Friday night I began the process of the BIG CLEAN. Funny thing about our flat is, that its only once you start deep cleaning it, that you realise quite how grimy things have become. I washed the sofa covers, something, which I'd been meaning to do since the summer. But as we are now leaving, this now has to be done. All seemed to go swimmingly until I started putting the covers back on. As I stretched a cover over one arm rest, to my horror, the fabric started to rend and a fibrous tear emerge. Rather than restore the sofa to a pristine state, I'm now an accessory to its grubby imperfection. I've done an invisible mend on the tear from the back, but from the front it shows, particularly as the fabric tear has an aura of light greasy mottling around it. Along with the rotting water mark on the carpet under the kitchen sink, there are a now two glaring stains on our status as good tenants. There could be a cost consequence on the value of our refunded deposit, due to this 'wear and tear.' Moving house is starting to get expensive. It's quite put me off my stride with whole cleaning thing, as I'm now afraid that whatever I do will only make things worse.
I stayed up too late Friday night soothing my nerves, with a bit of vegetating on I-Player. This only partly explains why I woke up Saturday morning with a stonking migraine-like headache, and crawled about as if I was hungover, assembling my breakfast like an automaton. There was so much I needed to do that morning too, it being the last weekend before Christmas. The list was dauntingly long. I needed to go to Tesco early, to avoid the crowds- to go into town early ,to avoid the crowds - to shop down Mill Rd, to avoid the crowds. Actually, all I wanted to do really was - avoid the crowds - full stop. Because of the headache, I felt more dislocated mentally than usual, even ordinary thinking was a struggle. These were obviously not going to be tasks I could do with any degree of serenity - so I ended up doing them with simmering resent. I bought from Tesco a new (cheap) toaster, the old one had packed up ages ago, but as we are moving..la.la.la... I foolishly decide to take the self-service route out, but though the scanning went OK, I didn't do a number of things quickly enough for the computer, so it repeatedly sabotaged my transaction. I ended up feeling not only over taxed, but belittled by the number of times the assistant had come to help me, with swiping cards, and pressing buttons. She almost changed my nappy. It was not yet eight thirty, but mentally I was already feeling the strain. I wandered off without the toaster in the end, the pleading tones of the assistant failing to attract my fuzzy headed attention, until I'd almost exited the building. She caught me by the security bollards, which isn't a euphemism, more a shameful crime.
I spent the afternoon power hoovering the living room carpet, and regaining my self-esteem through my zen-like mastery of vacuum cleaner attachments. High suction, gives you're ego such a boost - with a spurious sense of being in control over the forces of chaos. All that comes within a few millimetres radius gets absorbed into the chasm of my irresistible vortex. I also merrily chucked out things that have been prime suspects on my list of 'things I know are obsolete, but I still have an unjustifiable sentiment towards keeping.' Having consigned some of them forever 'to the bin' or 'to be recycled', this left me with an unwarranted sense of self-purification. Though it didn't quite border on sanctity, I did feel inordinately self-satisfied - briefly- after all the tear in the sofa is still there to haunt my cheer filled moments.
Sunday morning I managed to drag myself out of bed early enough in the morning, and in a fit enough state to attempt a substantial bit of meditation practice. At present,in my current state of being alive, if I don't practice in the morning, I just know I wont get it to happen any time else. The practice had one noticeable positive effect. After I finished, I sat on the sofa drinking my morning cup of black coffee. I was gazing rather blankly in the direction of my shrine, that's placed on and under the windowsill. The sun was just starting to break through some low lying cloud, and rise above the houses on the crown of Newmarket Rd. As it did so it refracted and lit up every blob of condensation on the inside of the window, and gave the beautiful impression, for a brief, but tingling, moment, of it being encrusted with a dusting of diamonds. Talk about meditation heightening sensory awareness. More like that please!