There's a big difference between dusty and dirty.
I used to think I had to scrub every inch of my home before I could invite anyone over because I had this perception that a "bit of dust = dirty house".
Not sure where that idea came from but it stuck with me for a lot of decades. Maybe from Nana? Apart from regular daily chores she used to polish the taps and the kitchen sink every day. Her tiny little one-bedroom flat shone - nah, it actually sparkled. She was a clean freak. But you know, those three rooms and outdoor bath were all she had and she wanted them to be neat as a pin.
Nana's semi-detached single floor flat was her mansion and by golly she looked after it.
She didn't have much to her name, so she lovingly cared for the things in her home - just like she cared for me when as a 3yo I became her responsibility.
Due to limited space almost everything Nana owned had a purpose, except for a beautiful china cabinet she'd inherited from her mother. Inside the curved glass of the polished oak doors were tiny gold-etched glasses, dainty porcelain figurines, and green glass bowls of all shapes and sizes. The locked china cabinet was polished each day, but the contents would only be taken out for dusting on rare occasions when I was not around. Wise woman.
I think most of us have too much stuff these days. And when we have too much stuff we just can't look after it like Nana cared for her treasures, can we? Food for thought. I'll ponder that later over a pot of tea.
But back to the 'dusty is not dirty' thing...
The Trade Winds blow through the tropics every October/November and that cool air is so refreshing that we open all the windows and doors and let the breeze rush through the house 24 hours a day.
As wonderful as this is and as deeply as I miss those winds when they're gone, I don't enjoy the dust 'clean-up' in December - mostly because mixed in with the dust is cat hair, lots and lots and lots of fine cat hair thanks to Princess Sophie.
But here I was at the end of December and my annual 'post-Trade Winds' deep clean was yet to begin so yesterday, in order to get a start before 2016 announced it's arrival, I decided to tackle the bedroom.
The dust bunnies were everywhere.
Dust gets trapped in the most obscure places. Between the lace of the lamp shade, inside my basket of wool and between every piece of cane, all over the quilts, along the door ridges, in the window screens and along the sill, among all the teeny tiny pieces of silver jewellery and inside the curves of each and every ornament. - I could go on (and on)...
Dust was behind, and under, and in, everything.
All I could do was pull the room apart piece by piece to dust, vacuum and polish.
Along the way I ended up culling a big bag of 'stuff' and though that was not in my original plan, it felt quite liberating.
The room is lovely again; calm, clean and welcoming.
And there's even a scent of lavender in the air.
But it's not perfect.
And that's fine with me.
I still have plastic tubs of fabric, wadding and notions in the corner, Mr E's television and Playstation under the window, a walk in wardrobe that doubles as storage for luggage, gifts, finished projects, bath towels and files, and a green armchair the cat sleeps on...
This room is part of our home.
A home that is a dwelling place, a workplace, and a sanctuary from the outside world.
It's clean, often messy, more often dusty, and displays visible evidence that we 'live' here.
What more could we ask for?
I think I'll tackle the office and sewing room next.
May need chocolate first...it's exhausting work, you know.
But very, very satisfying.
But very, very satisfying.