Making new spaces ,what to keep and what to leave ?

This blog is to go with the photo ,and Ive just been trying to get some images into my writing .Even that is fraught with questions -which images ? why ? What is the theme or linking thread ? What should i delete from computer ,and how do i use the time i have ,to do what of the myriad things i want to do ( or tell myself i want to do ) Hence the title
How do we recreate spaces ?how do make something more liveable and beautiful out of what has become outworn .How do we manage the chaos ,the dirt and dust ,the muddle ,the noise ,which comes from that ,the intrusion on what small routines we have .Most important ,how do we know when to stop before the construction of other spaces twists round on itself ,bites its own tail so that we are back in the very space we were trying to leave ,but minus the bits that we wanted to keep .
Renovation is like the idea of relocation or travel .Somehow the move will transform ones soul ,will provide the direction and surroundings needed to become different ,to nurture all those skills and qualities that have been buried in the present surroundings .Be wary ,don’t dream too much ,invest too much in the future change ,the new spaces .Because wherever you place yourself ,all those beliefs ,attachments ,fears and inadequecies make a little mound around your feet .A smaller mound if you are lucky .
Have you looked at the questions before the making ,like what to get rid of and what to keep? on a purely physical level ,how have you sorted those old photos some of them lying in boxes or scattered around in drawers ? Have you tossed out the clothes you no longer wear or need ? What about that great pair of boots you bought at the op shop a few years ago and wore once ,but just know you might wear them again .Or that blue silk dressing gown you once bought your now buried father ,packed up and posted to him for his birthday .He wore it for 40 years and it was still with him at the end .You kept it when you sorted through his things .The drawings of children and grandchildren ,the special ones with hearts and i love you printed on them .Its easy to toss the school photos taken over the years spanning schooling of the five children ,its easy to toss away some of the memos and bits of writing that came to nothing ,its harder to toss away the shells gathered on different beaches during someones long illness ,a birth ,a depression ,a walk with a child ,each of them has a story ,but only to me .its harder to get rid of Rafs dog collar and tag ,the dog who spent most of his life wandering the neighbourhood and beyond in the days before fences kept us all safe and inside OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cleaning :an Introductory reflection

I still don’t know what I’m doing ,but ,inspired by my friend Diane’s account of her South African dish , here goes -Cleaning .Its something that some of us do throughout out lives ,sometimes in our places ,often others’ mess .Any why do we bother ?
Well as i was cleaning our rental unit this morning i thought about how dirt /spots /messes/smudges seem to shift once attacked and almost re -form ,expanding their areas so that they cannot be blotted out .With glass ,for example ,the smudge seems to move .When your arm is aching and your recovered shoulder is throbbing again , your unprotected hands burning from the chemicals you have been forced to use (natural smudged glass remedies do NOT work ) ,you look at the original spot and “yay its gone !”.You step back slowly to get your breath and low and behold there is a larger one further down the glass or alongside or ,worse still for your shoulder ,above head height .How did it get there ? suddenly its very very visible to any guest walking in ,and the sun is shining through the glass too and highlighting millions of smudges and spots .They are multiplying like so many insects being born .spilling out over the windows ,creeping along my arm which is becoming weaker and weaker.

Disheartened ,in pain,and forced to use the left arm, i tackle the stove .This is usually the best of the cleaning bunch. One of my favourite cleaning jobs , the stainless steel stove top ,i love putting the chemical on it and leaving it to dry and then rubbing it first with a soft blue rag and then with one of the multicoloured proper polishing cloths i have .The final  polish requires a very dry ,clean polishing cloth .This job will not hurt my shoulder ,I love seeing the shining,clear surface emerge from the smudgy,indefinite beginnings .I can even overlook the nicks ,the scratches ,the dents in the surface made by time ,members of my family who have  lived here ,assorted friends and the current rental clients .The shine hides all  that ugliness.

This morning the magic does not work .Yes it works till i get the shine and then something happens and a faint misty smudge spills out over the shine. i can’t believe it ,i look at the cloth ,i look at the bottle of metal polish .Fine .I start again .The same thing happens .Maybe this house is sprouting smudges ,maybe it doesn’t want me here or cleaning .I plough on -apply metal cleaner ,rub off first with rag ,polish with the polishing cloth .Again and again and again ,and now my left arm is falling off too

Time for a change of movement so i head for the wooden floors .Ths is a cleaning job that relies on a subtle movement of the arms ,a circular movement from a bent over body.Because the arm movement is different ,i might be able to avoid a long term injury to my wrists and shoulders .I mean the kneeling position helps my back too .i  learnt how to polish floors from my mother while i was a child in Africa .Well she didn’t do it actually but instructed  the maid ,who had to polish the wooden floors regularly .Maria/Anna/Josephine  was more skilled than me ,in that she could use her knees and her hands to polish .How did she do that you ask ? Well she attached cocoanut husks to each of her appendages and crawled around the floors .Watched by my mother with and eagle eye in case she missed shining one of the corners of a room ,or sat back down on her haunches for a breather .My mother in Africa directed operations .i was allowed to join in with my feet ,for a bit of a play .Anyway thats where i picked up the idea of getting down on hands and knees and polishing with a cloth in each hand .Good exercise as it uses core muscles ,gentle on back and arms ,and if your lucky and no one comes to the door or phones or asks where you are you can get into a sort of rhythm ,and then into a light meditation .Quite relaxing compared to the other cleaning tasks .

.Wooden floors look great when they have just been polished :first mopped  with Metholated spirits in hot water ,thats so that the floor doesn’t end up a mass of smudges,as it does with just water The fun part is the wiping /polishing .A slow ,rhythmical arm movement ,a cloth at the end of both of them

I have to say though that sometimes the old smudge morphs itself even in floor polishing .Today that happened and it wasn’t fun anymore .Polish polish polish and a small part finished .head to the next space and polish polish polish .Turn back to look at the first job and there are new smudges that have appeared .Back to the first job .polish polish polish .Check on the second bit and the same messy smudges .And so it does on ,back and forth interminably .The worse thing is that all this energy is not getting anywhere .Getting me back to the physio tomorrow


Ah -i have to write something that someone out there will read !All the thoughts in my head have disappeared and there is a big blank space ,and a voice that says ,really you’re tired now ,time for bed ,write tomorrow
What is panic ? This isn’t it really ,more a sort of somnambulance that prevents the flow of words .Panic is much more active ,its a hard breathing ,stifling feeling with a .fast beating heart and closed throat and a fearfulness of anything at all .

But I have now found out how to confirm my email ,after a few tries ,and even how to transfer my first draft post to here .Not really good enough to publish .But I will anyway