by Anna Campbell
When I was in my third year at Queensland University in Brisbane, I moved out of residential college and into a dilapidated old wooden house on stilts across the river from the uni.
It was a really magical year for me, still one I look back at as one of my happiest ever. I used to get the ferry to uni - how cool is that? I did a lot of wild and wonderful things - much research for future romance writing! Snork!
I shared the house with two other girls and one of them - let's call her Katrina largely because that was her name - had a huge craze on Neil Young.
Perhaps I was out and about so much because I really, REALLY didn't take to his music and in a rickety old house, we couldn't escape each other's musical tastes. Which was a slight problem when our original friend moved out and a cello student moved in. It sounds romantic to live with a musician - believe me, all those scales and technical exercises lose their charm pretty quickly. Like within five minutes!
Of course, anyone who shares a house with me is completely privileged to listen to classical music (at the time, I was into very noisy opera - yes, women with horns superglued to their helmets!) or David Bowie or Human League or world music or whatever else I played. But that's another story.
Anyway, one of those endless, lugubrious Neil Young albums (in complete contrast to my endless, lugubrious operas) was called RUST NEVER SLEEPS. Oh, man, did that man need someone to come and tickle him! He was not a happy bunny!
In my life since, RUST NEVER SLEEPS has turned into DUST NEVER SLEEPS.
Housework is on my mind at the moment because for the past couple of months, I've had a string of visitors. I love having visitors, especially at this time of year when you can sit out drinking under the pergola and look at the lake and then go for a swim to cool off. But as sure as eggs, visitors means I have to clean the house.
OUCHY OUCHY OUCHY OUCH!!!!
I firmly believe housework can kill you. And as proof, I offer this picture. Wilhelmina Jane Smith, shown here, was a healthy, happy, vigorous shop dummy until she picked up that vacuum cleaner. And then it was all over, Red Rover! R.I.P., Wilhelmina!
At least death by vacuuming is quick. Poor devils tortured with the sponge mop can linger for days before they finally achieve a merciful release.
One thing I really hate about housework (and believe me, the list is long!) is that you do it, everything looks fabulous, Vogue Interiors could take photos of the shine in your tiles. And that lasts for all of about five minutes! It's entirely frustrating! Then the place is back to looking like an angry bear has been through it on a rampage. Which means you just have to turn around and do it all again. Completely inefficient!
Is there any housework I don't mind doing? Actually I don't mind ironing which is odd as it's a job a lot of people REALLY hate. I make a cup of tea, I put on some music, and just go off into my own world while I do it. It's rather Zen! I wouldn't say I love it, but it's not a complete pain. And I'm delighted that now I work from home, I don't actually DO very much ironing.
Um, what else? There must be something else...
Tidying the bookcases. Love anything to do with the bookcases.
Laundry. I actually don't mind doing laundry. I love the clean, fresh smell of washing straight off the line on a sunny day.
No, I think that's it for household chores I don't mind.
As far as chores I hate, I despise cleaning the bathroom. And sadly, that's one you can't get out of. Unless you expect your visitors to run screaming in horror from the ghoulish vision. That's even a job I have to do when I'm NOT getting visitors.
I think the only thing that will ever get me enthusiastic about housework is something like the picture on the right. Snork!
So are you a great housekeeper? What's your favorite job in the house? What's your least favorite job in the house? Are you a 'house is tidy all the time person'? Or are you a 'scramble to tidy the chaos once the visitors arrive' kinda gal? And are you a Neil Young fan? Perhaps we could arrange for Hunky Hal (above) to tickle Mr. Young with the feather duster!