Saturday 9 October 2010

Have duster, will travel

Going away on a trip would be so much pleasanter if all I felt the need to do was to throw some clothes into a suitcase - especially when, as for this outing, we're going from spring to autumn so there's no daunting leap of imagination required climate-wise, Auckland and Seattle being pretty much on a par right now. No, what makes it all infinitely more stressful is the unreasoning urge I have to a) settle my affairs and b) leave the house clean and tidy.

The filing, the paying of bills, and laborious translation of overdue greetings letters to the Guatemalan foster child? Well, even though I crept into journalism through the back door, I can recognise the Damoclean dangle of a deadline as well as the most grizzled old hack - and that's a good thing.
But b)? It's so illogical: if I have co-existed quite happily for the best part of a year with a windowsill in the laundry that's furry with dryer lint and mysteriously translocated washing powder, why is it suddenly urgent that I set to it with cloths and spray? Why hang the picture that's been leaning against the wall for months? Why mop the bathroom ceiling?

Catching up with the washing and ironing, yes: there'll be enough to do when I come back without that pile on the bedroom chair as well. And changing all the sheets: staying in lovely hotels, I'll be spoiled with fresh linen every day and won't want to come home to my normal foetid pit. But all that dusting and tidying and vacuuming of cobwebs from the downlights? It's a lot bother to go to, just so as not to offend the burglar.

(Note to whom: there will be someone at home while we're gone, whose specialty as it happens is leaving rooms looking professionally ransacked, so there's really no need to call in, thanks.)

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