Tidy Up Time
Oh gods - how long had the house been so terrible?
We have been cleaning it, our distractions wrestled till there was room for tidier habits. Vacuuming has evolved to a regular sound; vacuuming through a shrinking floor space. Boxes of stuff: bottles for syrups, display cloths, kitchen kit for the van; the usual clutter of punch-pads and breaking boards, the pile of foraged cloth for projects.
It all has purpose, it all lacks organisation. We have crowded ourselves out of our home, crowded our time with doing: we have got used to it and irritable with it. Little by little we have stopped using our impeded desks. Then last Friday I was closing my eyes, except I was driving, and then stopped my car to breathe night air, afraid. Enough. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, these were all booked for work. On Tuesday there was room for rest, by which I mean I was gifted a day without needing to look at a clock, without obligation. After coffee, no need to be at home, clutter-haunted. Stuffed the car with fuel, jollied off to Tavistock with my best brogues and gaudiest coat. Rifled charity shops for a stack of books, a jumper in twists of pink and purple, a green pashmina, two vintage brooches; rested my bones with carrot cake and more coffee, sat swinging my feet on a cushioned bench. I bought a half round of creamy goat in Country Cheeses. Headed home, so laden, so richly indulged. Mrs Millionaire. Sat down, fell asleep. Woke to the sound of rain. Swapped town clothes for country, took Dog to get muddy. Tilted my face to the sky at the top of the hill. Then it was me, and the house, and - look at the clock or not - it was time. And before my eyes went closing again, the office had become habitable. Oh gods! My arms are aching. Typing hurts. But the next room is calling. There is a level of tidiness required for the mess to remain in play.