Poor frogs, probably hanging around the edges, desperate to get spawning and worrying about those leaves turning the water to acid. It’s time to clean out the pond, and everything else.
That Narcissus might be a symbol of spring cleaning.
Why Clean in Spring?
Because televisions, corner lights, cosy fires and candles are not interested in dirt. They encourage lying around.
Because it was a winter without visitors, so there were no ‘Better clean up or they will know we are disgusting’ days.
And because the sun turns up in February and can’t get through the window.
The cat can’t see birds any more
Or worse still, some windows have taken things into their own hands and grown mould.
How awful to be a person with mouldy windows? Normal people don’t have mouldy windows. What is normal anyway? We are all supposed to get back to it soon and nobody knows what it is.
So you clean the windows and replace the mould with smears. The sun bursts through and goes around the house like an inspector. It highlights heaps of dust, grease down the kitchen walls, and horrendous scenes under the fridge.
There you are blinking like a poor mole that was locked underground for a thousand years and speculating on the grime. Things to know:
A Quick Hit Works
Find a boring radio soap and clean something senseless while you listen. The Archers is a perfect length of 13 minutes. In one episode a fridge, cupboard or entire room can be transformed. You can gloat over that for the rest of the day.
The Deep Clean Lasts and Gets you Fit
A deep Clean extends beyond the Archers, under fridges and all over walls. An Eco clean is best, so use plenty of elbow grease and a paste made out of lemons, vinegar, salt and bicarbonate of soda.
It takes days and the elbow grease comes from your own body, so it is much better for you than the gym. It lasts because you clean hidden places. From then on you will know they were clean the last time you looked.
There Will be a Sock
Long lost friends and family from Australia departed in autumn 2019, and one of them left a sock. For months we all thought it belonged to somebody else, so it waited patiently on a radiator. I tried putting it into people’s rooms, but it crawled back to the radiator. Definitely lost. It is a quality sock, not pound shop, more of an M&S, Taste the Difference ‘not to be thrown away’ sock.
Like abandoned socks worldwide it now lives underneath something, in a dusty place. Finding it is a sign of proper cleaning, and a reminder of friends far away.
You can clean around a sock
You will meet the things that move around the house
These things might be useful, like the rowing machine, kindly passed around by members of the household after drunken conversations about not getting enough exercise. It wanders in and out of rooms and won’t get out of the way. Other wanderers include: Lego, puzzle pieces, an old dog basket in case we get a dog and a cat brush, useful when the cat looks untidy.
Once you Have Seen Dust you Can’t Un-see it.
There is no answer to this. Life is easier when dust does not bother you. Making everything gleam is pleasing, so noticing dust can become obsessive.
Don’t Feng Shui
Second hand shops are closed so there is no home for broken Christmas presents and worn out shoes. When they open again they will be over-fussy and only take things they can sell, so don’t bother.
At the End of the Day There are Rats
There is evidence of chickens cohabiting with rats and sharing food. The December rat hole has opened up, with links to a series of tunnels heading for the house. The cats here are not going to deal with this, they only do moths.
Chris Packham says it is not OK to poison rats and suggests we make sure they can’t find food near the house. I spent a happy day fixing up a chicken feeder that can be winched up at night. And more happy hours fixing up chicken dinners so delicious that they will eat them immediately instead of sharing with the rats.
Who would have known that chickens like chopped cabbage and minced garlic better than anything else?