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Tony Grist

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Cleaning Up My Act [Mar. 11th, 2009|09:51 am]
Tony Grist
I dust the model village and its inhabitants with a little, retractable brush that came out of Ailz's make-up bag.  The dust curls away like smoke, vanishing into the air to settle someplace else. That was always my objection to housework; you only ever move the gunk around; it's a treadmill you never get off.

A bit like life, in fact.

Life as housework. Keeping the dust at bay- the dust to which we shall all return.

Brrrrrrr......

I was never a great one for housework- and it's not just because I'm a bloke. My three primary female role models- my mother and two grandmothers- were exactly the same. As middle-class, mid-century women they used to pay people (poorer women) to do it for them.

And then there's the Bohemian thing. How very bourgeois it is to care about appearances- and what the neighbours think. Dirt and dust are real. Like sex, like death. Embrace them all! 

But, I don't know, I seem to be changing. These past few weeks I've taken to carrying a duster in my pocket.  Now, if I find myself at a loose end, I can whip it out and drag it across surfaces. The dust is encroaching and will win in the end- but I intend to go down fighting. Non passeran!

We have friends from church coming to tea this afternoon and I have been tidying, dusting- even mopping floors. And because these are  friends from church I have temporarily purged the model village of its "figures of an erotic nature". (Check 'em out here.)  I lift the little, naked people out of  the castle keep,  tickle them all over  with the retractable make-up brush and put them away in a cupboard.  The dust swirls and disappears. Does this make me a hypocrite?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2009-03-11 11:42 am (UTC)
Why put them away - in other words, what went through your mind when you decided to do so? (And no, this isn't meant to be accusatory or sarcastic, just a real question).

Also, I find that using the pre-moistened dust cloths helps with making actual inroads on the amount of dust in my house (and as I'm allergic to dust, this is a good thing). I also use a HEPA filter, and I'm always amazed at how much dust particles it picks up - it helps a LOT.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-03-11 08:27 pm (UTC)
I was thinking "I want to be friends with this person- and I don't want to frighten them off."

Those are helpful tips. I'd never heard of the HEPA filter, but good old Wikipedia put me straight.
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2009-03-11 11:44 pm (UTC)
We live next door to an unpaved alley, and Colorado is notoriously dusty and dry as it is, so I've come to love my two HEPA filters (one for the bedroom, one for the living room).
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-03-12 12:00 pm (UTC)
We only have house dust to contend with. This is a notoriously damp part of the world. We're just across the water from Ireland- and you know how much rain they get!
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[User Picture]From: haikujaguar
2009-03-11 12:34 pm (UTC)
I think it's courteous. Besides, even naked people have to go inside houses once in a while and rest.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-03-11 08:27 pm (UTC)
Courteous, yes. I believe in courtesy.
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From: (Anonymous)
2009-03-11 01:14 pm (UTC)
Regarding the hiding of the figures: I don't think people need to see every aspect of your personality, at least not in the first place. If one automatically knew everything about someone before becoming friends then I imagine this would prevent many great friendships :)
Tom F
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-03-11 08:39 pm (UTC)
That's very true.

There's no need to let it all hang out on a first visit.
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2009-03-12 03:21 am (UTC)
*giggle*

Was that an intended pun or a freudian slip??

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-03-12 11:56 am (UTC)
That one was a Freudian slip.

But I do love a double entendre
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2009-03-11 03:31 pm (UTC)
No, you're not a hypocrite. You're just cautious and courteous, even.

There are dusting wands that I find don't send the dust flying. They gather it up in the disposable lemon-
scented dusters you attach to the wand. They may be wasteful but they work so nicely.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-03-11 08:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

I'm happy to go on using a big yellow duster of the kind I grew up with. Apart from anything else, it's reusable.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2009-03-11 05:54 pm (UTC)
Do you have Swiffers over there? I love them. They actually collect the dust without the *into the air* thing.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-03-11 08:43 pm (UTC)
I don't recognise the brand name (which could simply be because I haven't been paying attention) but I have used products of this type.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2009-03-11 06:14 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, the judicious use of Pledge, Mr Sheen, or swiffers will collect the grime on your duster rather than disperse it back around the room.

My family was made up of those poorer people who were paid to do someone else's cleaning, but they were still demons for shifting dirt in their Northumbrian pit village homes. When you have no money, they way you buy respectability in the community is to send your husband to work with clean collars (if frayed) and to scrub and whiten your front doorstep. I guess there was stuff you whitened it with but I can't remember what.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-03-11 08:46 pm (UTC)
Ailz talks about having to whiten the front step with something called a "donkey stone" when she was a kid. Apparently rag and bone men used to hand out donkey stones in return for scrap.

I've never seen a donkey stone- and I've no idea how they worked.
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From: amritarosa
2009-03-11 06:26 pm (UTC)
No, you're not a hypocrite.
Besides, I think that the naked people are probably okay with going indoors for a little while. Especially since you tickled them with a little brush first!

besides, if they're happy doing the thinks naked people do out in plain sight, just think of what they might get up to out of sight!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-03-11 08:47 pm (UTC)
Whatever they're doing they're being very quiet about it....
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2009-03-17 07:34 pm (UTC)
Does this make me a hypocrite?


No, it's part of being a host, to keep things simple and not too startling.

Your guests will be interested enough in your juxtapositions of goddesses and crucifixes! That should make for good conversations!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-03-17 10:12 pm (UTC)
We took them into the front room- which is comparatively sober. They didn't see the more startling parts of the house.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2009-03-17 10:42 pm (UTC)
the more startling parts of the house

I am smiling! :)

Oh, the rabbits! Did your guests meet them?
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