Sunday, March 14, 2010

Externalising the inner chaos...

I should launder a huge load of bedding and towels, and this requires reserving a time at the launderette, as I haven't the space to dry the things indoors at home and the drying room at the launderette is reserved for laundry washed there. I could just about manage nipping into the launderette and finding a free time on a suitable day - it is, after all, only across the courtyard - but if I did go and do some laundry, I would have to have my (other) wash basket free. Currently, my (other) wash basket is taken over by the (clean) bedding I did last time I managed the laundry effort (the other one holds the dirty stuff, but is not big enough to use for the purpose of taking stuff to and from the launderette. No, you just have to believe me, I know what I'm talking about). I do have designated (and fairly nice) boxes specifically to keep clean laundry in at the back of my walk-in cupboard (and they are labelled, too: sheets, duvet covers, towels, two smaller ones for pillow cases and hand towels). In order to put the (clean) laundry in these (designated) boxes, however, I would have to clear a considerable amount of space in front of them, as there is a total load of stuff there, blocking my way to these boxes. Included in the stuff-which-blocks-the-way are two boxes of books, which most certainly deserve to be somewhere else, but as my one and a half book cases are already full to the brim (the bigger one has books in two layers on most shelves, so the ones in the back layer cannot ever be read or browsed or even looked at), putting these books away would require another book case. As it happens, I do have another book case, but it's at my cousin's, who lives on the other side of town (she's been looking after the thing since I went for my tropical year - it's really lovely, a genuine 1920's functionalist-movement piece of furniture, I've inherited it and love it dearly). To get it from her place, though, I would have to have someone to carry it for me, and moreover, to drive a van for me. I don't know anyone with a van. I would have to rent a van, find someone to drive it for me, and someone to carry the thing for me. Two someones - it's big and heavy. With glass doors.

So this is why I cannot do my bedding at the moment.

Doing laundry is by no means the only thing which desperately needs doing. Just using it to illustrate my point.


That's So Pants said...

Hei Anna MR

Black plastic bags? For the laundry I mean.



Reading the Signs said...

Did you like how Ms Pantaloon qualified the suggestion? As though you might have thought she meant to put yourself inside the plastic bags, heh! But listen up, you can create all manner of retro punk modes with the black plastic bag, and possibly a safety pin through the nose. And I have seen them used as raincoats as well. In these straightened times we need to think about things like this, Sees. Sees? I'm having a useless day, how about you? Not meaning that the day itself is useless, but that I am determined to do nothing that is of any use to anyone. This is much harder than you might think, so congratulate me for the attempt at least. Off I go to get dressed. That doesn't count.

(WVLs are saying revoliz. Well, tough.)

Reading the Signs said...

I just looked up the weather Iglooville and it says bright sun and blue skies in one place and grey skies with snow flurries in another. The truth is hard to come by, and that's a fact. But anyway, the point is that I was just going to say, it's ok for you, at least the weather is lovely. But now I find myself saying, well any road up, the weather here is shite too, grey drizzle.

Just off to put a brick through a carpet shop.

Anna MR said...

Esteemed Madame Pants, what a delight to have you here. Hei. How are you doing? You are, as I seem to recall you always were, a voice of sanity and reason amongst the general cacophony of, well, everything - for of course black plastic bags would be the solution (for the laundry, as indeed, for me too - diving right in holds certain appeal just now). I think the trouble is that while I feel it would be marvelous to have everything-that-needs-doing just bloody well done, and while I also feel I bloody well ought to have done it all already, something shapeless and nameless within is resisting all this effort (imagined effort, right enough) of creating order into the very literal and physical and practical chaos around me. The spiralling thought system that leads to the impossibility of achievement (of, let's face it, anything) is a sample of how most of my mind seems to "work" these days.

I'll keep the black bags in mind, though, because sometimes it's possible to go against the grain and take oneself by surprise and just get things done anyway. That always teaches the nameless shapeless thing something or another, and leaves it flailing a bit. Which is good.

I miss your writing, you know. More convoluted thought processes are behind my near-complete non-visitation of people as of late. I hope you are doing most splendidly, though.


Anna MR said...

Signs of Reading, hei and mwah. Yes I did like the qualification you mention, and (as you may note if you read my comments to other people) I also feel a very distinct affinity for the idea of putting myself in the said bags, too (retro punk reasons notwithstanding - nothing wrong with them as such, you understand, just feel a mite too, hrmph, middle-aged to be prancing around wearing nothing but pvc and safety pins) (still have plenty of pvc things left from the days of yore, though, and a whole tea tin of safety pins, too).

Let's hear it for useless days. As long as they are pleasantly useless - self-indulgently useless - enjoyably useless. Given that you intended first to get dressed (and the jury is still out as to whether that is useful or useless) and then direct your interests towards some well-aimed vandalism, I am thinking and hoping that it was the enjoyable uselessness you were enjoying. Was it?

But oh and woe, the weather, sees, it's enough to gloom the most jolly of minds, this time of year. For while it is wonderful if and when the sun shines (and today is the Equinox, is it not?), and the increasing hours of light are a blessing, it also reveals the most hideous of ugliness - all the snow we've had has ceased to be pure and clean and is instead showing all the build-up of car exhaust fumes, dog shit (I always clean up after Ms Dogot), rubbish wantonly dropped by folk who know no better, I guess, and so on and so forth. So we have pile upon pile upon pile of grey snow-filth-dirt along each road, each footpath, filth and grime and dirt abound, as does slush and icey puddles and oh dear oh dear. It is the time of year to brace oneself for a month or more, to live through a time of abject ugliness, for whether one braces oneself or not, it's what we have to live through to get to the other side. There's been so much snow this year even if the temperatures remain consistently on the plus side from now on, and even if we have sweltering sun and occasional proper rain (made of water, you know, rather than more snow or slushy stuff), it will be a month at least before the snow has melted and then some weeks before anything new and growing starts to cover up the grey muddy mess it will reveal.

So, you know, just banging on about weather conditions and suchlike stuff, like a proper twat. Hmmmm. It may be time I eased off a bit and indeed, shut up altogether.

But you just please keep on keeping on, and doing just exactly what and how you please and pleases you, and feeling any feeling that comes to you, and whilst doing so, please remember you are dearly appreciated.


Reading the Signs said...

I just have to tell you: the WVLs seem to be shoving spirituality at us today, Anna MR (copying Ms Pants' address to you, I think it has rather a nice ring to it) - yes, indeed. unness, you see, is what they have for us, and the jury is probably out on whether we want to go with this or not. My feeling is - yes, perhaps, it sounds attractively existentialist and goes nicely with enjoyable (or at least not entirely unpleasant) uselessness.

If I had made any plans to up sticks and move to the frozen north, you have quite persuaded me not to. You talked me out of it, Sees, what with the graphicness of your filthy slush descriptions, in fact it makes me quite relieved to be here in drizzly Blighty. So thank you. But clearly you're going to have to do something to blast back at the gloom. Give it the two fingers, swear at it, gwan. Or find something attractive to disappear into, that's always my inclination. Not plastic bags, though - yet.

Just to keep you up to date with things here (and why should you be spared the details, huh?) I am now about to get undressed, even though it's still quite early. Hot bath to get the cold and chlorine out of me, followed by a mega-couching session. I'm watching In Treatment these days, did I tell you? No, well, but it's wonderful. And awful. What more can you ask of a boxed set? And Gabriel Byrne is, you know, infuriating but niiiice, and his clients make you want to throw shoes at them. Perfect. After that I'll be watching Fish Tank. Saw The White Ribbon yesterday - splendid, but needs digesting. As you can tell, Mr. S and I have been to Blockbusters where we got a £10 4 dvd for 4 day deal, plus two mega packs of popcorn.

ok, I've shared my useless activities (could have included chocolate and sunday papers). Your turn.

And Mwah!

nmj said...

I just love that you have *labelled* bedding. Now I feel inadequate. I want labels too!

Anna MR said...

Spiriting the Signs, mon schwes, hei. Unness is a very, very useful word - I think you're right, there's an existentialist aspect to it, but it could surely be utilised in all sorts of contexts. I was so tired of the unness of it all. Or, I was longing to be out in the wilderness, to experience the beautiful unness of being (yes!).

Very glad I saved you from experiencing first hand the filth and grime which is a Nordic (early) spring. When spring properly arrives, it is, of course, heartbreakingly beautiful, but there are times when it literally lasts for an afternoon, it just bursts forth and becomes summer, and woe is you if you happen to be at work or some such so that you cannot experience it. It is a time of year when you should be out in the wilderness cabin, put on something which is secretly quite warm but appears springlike, pull up a chair in the garden and just watch it all happen. How I long to be in the wilderness, to experience the beautiful unness of being (yes, yes, yes - it's *good*).

Treatment and Gabriel Byrne. Now I did catch half an episode or two, when they were running it on our local TV, and thought, hang on a minute, I want to watch and follow this, but something was in the way - I think the times were awkward or something - and, well, I haven't seen more than that. I need to, clearly, and boxed sets, I'm told, is where it's at. I have no boxed sets to mention (save a boxed-set collection of Kaurismäki films - recommended for odd value, if nothing else, but they don't quite count, in the way of, say, a boxed set of House or something, I guess). Obviously, I hope v.much that you have enjoyed your boxed-set-dvd-extravaganza - it is a full week ago, so there is a chance that you may have stopped watching by now (and you had a show to stop last night anyway. How did it go? Did you sing in the dark, for Earth Hour?).

Incidentally, it is unfortunate that you arrived after I had done my Sunday blog replies. I have, you see, schwesterlein, come up with A Secret Plan: I do my blog replies once a week, on Sundays, no more, no less. Granted, it means that sometimes people have to wait toooooooo long (making me appear like the blog hostess from an impolite, ill-mannered hell) but it is a whole heap better than going mute for eight months, is it not? Hmmm. The jury is still out.

Anyhoo, I hope you're having a lovely weekend this weekend as well as last weekend, and that the week in between was also dotted with nice things, and that the week ahead carries Lovely Surprises. I am soon off to get dressed and walk the dog. It claims to be a quarter to one, which is a disgrace and a lie - it's summertime, and the clocks aren't right.

And that's just the way it is.

Mwahs in the meantime, and hoping for the very best of Palm Sundays upon you, the Signsites, and your fine house...


Anna MR said...

Ms Legs of Sweetpea, hei and do stop being so very silly. I have, you see, been to both your house and my house, and I have empirical experience, information and sheer knowledge on which of us ought to be feeling inadequate in the good-housekeeping stakes (and I do, please feel quite sure about that) and which one shouldn't (hence me telling you to stop being so very silly up there). Dog-hair bunnies as big as the fair Ms Dogot lurk in wild packs in the corners, growling at her and making her take rescue in my bed, which is comfortably lined with more dog hair and hence all very warm and snug and consolingly Dogot-scented. And I'm not going to mention the state of the kitchen or (oh woe) the bathroom, or of anything else, really, either, fair NMJ. Just, you know, please rest very assured you have absolutely no reason for feeling inadequate - but should the feeling persist, you can always just get a few sticky labels and be done with it.

Very nice to have you visit again, and sorry that the reply services are what they are. Hope you've survived the clocks turning and are not having very much snow this Easter.


Anonymous said...

I happen to have several large plastic bags full of stuff that found its way into random piles of some sort before they were unceremoniously stuffed into said bags. The strange thing is that once things go into the bag, they never seem to come out. This makes me wonder if they are really needed in the first place - which of course brings me to a new level of introspection: Is the real problem the fact that I have such disorder in my own thinking that I can't keep order in my living room OR is the problem the fact that I have so much stuff there is no place for it all and its now affecting me mentally? Whatever the answer is, I find that I still need the bags either way.

nmj said...

I have posted a photo of Tuesday's snow on my blog, I am still stunned that it came from nowhere, Scotland and Northern England battered by 36 hours of sleet and gales and then heavy snow. Today, the sun is splitting the sky, though there are gales aplenty, snow all but gone, and I wonder now if the white stuff was one giant collective hallucination. x

Anna MR said...

Why, Anonymous of the Plastic Bags, how nice to see you. Welcome to my house, pull up a chair, make yourself (and any bag you may have brought along) comfortable. I hope you don't mind having had to wait a few days for my reply - if it's felt rude, I apologise. It's not meant to feel rude, it's just a recently-adopted practice to answer comments on Sundays (the reasons for this practice are too long and deathly tedious to go into, you'll be happy to hear - especially since I'm not going to go into them. Phew).

Am I right in thinking, Bagsy, that you've not commented before? For, you know, your presence on my statties looks familiar, but I can't think of actually talking with you before. Very nice to be making your acquaintance, and please feel most welcome to say anything that pops into your keyboard mind, anytime - on the topic, off the topic, everything goes.

I can see your baggy dilemma. To tell you the truth, I daren't bring in any plastic bags to contain the things which seem to have taken root in places where they don't belong, because I've had the lingering suspicion that if I do bring in a plastic bag to contain the teetering skyscraper-piles of, you know, things (books, newspapers, posters and programmes from theatre shows, various knitwear which does't need washing, only airing, just things), they'll have even less chance of ever leaving or going to the places where they ought to be. The fact that you say this has happened to you seems to rather confirm my fears, and so I'm going to keep on avoiding the plastic bag solution, for now (although one for myself is rather tempting, as I think I mentioned to both esteemed Ms's Pants and Signs up there).

And yes, it's a variation on the eternal chicken or egg question - is the chaos around a product of the mind, or the mind a product of the chaos. Or something. We live in an inextricable communion with our environs, my good visitor, and who's to say. I do know that sometimes, sometimes, it does feel like a total escape from everything to make everything all wonder-organised and tidy, and I can spend days multi-tasking and doing the tops of the kitchen cupboards and sorting out the walk-in cupboard and beating the rugs in a complexly interlinked system. It's been a while since this feeling took over, though.

Mind. No, environment. No, mind. No, I don't know.

Do come back sometime, Bagsy, and unless you introduce yourself properly, please allow me to keep on calling you just that. I like addressing my visitors and calling you "Anonymous", repeatedly, starts to feel a bit clumsy.

Wishing you a happy Easter.


Anna MR said...

Ah, Ms Leggy Legs, hei. You're right, that is proper snow - well done, Edinburgh (sorry - not meaning to sound callous in the face of your difficulties and rage), but sometimes people go all in a tizzy over seven flakes falling in near-zero conditions (I remember this from my UK years), you know, and I will poke fun and tease them because that's just silly. But that looks an awful lot like a good few photos I've taken this year, and so I congratulate and, naturally enough, commiserate in equal degree. Glad it had the good sense to go and melt so quickly. We, of course, still have huge and very ugly piles of it alongside roads, as well as a mucky covering of snow in wooded areas, but this is not uncommon for the time of year (we are on the North Pole, after all). Typically, it would all go more or less by the beginning of May, but this year there's been more of the white stuff than usually, so we'll see.

Are you enjoying the lengthening evenings, though? It feels quite incredible to think that two months from now, we'll have practically no darkness at all to mention. It's been a very long winter this year. I hope the summer elongates as well - if it indeed ever makes it here for real.

Hope you've been having a lovely Easter with plenty of bunnies. Hugs from the Northern Lands.


Anonymous said...

Hmm. Your ideas on the plastic bags make sense. Unfortunately, I was so inspired by my advice to you, I followed it myself and bagged up several small kingdoms of towering clutter. I then deposited the bags tightly into my front hall closet, closed the door and basked in the clean, clutter freeness of my living room. Of course, the insanity of the clutter merely did a geographical - now my closet is a badge for all of my short comings and I am reminded of them daily as I grab my coat before work and then again when I come home. This is not so much a bad thing as I only have to see the bags twice a day for a few seconds at a time. The rest of the afternoon is spent in my new living room that even has a new plant where some old papers used to live. Charming, isn't it?

I do think you were right though. I can tell already the contents of the bags have fallen into the abyss and are likely to stay there for quite some time.

Correct, we've never spoken to each other, though I've read your blog for some time. Sometimes as often as I read the Times, I go through phases with both though. Currently I'm boycotting the paper, mostly out of boredom. I'm also tired of reading about the Health Care plan here in the US. I did comment here at FOMP one time, as Anonymous, lamenting your long absence. My ex-roomate still reads your blog too, usually here when she is back for a free breakfast and free internet so you have a small NYC following...don't let this celebrity go to your head though. Fame changes people for the worse.
-Bagsy (whose real name is Dylan)

Reading the Signs said...

you know what, Anna - your anonymous Bagsy/Dylan sounds familiar to me. Why is that, I wonder? For I have never been to NYC, nor corresponded with anyone from there, unless you count my half-uncle who lives there, and then it was only on Facebook. But anyway, you have a small fan base in NYC - a following. Apparently. Bagsy. Bagsy? I feel I know you from somewhere, it's probably a karmic thing, happens to me all the time, especially through the windows of moving trains.

How you doin Seestah?


nmj said...

Hey honey, How are you? Hope you are surviving the ash, it is causing havoc here for travellers! Can you please ask that unpronouncable volcano to calm itself down, since you are nearer? x

word ver: hypeman

ejenne said...

I know the feeling...
Laundry baskets at my place are filled with clothes to be handed down to the next sister in line. Unfortunately they seem to have to go through a sorting process first so that sixes too big are put in the linen press and sizes outgrown by all go to the op shop. and that is where the production line has halted (I'm the sorter).

I've been stacking laundry into my arms to hand out and when its folded to deliver to girls' bedrooms rather than face the sorting and get the 4 laundry baskets (on for each daughter) back.