I cleaned the bedroom properly this morning rather than its usual lick and a promise...and kept finding those little furry sticky balls which used to puzzle me until I realised they are smaller spiders which have been eaten by bigger ones...they wrap them up tight in spider web strands. Whether it's to make sure they don't escape and plot their revenge or whether it's because they're already dead I'm not sure. Anyway, they've all disappeared into the Hoover bag along with general dust and detritus.
Bobby, the Border collie, sleeps under the bed on Himselfs side...he must be awfully squashed but he squeezes himself right underneath with just his paws sticking out. There was a small heap of various grass seeds and suchlike which had come off his coat so they've gone now and I went round the top of the walls with a long-handled brush which made the surviving spiders scuttle to safety...then dusted the furniture and washed the floor...with a mop...I don't get down on my knees anymore unless it's a dire emergency.
I once had a neighbour who used to say she was going to 'bottom' her kitchen or living room...she meant she was going to do the job properly and shake her mats outside and suchlike...mind you she used to wash her paintwork when she 'bottomed' a room...I draw the line at that, don't like housework enough to start washing the paintwork when I could be sewing instead.
Do you remember Shake-N-Vac...it was a chemical smelling powder that you shook all over your carpet and then hoovered it up...was supposed to leave it smelling 'fresh and clean'. My neighbour was a fiend with it...you could smell her carpets through the open window when she'd finished.
She'd have loved all the smellies you can buy nowadays...those air fresheners that give off a shot of air laced with Jasmine when you happen to walk past them and the special candles designed to dispel cooking or pet smells. I watch people examining each and every one in the supermarket sometimes...they are near the pet food so it doesn't look as though I'm watching...they carefully unscrew the tops or look around to see if anyone's about and then poke a little hole in the box so they can sniff before buying...
I look at the selection of different cleaners and never fail to be startled by the sheer number available...a special one for cleaning a barbeque and another for unblocking sinks and yet another sort for cleaning shower curtains...not just one variety either...there must be four different sorts for cleaning worktops alone. And if you take a minute to read the labels they veer towards the 'must wear rubber gloves' 'don't breathe the vapour' and other dire warnings which makes you wonder whatever the ingredients are.
There was a time in the dim and distant past when I used to use powerful oven cleaners as a matter of course...dreadful stuff that meant you had to practically vacate the house while it was working at stripping off the gunk because the fumes almost knocked you out cold...actually, it didn't work very well.
It was around about then that the Kleeneze man used to call...he'd come to the door about once every two weeks with a selection of cleaning stuff and yellow dusters and dishcloths. He'd come in and sit himself down and then extol the virtues of whatever was new to the range of goods while he laid the polishes etc out on the kitchen table for you to choose which you'd buy. Even Mother used to buy her cleaning stuff from the Kleeneze man...but he wasn't allowed inside the house of course.
When I was living in a series of squalid bedsits and flats we were great fans of bleach...everything was doused in it...soaked in it and scrubbed with it. One of my flatmates used to take the bleach with her when she had a bath in the bathroom we shared with several other people...she'd rinse the bath and wash hand basin out with neat bleach before she'd use either. And she always hovered over the loo...wouldn't have dreamt of sitting down on the seat even if it looked clean enough.
We've come full circle nowadays and use less and less in the way of chemical cleaners now we know vinegar and baking soda do exactly the same job without the risk to skin and lungs. And they are much, much less expensive.