The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the temperatures are on the up and what do I want to do? yup, you got it, spring clean! Believe me I hate house work as much as the next person, in fact one of the conditions I set when I got married 30 years ago was that if the housework wasn't done and it bothered him, he would have to do it himself! I don't like to think I keep a slovenly household but I do like to think there is more to life than cleaning and cooking. It's all about balance.
So what is this overwhelming urge to spruce up the house? These days most of us fit housework in between other more interesting pursuits and modern labour and time saving inventions like the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine have all but liberated us from the drudgery of housework.
Most of the work on the finca is seasonal, caring for the olives and figs, planting the veggie plot and then of course harvest time... we dont have much choice about the timing of those things. In times past the dawn of spring was the lull before the storm of summer insects, and parasites that might infest beds, bedding and all the nooks and crannies of the house. Large textiles like curtains (both window and bed) and bedding itself might not be washed or even aired throughout a long damp English winter. So the annual spring clean was also seasonally driven but this is 2016 and its quite often sunny here throughout most of the winter, washing and drying is seldom an issue. The summer bugs definitely are but they are usually defeated by the fly screen, thankfully the bedbug is a thing of the past. So am I hotwired to spring clean? Is it because I am a woman and it's in my genes?
Whatever the answer to that it would appear to be the case. I just can't help myself, I felt the urge building for some weeks now until I just HAD to make a start.
Windows are very difficult to do because of the security bars but they can be removed by someone big and strong - which means window cleaning is a mans job in this house. What a difference it makes to the light coming in and even before floors are washed the place looks brighter and cleaner.
Sadly the joy of housework passes quickly when it needs doing every single day but there is immense satisfaction in having a good clearout, which is what, in essence, spring cleaning is all about. (this feeling passes quickly so I guess I better make the most of it before things return to normal around here).
The Chief end of woman is home-making. After all the study of her cpaacities and capabilities, after all the proofs she has given of her power to rule the wide empire, master the abstruse sciences and write the great book, the final conclusion of the thinker is synonymous with the earlier judgement of nature. Her first duty is to be a wife and mother and make a house. Other walks are open to her if for any reason she is unable to fulfil the purpose of her being, but in so far as the opportunity to do this is denied her, she is, in a sense, a FAILURE.
Modern Home Life, 1902