Friday, 19 November 2021

Cleaning Frenzy


There’s a myth that surrounds me and that’s that I love cleaning. I really don’t. I just like clean. There’s a difference.

The act of cleaning is hellish. Something that leaves you exhausted with chapped hands, a sweaty brow, and aching limbs. It’s hard work. Something that should ideally be done by a group of helpful woodland animals and birds like in Snow White. I keep whistling for them but they won’t come. I'm just left in that dress with a broom but no critters. 

I’ve had many cleaning injuries. I’ve slipped in a too clean shower, burned myself, fallen off stools and notably once had a wheeze for a week after accidentally combining two noxious products. That’s one chemistry lesson I won’t repeat.

As a child, I would tidy compulsively. I loved the feeling of order and the calm that this bestowed upon me. By twelve I was earning extra pocket money for the handy household skills I possessed. Wielding a duster and vacuum cleaner earned me a few extra pounds a week to spend on books and tapes (for anyone under forty: they were these annoying things that snapped and got snarled up when we tried to play back music before we had CDs and the internet).

Once I had my own home, I became addicted to the feeling of having cleaned, spending hours swiping away stains and blemishes. That moment when the flat was absolutely spotless and I could rest back with a book, knowing I was in charge. The sense of achievement is undeniable. Naturally, it didn’t stay clean. Nothing does. That’s where the tyranny begins. You can’t just clean. You have to keep doing it, over and over again.

Three weeks of languishing on the sofa left our flat looking decidedly smudged so I took back control today. I took on the beast with a four hour cleaning session. Cleaning is my version of the gym. It's a gruelling workout. I'll be exhausted tomorrow but at least I'll be exhausted in a clean place. 

I often wonder where the hell those woodland animals are when you need them? I demand woodland animals with industrial strength products. Life can be so unfair. 

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