Just the usual…

Where did April go? Oh wait, I know…

I’ve encountered the enquiry “What are you doing today?” frequently enough of late to make me curious. It’s not something I’d noticed previously. Naturally, I Googled “Why do people ask what are you doing today?” The answer I found made sense: When someone asks ‘what are you doing’ this doesn’t require a specific answer. You could answer saying, “Nothing much” [which is rarely the case for busy busy moi] or “Just the usual” because the person doesn’t likely need to know the ins and outs of your routine, it’s just a conversation starter.

I’ve realised my go-to conversation starter is “What’s happening?” But really, I’m interested, even at the possibility of the answer “Not much.” In our house no news is good news.

When life gives you lemons put them in a nice bowl
When life gives you lemons put them in a nice bowl.

Today I’m taking a break from the usual that has been our day-to-day since what has been termed a #rainbomb hit the east coast of NSW during March… lasting 6 days, on the back of a wet summer where the ground’s saturation point was exceeded, and left a legacy of worst-ever-mouldy-house-and-contents in our experience, and necessitating the G.O. rework drainage strategies in the yard.

We’d planned to do a seasonal clean during April… as is our habit each spring and autumn. But the mould escalated it both in terms of urgency and scope; creating an opportunity in addition to washing soft furnishings, wiping hard surfaces with homemade mould cleaner [methylated spirits, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, water], scrutinising every object using a torch to illuminate the mould… to clean, sort and rearrange the contents of the entire house for the first time since we moved here five and half years ago.

The process was stressful, mindboggling and exhausting but ultimately therapeutic and rewarding; our old house loves the attention. Some rooms took four days or more counting the times I revisited missed areas or reappearances of mould; causing me to frequently question my affection for Maximalism at the same time being grateful we’re not dealing with dangerous black mould or flood mud, and manageable amount of pesky mice rather than plague… as so many are, still.

From the original plan, cleaning the rest of the kitchen and washing the outside of the house has yet to happen, however pace and intensity of work has thankfully slowed. Gradually some normalcy has returned, hence well-earned rest days, a few days out, and the garden getting long overdue post-summer tidy up and winter preparation.

 

Although I don’t love cleaning I enjoy the outcome… but concur with Ann Richards… “I did not want my tombstone to read, ‘She kept a really clean house.'” 

For now -finally- some [albeit interrupted by everyday life] time with my computer keyboard.

 


16 thoughts on “Just the usual…

  1. That’s just terrible – your pesky mould – coming to a point where objects and home interiors needed to carefully looked and remedies made. But glad to see you’ve all done for this coming season. And maybe you’ll have some time for you and the “plumber” – nice shot of him 🙂

    One of my pet peeves when you meet up with someone or they email/text is “How are you?” Sometimes I say “mustn’t grumble” but usually I try to change the subject…

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    1. Possibly “What are you doing today?” and “What’s happening?” are the new “How are you?”. I don’t bother asking unless the answer really interests me. In the case of the latter not applying, “Hello” suffices. Pesky mould… pesky mice… just happy they’re manageable!

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  2. My personal favourite conversation kickstarter is “How’s it going?”, which can be dismissed with an “Oh, you know…” or taken forward with actual information. Your cleaning frenzy is shaming me; I look at the soft drift of fine black dog hair and dust kittens in the corners, combined with paw prints and the occasional spot where the Husband has let his cup of tea go askew, and think I’ll sort it out tomorrow. Initially I had first one foot, then the other to excuse my sloth, now, I have the quilt I’m trying to get ready for the show in amongst all the new medical appointments, and I think I’ll finally get round to it once the quilt is submitted. Probably. So far, our late summer and early winter have been dry enough that I haven’t had to go on the annual mould hunt. Bonus!

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    1. No shame, all of those things often feature in our house. We did our usual pre-Christmas spring clean and called it sufficient. Summer or knee replacement is never a good time for anything but R&R. Life, in its various guises, happens to us all.

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  3. I want my epitaph to be a little more romantic too, like ‘she made a mean chocolate mousse cake’, or ‘she was a good gamer…for her age’. Of course the ultimate would be ‘best scifi writer evah!’ 😀 😀 😀

    I may not get any of those but I won’t be getting anything about housework either!

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    1. So true, the silver lining has been a fresh enjoyment of our place. We’ve had a break from it due to being busy with other things so we’re keen to get back to it and finish… for now. I’ll pop over to your blog and see what’s happening at yours ☺

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  4. Your description of the work caused by mold certainly rang true with me! We’ve had similar issues to deal with at Forrest’s grandparent’s rock house, also on this property. We inherited a mess, but are finding it rewarding to clean it up and give it new life. I imagine you do enjoy the end result of so much work, giving you that “fresh enjoyment”. We may grumble about the difficulty and unpleasantness of delving into a necessary task, but it feels so rewarding to take on the challenge and take pride in the results.

    Since I worked in customer service most of my life, I’ve always made it a point to ask people how their day was going. I still do that when I check out at a store or stand in line with others if the opportunity comes up. Most answer, “Oh, it’s fine” or “I’m good”, but the tone doesn’t reflect that. I will often say, “Well that wasn’t very convincing!”, and almost every time, they look surprised and then spill what their day has really been like. It lightens the mood for them, and I feel it offers a sense of caring, despite that we are strangers having a brief conversation. I always wish them a better day, afternoon or whatever. So, I like the question, “What are you doing today?”, as it’s a little more personal and one can give less or more information as they choose. It still shows interest and caring.

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    1. Very perceptive on both accounts.
      Grumble I may have done about the cleaning at the start but now I’m grumbling at the interruptions that are keeping me from finishing… because we’re enjoying our newly cleaned and organised environment.
      Most people I encounter ask the regular ‘how are you’ which mostly elicits the customary responses. ‘What are you doing’ was new to me but I can see its value if one wishes to delve deeper into conversation.
      So nice to hear from you, I hope you’re enjoying retirement and the warmer months.

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      1. I thought retirement might lend more time to write, but so far there has been more outdoor work to keep up with than I can shake a stick at!! Ha ha! We are enjoying spring rains and cooler temperatures at the moment. It’s all good, isn’t it? Everything happens as it should.

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