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Saturday, 21 March 2015

HANG SPRING-CLEANING! A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

This isn't about cleaning the house. (I am cleaning the house.) And it isn't about Kenneth Grahame. Though his sentiment is a fine one. This is about writing.


*

I suppose, on average, I blitz the house every five years. This is the earthquake of the BIG tidy. It takes ages to ditch things. The other day, I couldn't throw out all the recyclable stuff I wanted to chuck.
   There wasn't enough space in the bin. Removal is every two weeks. I thought the deceased metal stool was a bit of a stretch for the main recycling bin, along with the usual fortnightly accumulation of paper waste.
   But the troublesome ex-seating object didn't block the pick-up van's innards. Or, at least, I received no complaint to that effect.
   I considered the piles of recyclable material that I just couldn't throw away this time round. What to do? Ration things out. Either wait two weeks, or...
   And so...
   I lurked around other bins, in the depths of the night, wondering if I might offload my surplus to a bin with room to spare.
   What did I find? Folk piled crap high over each bin's edge, and hoped a cruel wind wouldn't take all the waste away in the night.
   Bastards.
   I just couldn't do that. All the heavy stuff was at the bottom of my bin, and that left me with piles of feathery waste that would surely be traced back to me if it littered the street.
   My suspicious lurking ceased. I stared one last time at the gaping jaws of bins, all mimicking snakes, with their overly-wide maws attempting to swallow more than was good for them. Then I clambered over mounds of waste as I retreated indoors.
   Shredded paper suffers from a technical limitation in terms of being safely thrown out if piled atop a bin. This technical limitation is a stiff breeze. The solution is to place paper shreds inside the bin. That's a top tip.


*

Bubble wrap is next to go. I built up a mountain of bubble wrap on the off-chance that I might need bubble wrap. Thinking this through recently, I concluded that I will never need bubble wrap.
   It comes, on sly feet, in boxes of books, this wrappy material. And, in a semi-secret manner, bubbliness infiltrates the tops of my bookcases. My ceilings are a shade too short. Bloody typical.
   These bookshelves are the tallest I've ever had. The shelves are tallerifiable. They can be raised in stature beyond their already mighty monumental heights.
   But the add-on bit is too much of an add-on for each shelf - my ceilings are a sliver too short to take the gain. And so, for that reason of ceiling-shortedness, there was no tallerifiablisationment of the bookcases.
   I used the space on top of the bookcases for other things. There, I placed handy cardboard boxes. And in those boxes I placed...
   Many items. But there were certainly at least four or forty boxes of bubble wrap. Lost count, in all the excitement. I thought hard about this...
   How often have I used bubble wrap? A few times. One big box of books comes into the house, and I store books on shelves. Above those shelves, I archive the wrap the books arrived in. And, when the moon is blue, I reach for wrapping.
   No more. Hang bubble wrapping.


*


And hang the recyclable cardboard boxes the wrapping came in. All this recycling turns my thoughts to writing. I'm not blogging weeks ahead at the moment.
   Instead, I'm dishing out blogs on the day. Does that mean I have no blog posts waiting to go? I checked. There are seven unpublished blogs lolling around inside the system.
   Most are waiting for events to occur before I can publish. Writer obituaries. Comments on unresolved court cases. Odds and ends.
   One piece is about a singer whose work I sampled. I liked one song. Thought I'd like a lot more. This turned out not to be the case. I was going to spin that around into talk of scribbling tales, but the post slid out from beneath me.
   Needs more substance to it.
   Anyway. It's that time of the house, the time of blitzing the place, and my thoughts went, inevitably, to the files. The 2014 archive took far too long to put to bed, and almost became a spring-cleaning project instead of a winter one.
   Now I stare at the blog, and wonder if I should delete these not-so-magnificent seven blog posts that may never see the light of the internet.
   Should I tidy the blog, or hold on to these bits and pieces? The bubble wrap must go. But writing can almost always be recycled. I shredded a novel, once. That was a service to the reading public, as well as an environmental act.
   The cardboard must go. But the files stay. Hang digital spring-cleaning!
   But back your files up, for fuck's sake.

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