I meant to blog about this at the weekend, when it appeared, but then I was too busy doing other things - and not one of them was cleaning. According to The Times, cleaning has apparently become synonymous with social status - in which case I am even more of a social pariah than I thought. Apparently the really smart have 3 or 4 cleaning teams, not just one, or a single solitary cleaner - and stand over them to make sure they do it properly. In which case, I can only think they don't have enough to do. If you employ someone to do a job, surely you ought to be able to leave them to get in with it. If you need to stand over someone checking, why not do it yourself?
Only once in my life have I been flush enough to employ a cleaner, and I was so incredibly grateful that someone else was doing all the things I loathed I happily left her to it. Once she apologised for not hoovering the underside of the rugs, which flabberghasted me as it had never ever occurred to me to hoover the other side of the rug - the bit of floor it was on, yes, but its underneath, never. So you can see my standards are low.
In the few bits of free time I get, when I sit down, I do not think - ah, now it is time to wield the hoover! Or better still, iron! No, I read. An aunt of mine said she only ever dusted when people came - after a time, the dust reached its own level and didn't get any worse. And there is a certain aesthetic attraction to really spectacular cobwebs and dust. This morning I was looking for my copy of Diary of a Provincial Lady and the top shelf of its bookcase, had reached marvellously gothic levels of cobwebby tawdriness. (It houses biographies, which tend to be things we read once and then store).
Over the summer we acquire some wonderfully long and floaty cobwebs, which is one advantage I suppose to very high ceilings. Were anyone to quibble, I should tell them that they are organic flycatchers.
And yet, and yet.... on the rare occasions I clean I like it when it is done. I like the temporary sense of orderliness, of it all being, for once, sorted out. Then I go back to my book, and read on, ignoring the dog hair floating from the moulting labrador, the mud left by the son's enormous trainers, the tilth of junk mail, daughter-produced crud and strange alien things that no one will admit to owning....