Jan 25 2014

Lord of the Flies … and spiders

Candles and lanternsIt’s been a while since I read Lord of the Flies, but I wouldn’t be surprised if their degeneration into lawlessness with a lack of showering.

And it all started so well for me.

Being on my own I decided I wanted some “girly” accoutrements. Guns, boots and bikes are all well and good, but a few candles and fairy lights wouldn’t go astray either.

I decorated my bedroom first. Beginning with making the bed! This is a source of great mirth to Doc. I like a nicely made bed, with clean, high thread count, pure cotton sheets, preferably white. He couldn’t give a rat’s. Until I started coming down here he always slept in a sleeping bag on a mattress. On my second trip I brought sheets and made up the bed. Over time we’ve compromised. I get sheets and pillow cases, but not the good ones, and we still use a sleeping bag as a doona.

Adventures on my quadOnce that was done I put a scented candle beside the bed. “Don’t burn the house down” said Doc through his laughter when I told him.

Next was fairy lights. I brought my solar Chinese lantern lights from home and have a string on the mantelpiece in the kitchen and another two across the front of the veranda. With the Christmas lights on the old tree trunk it looks like a fairy grotto.

But then it all came to a screeching halt.

Of course, the first day here all I wanted to do was relax.  I got my book and lay in the hammock.  Over the next couple of days I got more active and rode the quad around the farm having adventures and taking photos.

The back roomBut when I woke up again this morning in the same clothes I was wearing yesterday, brushed my teeth and splashed cold water on my face, made a cup of coffee and sat on the verandah with it I realized I hadn’t had a wash for 3 days. Unless you count that swim in the lake. When the cows looked at me from the next paddock, sniffed, mooed and wandered away I started to think they were trying to tell me something, and perhaps I should pick up my act a little.

It’s lucky there was no fat kid around for me to kill!

What happened, I wondered, to the person who takes a pedicure kit camping with her?? Is being alone really all it takes to lose that veneer of civilised behaviour?

Maybe that bang on the head knocked some sense into me, because I decided to clean, and not just myself. I started with the back room.  Or maybe that bump turned me into a Stepford Wife?

At the back of the house is an enclosed veranda with a dividing wall in the middle. The room in the corner has become the storage room for every piece of junk that nobody knows what to do with. I think this habit started when the house was built, because it was full of stuff that nobody had any idea what it was and had probably been sitting there for 60 years.

SpiderSince building the shed Doc has moved a lot of the “bloke stuff” over there, but there was still a lot left to clean out. So I moved everything outside and swept the walls – and got distracted by a spider that came to say hello. Of course I had to grab the camera and micro lens to take some photos, all the while hoping it wouldn’t jump on me. That took a good 20 minutes, it was a very compliant spider.

Then I swept the window sills, shelves and floor, wearing a tea towel tied around my mouth and nose to prevent me breathing in the dust and rat shit. I think the rat shit alone would have filled a standard city red lid garbage bin!

Lastly I threw some water on the floor with a bit of bleach, and swept it, more to settle the dust than anything. “Aah,” I thought, “time to sit down with a cold drink.”

As I was walking through the house to get rid of the last of the water I glanced down, and spied the black patch on the kitchen floor in front of the fridge. “Shame to waste the water” I thought “I’ll just clean that patch on the floor.”

Famous last words.

Of course that bit led to that bit, which led to that other bit, which gradually led to me scrubbing the whole kitchen floor, on my hands and knees, with a scrubbing brush. I kept expecting Mrs Banks to waltz in singing “Votes for women!”

Still I wasn’t finished. “Before I have a wash I’ll quickly clean the bath” I thought. Why???

Finally, it was time to wash myself. And boy did I need it! Even I couldn’t put up with the grime and the smell any more.

So now I’m clean, and I’m sitting on the veranda with a glass of wine. Not only have the cows come back, but the sheep are in the front paddock as well, and the setting sun has cast a beautiful pink glow over the clouds in front.

Maybe I’ll give myself a pedicure. But first I should wash my clothes – now where is that tin on a stick washing machine? I thought it was in the back room …

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