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Thursday, 13 November 2014

A Spring Clean in November



The ultimate displacement activity: house cleaning – worse – the Spring Clean. Worse than that – a November Spring clean. Some of you will have already guessed it – yes - writing has hit a sticky patch. There is a hill of research to climb (to big to ignore) before I can go on. Nevertheless, I’m torn between the two competing impulses – to carry on writing, probably into a quagmire  – or stop and take stock. Research and think.

 I’d like to make this sound vaguely heroic using the metaphor of a traditional steppe torture:  tying the victim to two horses galloping in different directions. But in fact it’s pusillanimity squared, an indulgence, an effete quiver of the sensibilities. I could be in an office, down a coalmine - worse - teaching, or in Sierra Leone. And I’m worried about this? A module the size of a fridge has just landed on a comet 310 million miles away travelling 140,000 miles per hour. It puts my little hiccup into perspective.

But then, to be honest, I’m not worried. It’s a perfect excuse for a thorough spring clean, an approving wife and, biggest bonus of all Rock music in an empty house with volume right up to the ceiling. The house is shaking as I get to grips with duster and mops and various weird implements.

And, inadvertently, I’ve discovered the perfect play- list. No door or skirting board has been more vigorously washed than to the tune of Radar Love. Brushing proceeds at a frenzy to Hawkwind’s Silver Machine. Dusting demands the equally rhythmic but more delicate House of the king by Focus. Sweet Home Alabama is wonderful for toilets, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s Faithhealer - most excellent for windows. As the end approaches it’s one final strut to the kitchen to the strains of Tumbling Dice. I also hoovered the entire house but didn’t hear much with that. I think Rory Gallagher’s ‘Messing with the Kid’ was in there somewhere, but it doesn’t work with a Dyson - which is also rubbish for air guitar.

Now it’s back to the screen with an orange I’m finding hard to peel,  and a determination to write: a blog post. The sequal to The Gift can wait another day.

11 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

LOL!Excellent choices to clean by. Loved the drum solo. One of my all time favorites.

Radar Love used to be our date night song when Greg sped down Chicago back streets to get me home before my curfew. I could swear that MGB was capable of time travel--or maybe it was Greg's driving.

Mike Keyton said...

I'm glad that brought back memories. That's the thing about music - other than memories - it's something I can't just sit down and listen to, unless in a car. It's the puritan work ethic. I've got to be doing something to make me feel less guilty. Puritan work ethic and Catholic guilt - devastating :) What would be your play list for chores?

Maria Zannini said...

Hey, don't knock Catholic guilt. It's gotten me through a lot of tedious stuff. :)

I used to play music when I cleaned, but I move too fast from room to room so I end up missing too much.

Nowadays, Greg plays an assortment of music while we cook. Everything from Aretha Franklin to the Russian national anthem. I'm also fond of Zombie Jamboree by Rockapella.

Mike Keyton said...

Zombie Jamboree by Rockapella. Just had to check it out :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yasin1ULLvI

Thank you...I think :)

Maria Zannini said...

That's the one, but the live version is better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nI2bVtQ6Kk

Excuse me. I have to go boogie now. :D

Mike Keyton said...

Will check this out tomorrow - one more displacement activity :)

LD Masterson said...

I'm going to sheepishly admit I do my best cleaning to Cher. No idea why, she just gets me moving.

DRC said...

You make house cleaning sound fun.

I agree. It's hard to air-guitar with a dyson, but a broom... :)

mrcrashhappy said...

IMHO, that last Parkland sub is rocking.

Mike Keyton said...

Damn it, Dawn. Air-broom. My brain must have been going soft. Roll on the next Spring Clean

Mike Keyton said...

Crash - many thanks for the compliment. Nearly there now - six chapters, but most fairly short. I may combine some just to hasten things.