Once it was a patch of dirt, but I got busy in Autumn and planted it full of bulbs for a spring show. Anemones on the right and bordered with crocus and some grape hyacinths in the middle. The grape hyacinths are still thinking about it, but the leaves are there and eventually they will appear.
Mr. Swiss is now busy organising our Mowey, the automatic lawn mower that takes a walk around the lawn daily and keeps everything nice and neat. There is no dirt on Mowey. I remember last year we attached him the wrong way around and he got confused. To avoid this problem all his + and – points were marked in various colours to ensure he would be correctly connected. Unfortunately it seems that the colours faded in his cellar hibernation and we are back to square one. Mowey is connected, but confused. I am sure that in a couple of hours he will realise the path to choose on his trip around the garden.
My mum always made sure that I had a clean face. Before I left for anywhere she scrubbed my face with a wet rough flannel. I had nice red cheeks which were quite shiny, but the main thing was they were clean. It seems that a clean face was the most important of all things. She scrubbed the floors, once a year, and usually on the Friday before Easter. Don’t ask me why. It must have been her idea of Spring cleaning. We had a sort of cheap linoleum on the floor, but it was clean for the Easter holidays. I remember on that Friday dad was given the job to go on a walk with me to get me out of the way. Actually I liked going on walks with dad, because he always visited a museum, or a park, or we took a bus to Central London. Unfortunately Good Friday was the day when all the public places were closed, so there was no museum visit. However, he would take me to his teenage haunts in London which were very interesting. His first job in London was a messenger boy for Lloyds insurance and he knew all the back passages of the City, so he would take pride in showing me them. They are the memories I now treasure and when we arrived home the floors had been scrubbed for the year..
Now and again mum would clean the windows at home. We had window cleaners for the difficult jobs, but they cost money, so she would do it on her own. I remember the top windows on the first floor. There was no balcony or support and you opened the window by lifting the bottom half. Mum would then sit on the window sill, one floor above ground level, and would wipe the outside surface of the window. He legs were hanging through the gap in the window and dangling inside. This was naturally a dangerous undertaking, but she never fell. I did not even notice how dangerous it was at the time, I just saw her sitting there cleaning.
I remember we had so-called dust bunnies under the beds. Today beds are often without legs and no open spaces below, we also have something called a vacuum cleaner. In the fifties things were different and it seems that what you did not see, just did not exist. There were all sorts of strange fluffy shapes under my bed at home, but she scrubbed the floors once a year at Easter.
I suppose the housewife of bygone days did not have it as easy as today, but we all survived. We had fires that we had to light ourselves because there was no such thing as central heating in East London. There was a method to it. First of all the old newspapers were screwed up into balls and placed on the fire grate. Then a layer of wooden sticks came on top, bought in the local shop where they were sold. Afterwards the coal built the final layer. The coal man would call about once a week and every house in our street had a coal bunker in the yard. The coal men were dressed in black, and even their skin was coloured with the coal dust. They would walk through the house to the yard and empty the sack over their shoulders into the coal bunker. There was a little hatch to lift at the bottom of the coal storage to fill up you shovel when carrying it to the fire place. Of course coal was not coal. Anthracite was apparently the best quality, according to mum. We never had anthracite, it was too expensvie. I do not know the name of our coal, mum called it nuts. All I know is that until the fire was glowing you kept away from it, because it had the habit of spitting sparks at you when it was igniting. Of course we had the chimney sweep now and again, and I suppose everything was coated with a sort of coal dust shade of black, but I don’t remember. At least during the Summer we did not need a fire.
I do remember the smogs of London due to the coal emissions. They were thick and yellow and when I arrived in school my nose was full of sooty particles. We did not have to know the dangers of smoking in those days, just breathing was a danger.
Today we live in a hygenic society in Europe and you even get fined if you throw you rubbish in the wrong container. Glass belongs to glass, plastic to plastic and garden rubbish to the garden stuff. Everything in its place. It is a wonder we survived in the years gone by.
Daily Prompt: Dirt