They’re coming tomorrow! We’ve been cleaning and dusting and re-arranging furniture – basically making everything spick’n’span for the Grand Visit. It’s true what they say about spring-cleaning being a refreshing exercise. There’s nothing like getting down on your knees and doing some scrubbing or washing with your own two hands. It’s a very earthy experience and we tend to forget what it feels like because of all the gadgets we surround ourselves with.
The only thing I regret is that my Mum won’t let me take apart the toaster or the kettle to find out why both decided to quit their still-young electrical lives at the same time. I mean I’ve dissected the VCR more than once and it survived the experience pretty well. I’ve fixed watches and obscure stuff, but when it comes to kitchen appliances, she just won’t trust me.
She won’t rely on doctors, but she still thinks that repairs should be left to the ‘experts’. Really, the opposite is true, isn’t it? It’s easier to figure out what’s wrong with an electrical item then it is to try and understand the inner workings of the human body.
The first time I opened up something – I think it was either a radio or a VCR – I got a rush when I saw the insides. It was like a puzzle just waiting to be solved. I still can’t identify anything by name – couldn’t tell a diode from a … well, a non-diode thingy – but if you look long enough and hard enough, you can usually figure what makes what happen. It’s just plain common sense. Cause and effect and all that.
Most of life is like that. We just don’t take the time to stand and stare (as long as cows :P) or we’re not interested. But I digress, I promised myself to be completely superficial today, since I probably won’t get to post much while The Siblings are here.
So basically, the bane of my life right now is that I have to watch over toast in the old-fashioned under-the-grill way and with my current attention-span (or lack of it) we’ve been ending up with burnt toast 3 times out of 5. My parents don’t say anything anymore when I present the blackened chunks – maybe because the smell has already warned them of yet another disaster – but I seriously feel guilty when the charcoal dust begins to fly over the table as they scrape their way down to something edible.
I can’t convince them to give (the occasional) burnt slice a try, although I’ll vouch for the fact that nothing tastes quite as good as butter and jam on a thin layer of carbon.
So my grand advice to the world is: Go scrub some floors, hang up your curtains (and enjoy the ache in your arms from hunting for hooks in deviously hidden rails), wash out the dust from your clothes and while you wait for them dry, burn some toast under an oven grill and then munch on it over a mug of hot tea and a nice (preferably Ghibli) movie.
And then dare to tell me you’ve never experienced contentment.
P.S. I finally read through my Emily Dickinson stash and I’ve been picking out poems that seemed to call out. I’m probably starting an Emily-phase for the next few weeks. Here’s one I love:
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ‘s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They ‘d banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
– E. Dickinson