Brace yourselves - two riveting subjects coming up: dreams and housework. I know you'll manage to control your mounting excitement.
The bugle is blowing loud and clear today: "Spring CLEANING time is here! Stop going on about Spring and DO something - start cleaning your house!" But I needed a Sign.
I woke this morning with a headache ( which happens rarely) and a sense that it was Wednesday (well, that happens a lot). I had also been dreaming, a vivid and unpleasant dream in which unsupervised painters had covered the unfeasibly-high walls of my vast and grassy (dream) back yard with black paint. I was in despair, and helpless.
Yesterday I had dreamt of having moved into a crumbling house, like an unconverted barn, with an uneven mud floor; I had just cleaned everywhere, and it was now full of other, uninvited, people, and all their mess, clutter, and unwashed dishes. I was furious, and helpless.
I got up, feeling oppressed and miserable, and over breakfast, thought about what it might all mean. I'm not overly prone to amateur analysis of dreams, but I know that when I dream about houses, they are usually huge, gloomy and in need of repair - this usually means there's something about me and my world that is calling for attention. Hmmmm......
Dream dirt, messiness, neglect, blackness, helplessness..... I looked around. I saw cushions needing urgently to have fresh covers in bright colours, grubby arm covers, carpets desperately in need of professional cleaning after my inept efforts with sprays had worsened their many stains, a (small, paved) back yard crying out for drastic action: pressure washing, cutting back of the dead winter stalks, plant pots being organised for Spring, repairing where harsh frosts had damaged the walls. There was evidence of the sharp claws of wicked cats everywhere, indoors and out.
And where was that Billy, the liar-liar-pants-on-fire roofer, who still hasn't come back to finish the everlasting work? Worse, where was I, all this time, letting this slovenly neglect build up? I could see where: in that familiar realm of At Fault, moaning about grubbiness; doing absolutely nothing about it. Whining about stains on the carpets; ditto. Thinking of making summer cushion covers; ditto with knobs on. And so on and so lazily forth.
I had let things slide, and I knew it, especially in my sleeping hours. Not a sophisticated train of thought, perhaps, but it seemed to fit.
So I tackled the headache first: the dog, neighbour Lesley and I had a pleasant walk through the Dene. There were robins, and flowering currant, bouncy brown dogs with their owners, and a general air of liveliness brought on by milder weather.
We met Alan from the allotment, and I found myself meaning it when I said I'd be down there soon, to dig, plant potatoes, clean the pond. He looked relieved - no need to send the dreaded Warning Letter to another skiving plot holder. Those potatoes chitting on the windowsill will go in the ground on Good Friday, as tradition demands.
Back home, I spent some time in the back yard, cutting back dead fern fronds, exposing the knobbles beneath that look like they will never produce another fat bud -
- until suddenly, amazingly, they do. But not yet.
I wrestled a white-flowering clematis out of its too-small "this will do for now" pot in which it has struggled for several years, and replanted it. This was all it managed last year, poor thing:
I filled half a wheelie bin with yard sweepings and tidyings-up. The grubby arm covers and dog throws went in the wash. And I rang Billy the roofer. He called me Darlin' several times, and promised to be here by Monday. Yeah, yeah.... But I know I was right to go a bit giddy and feckless, and spend the roof money on this Mac last year; I've had time to save it up all over again.
Tomorrow I talk to the carpet cleaning company whose quote has lain in a drawer for months. Tomorrow Margery comes, to hoover and bang about with chemically-fragranced sprays (she resists my attempts to persuade her to white vinegar and e-cloths). Tomorrow I shall be the model housewife, progressing the ongoing programme of Spring cleaning. I may even take curtains down and shop for cushion cover fabric. Oops, maybe I've been affected by Billy; a little over-optimistic there, in the matter of fabric....
And maybe tonight I'll dream of uncluttered surfaces, gleaming paintwork, manicured lawns and myself in a clean pinny with a shiny-shiny halo. Blowing my own trumpet bugle.