My thoughts have been turning to Spring this week; partly because my sons broke up from school for the Easter holidays but also because the weather has been spectacular and as we all know, when the sun shines it lifts the spirit and makes you think about moving furniture around, giving the house a general refresh; in short a spring-clean.
I have to admit that living in rented houses is not conducive to paying much attention to this annual ritual that conjures up images of dusters being shaken out of open windows, gardens being tidied and winter duvets being changed for lighter lower tog ones. No, since we have been renting I have been in a permanent state of flux never bothering to unpack all the boxes or find permanent homes for things. I took what was necessary from boxes and left the rest enclosed in bubble wrap. There just never seemed any point in sorting stuff out only to put it all away again at any given moment.
I did go through a brief phase of being determined to sort out all the boxes and discard the things I no longer wanted, but every box was a reminder of the years we have been moving especially when I found my sons’ old toys I had put away only to forget which box they were in and now, years later, they are no longer interested in Thomas the Tank Engine or Scooby-Doo. So I ended up feeling guilty for having moved them again and again during their childhood and mourned the years of memories I have sacrificed.
When we moved last August, I was once again determined that it would be our last move into a rented house and that it would be a temporary stop-gap until we secured our own home. Thus all the stuffed cardboard boxes were shoved into the garage and the plastic crates were piled up outside the back door. I was angry and fed up so dumped things wherever I could find a big enough space.
But the trouble with that practice is it becomes untidy very quickly and along with the crates and wheelbarrow by the back door, were two disused wheelie bins soon to be joined by a broken jet washer. Before long it was beginning to look more like Steptoe & Son’s backyard.
It was not somewhere anyone would want to sit which was a pity because it was an incredible sun trap.
But with the glorious weather we have been enjoying I decided, enough. It was no longer going to be a dumping ground for anything we couldn’t fit in the garage, along with being a collecting bay for the dead leaves of last autumn, I was going to turn it into a pleasant place to sit and enjoy the sunshine.
So with a yard broom and some elbow grease I dragged crates and bins to a shed and swept the rough concrete surface removing leaves, soil and weeds. I dragged the bench from the dark side to the sunny side, wiped down the garden table and chairs and hey presto! There is now a clean and tidy area to enjoy the warm spring sunshine.
I also have plans for some trellis and climbing plants and maybe even a large pot plant to give it even more of a spring garden feel to it.
Of course the irony will be if after all these years of not making any kind of effort because of our constant moving, that now I have been swept along in the tide of spring cleaning making our yard less of a temporary black-spot and more of a sunny warm spot, we will finally be able to get a place of our own and someone else will benefit from my spring-clean. But you know what, I really wouldn’t mind that, not one bit.
Now where did I put that feather duster?