Sunday, 8 March 2009

Sparkle Sparkle!

I have been cleaning the ever-living heck out of my house this week.
'How domestic!' you might think, 'How quaint!'.
But this is the first time I've given my place 'The Business' since I bought my lightglobe changing ladder and there are parts of the place that I didn't even know existed that are filthy.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.
The ceilings are so high I need a ladder just to reach the lights and the people who lived here before me were in their 70s and not exactly suited to balancing on the tops of ladders and wiping door lintels. Or being able to see, bless their slightly blurry eyes.

My newly officially identified allergies have been going gang-busters but I'm consoling myself with the fact they'll be a lot happier once I'm finished and the place is actually dust-free.

I keep making little multi-pronged plans of attack.
All the high-up stuff first, then I can put the bloody ladder away and coax my calves back into talking to me again. Then the two carpeted rooms so I can vacuum and be done with it. Then I can cram everything from the lounge into those two rooms so I can scrub the kitchen and the bathroom and attack the damn wooden floors.

Those floors are the bane of my rental existence and a big part of why I don't mop very often.
They are sealed pine boards with a 5mm gap between each board that make sweeping inefficient and vacuuming time-consuming as you have to follow each line up and down the room whilst imitating an inverted L. The shellac, or whatever it is, is older than I am and flakes off if you scratch the floor even slightly and as the wood seems to have the consistency of a none-too-firm cheese which you could gouge a groove in with your fingernail if you tried.
This makes moving the furniture very bloody annoying so I tend to avoid doing it.

My flat is what I like to call 'venerable' so a big part of my relief at the end of this process will come from having managed to clean the place without making any bits of it fall off or disintegrate and knowing when to leave well enough alone.
As the previous part-time abode of several doted upon grandchildren it features several clusters of exciting texta marks low down on some walls and surprising patterns of brightly coloured nail polish blobs on different parts of the floor and a Peter Rabbit sticker next to the bath which I have been affectionately protecting.
I get the feeling if I tried to 'fix' any of these problems I would do more damage than I would good and would take away part of what I find so charming about the place which is that it is so very definitely lived in.
I've never been entirely comfortable with new houses as they feel sort of 'unfinished' or as if they have no personality whereas this slightly daggy, slightly banged up place is very definitely a home. Mine for now.

And after all this cleaning and moving and arranging I can collapse into an exhausted grubby heap in my nice clean flat, feeling smug and self-satisfied and at the same time quite quite glad that I won't have to do some of that stuff again for months - I'm not sure the old place could take it and frankly neither could I.
My finges are all pruney and scraped and my back and legs have taken out a restraining order against me.
But at least I've stopped sneezing long enough to type this now!

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