Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hello, it's been a while, and bye for now, too, although hope to be back sooner this time

So you think right, today's the day I'll start Christmas cleaning. Not that I care all that awfully about Christmas as such - for various reasons it is firmly associated with various anxieties in my mind, and fails to deliver a sense of (for the lack of a better word) spiritual event (I vastly prefer Easter, if you must know), but every now and then it's very satisfying to immerse oneself in an orgy of cleaning. Before you start, though, you must do the dishes you so spectacularly failed to do last night, as well as finish reading your paper (there's been these terrorist attacks in Mumbai, you know), and read The Poniatric Englishman's latest post (when he posts, it's always a treat). During these things, you will realise there's a play on tonight, at one of the small Helsinki theatres, which you'd quite like to see (you met the guy who designed the prosthetic-leg things, complete with varicose veins, at a party you went to - in itself, a rare occurrence), and toy with the idea of chucking cleaning altogether, in favour of more artistical indulgences. This seems both like a good idea (the best and sometimes only way to go and do stuff is to surprise oneself and do it without any warning or planning) and a terrifying one, and you're relieved to find they still have plenty of performances and you can go and do it another time. So it's back to cleaning, hurrah, and there's also a Russian series on TV which you've been following, as well as a four-part BBC travel programme about Paris (quite good to knit to), and a documentary about Kieslowski plus a film of his - all this you'd miss if you ventured to the theatre. Before you start cleaning, though, you could go and have a cigarette on the balcony, and you do. While you're out there relaxedly smoking, you can ponder over whether you should put the rugs (rolled up and stored in the walk-in cupboard to protect them from your dogot-on-heat) on the floor after hoovering and mopping it, even though the rugs themselves haven't been taken on the rug balcony for a beating, and which you cannot do until Monday morning (or you could, but you're not supposed to), and how nice it would be to be able to walk into the walk-in cupboard again (the rugs effectively make this an impossibility), and whether, once the rugs were out, you might not finally pack up all your summer clothes and take them down into the cellar, but in order to do this, you will have to unpack the box the winter clothes are in, and while you could just put them somewhere for the time being - so as to free the space for the summer clothes being packed away, you understand - it is still a troubling thing to know you haven't anywhere to put them, really, and you think that so much seems to depend on the fact that you can't get round to buying some of those storage-basket things which you could keep in the hall closet to house all your winter things like woolly socks and stuff, and the lack of baskets and the absolute impossiblity of getting round to buying such things becomes the symptomatic emblem, the symbol of your failure to function as a grown-up woman in the world (other people are so organised, you know, by comparison to me), and releases the balcony-leap fantasy again. This must not be taken very seriously at all, you know, for I live on the tenth floor and my balcony nearly always releases that fantasy in me - "do please leap before you fall" - although I haven't always suffered from vertigo and don't really have it terribly badly now (I can, after all, live on the tenth floor and use the balcony very regularly). The first time I remember being hit by it was about a decade ago, when I took my older son on the Big Wheel thing in the Helsinki fun fair. I was not expecting to be scared, so it hit me by surprise in a most unpleasant manner. He was peeking over the edge of the little round boat thing we were suspended in, and I fought hard to keep it together somehow, when all I wanted was to hug the central pole which sustained our life with all fours and wail in terror, never mind the distinctly unimpressed-looking middle-aged man of stereotypical Finnishness and his toddler daughter. Another really unpleasant vertigo experience also has my son in it, we were in Budapest together and went to that big cathedral there - I fail to remember the name. The views were really outstanding and he ran around the dome once or twice less apathetically than you'd expect a thirteen-year-old to do, but there was no way on earth I was going to be able to leave the wider balcony bit to do the same. I was surprised to find a photo of him there - I hadn't lost the ability to point and shoot, anyway, which is a good thing. Here, look:
And before I start hoovering, I will, of course, need to go to the shop and make something to eat. Maybe I'll just leave the cleaning till tomorrow, this blog post's taken up ages. Hurrah.


Reading the Signs said...

ok well you've got me right scared now. It's the C word, see. And although you have artlessly made it seem as though you don't actually get round to doing it, anyone who even thinks of having boxes for winter/summer clothes is way up there with this lot, in spirit even if not indeed. It is, however, vaguely reassuring to picture you going out for a gasper on your balcony. But - and I never even realised there was actually such a thing as Christmas Cleaning. I'm just going to take it that this is something y'all do in the the darkest frozen north.

And thanks for the link to the play and all. Couldn't understand a word obviously, but it looks good, one can just tell.

Blogging is really good for taking up time - glad to see you up and at it again.

Hello, goodbye and mwah!

nmj said...

hey ms finn, i am v thankful to see you blogging again, was beginning to think you maybe *had* taken a tumble from the balcony... i hope you get those damn rugs beaten! ... can i just say to Signs, that we do Christmas Cleaning up here in Edinburgh too, well i do, but as we all know i am uptight & obsessed (sp?) by cleaning...x

word ver: cushiede, surely a past participle for a cushion that has just been shaken vigorously over le balcon.

Anna MR said...

Fear not, sweet Signs (hello and hei). In these parts, thinking about doing a major cleaning is at least as good as actually doing it. The world needs more thinking, Signs, and well you know it. But Christ on a bike, what is this horrible place to which you've sent me - innocent, unsuspecting, Queen of Sloths me? Who are those scary ladies telling me to wipe my TV daily (daily, Signs), as well as take the innards out of my fridge (also daily!) and wash them like I would my coffee cup? Excuse me while I fight for breath. Please, please, please do not expect me to live up to them. I consider myself pretty well organised that I did my spring cleaning (in July) and beat the rugs and cleaned the fridge and wiped the tops, fronts, and insides of the kitchen cupboards, and that I am thinking about doing it again now, in December (which it will be in fourteen minutes exactly). Those people are maniacs, Signs, and exhibit behaviour we can only allow the Scots amongst us to pull off. Yes verily.

I am trying to be very firm with myself and write something on the blog daily. That's difficult enough, particularly given that I have now exactly twelve minutes to do so, and will surely eat into the cleaning time. Hurrah. Racing, but not before I've sent you mwahs -

mwahs -


Anna MR said...

Sweet Ms Legs of Edinburgh, I will deal with those rugs firmly before going to work tomorrow morning. I think this fairly well demonstrates that I am ga-ga, and consequently fit to be made an Honorary Scot (I have decided it's my heart's desire and my one aim and goal in life).

And cushiede is good, although I can't right now remember what a past participle is. Shh.


Reading the Signs said...

I am reassured, Sweet Finn - your reaction to the scary ladies is spot on appropriate. The blonde one changes her bra twice a day and there isn't a nook or cranny of one's house that isn't up for scouring with baking soda and vinegar.

I am thinking of cleaning the kitchen floor, it has missed its weekly appointment. But, as you say, thinking is good and the world needs it. Will actually do it before end of year, promise. (Har!)

A blog post a day? Fab. Praps I should join you. Will think on it.

Anna MR said...

Excuse me, Sweet Signs, but did you just sort of admit to cleaning your kitchen floor on a weekly basis? That's just way scarier than thinking about having boxes for winter/summer clothes. (Okay, so you want to exchange scary stories - I did beat the rugs this morning, before going to work, and put them on my floor, too. How does that grab you?)

A blog post a day is hell, Signs, and I say this authoritatively with a conclusive two-day sample of evidence. But do please go ahead, and don't you be stopping at thinking on it, either - I enjoy reading you, and if it means you have to suffer, then I'm sorry but you'll just have to remain stoic and strong.

Reading the Signs said...

You still read me? Mwah!

phicsduc - dunno but kind of rude.

Anna MR said...

Of course I do, sneaky Signs (it hasn't escaped my notice you've sent a frightening amount of traffic my way). However, just to keep you on your (webbed) toes, I'm mainly using the sly-spy leave-no-footprints method. Ha and double ha and ha once more (serves you right for linking to me and John Cage in the same post).

Reading the Signs said...

but sometimes, perhaps, take off your invisibility cloak even if just to leave a stone (o)? For my house is not dangerous and we have no sign saying trespassers will be prosecuted -

'tis fun this daily posting (for a bit anyway)

Anna MR said...

Honey Signs - yes, you're totally right, I ought to make myself visible on occasion. It's all a part of some weirdness experienced by myself, and nothing whatsoever to do with your most lovely and worthy House - I have never felt it dangerous or unwelcoming, but on occasion, I get these feeling whereby showing my face just feels, I don't know. Yes, weirdness. But I'm off to yours presently, and totally uncloaked.

Hugs from here

x (o) (°) cetra...

Reading the Signs said...

- and you with the lovely face and all! (which I have seen shining etherically remember, so not just referring to photo)

would you credit it? rerserfo - they are actually admonishing me, sees, the cheek of it.

Anna MR said...

Well me dear, having to see it (my face) shining etherically every bleeding morning in my bathroom mirror, I just sometimes grow quite sick of it (as well as all the things I say, for I hear them a lot, cetra). But glad you don't seem to mind - and the WVLs have no bloody business admonishing you, certainly not here. Away with them, shoo.