three to four hours a week to keep the situation under control.  There is a secret agenda here that panders to my own self-knowledge as well…  If I am paying for a cleaner to come and do the bathroom, kitchen and the floors and what-have-you, then I will want value for money, and I will only get that if at my end of the bargain I do two things that will ensure that whoever I retain can quickly and easily clean the flat.  As long as I keep the place de-cluttered, and the washing-up done, then a professional cleaner can make this place shine in a couple of hours – I have no doubt.  It’s a little pathetic that I have to rely on my own northern heritage and ability to wring all of the life out of any service that I pay for to encourage myself to carry out the mundanest of tasks, but if it works it works…

At least in days and weeks to come I will be able to say that I got some help, and the help, helped… 😉



365 Ficlets – #217 ~ “Window Light”

The evening sun, streaming through the quartered windows, warmed her skin where it fell. She was not sure why she had been moved to lie down in this patch of sun, but now that she was there she just enjoyed the sensation of having the warm sunlight play across her body.

She ran her hand down the inside of her thigh, opening her legs, letting the soft breeze from the bathroom’s open window play across her pussy, and then covering it with her wrist. The tips of her fingers were deliciously close; she lay just out of reach but for the tensing of her wrist. She lingered, enjoying the laziness of the moment, and building the anticipation of the second when she would give in and push her fingers between the soft folds to spread the wetness, that was starting to build, to her clit. She imagined the relief that would come and then the sharp climb towards release that she could manage so easily on her own when the mood took; held still in the sunlight letting her imagination touch her first before she let herself move.

This story was inspired by a photograph created by Scott Church, you can see it here.

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