Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Upside

I was with Olga in Kensington Gardens a few days ago when these stormy clouds began gathering to the west. I thought we ought to head for shelter so we made our way toward Queen Caroline's Temple, playing with the Kong toy as we walked. When we got there I threw the Kong, and it flew into a huge thicket of blackberry bushes from which even Olga, in all her enthusiasm, couldn't extract it. I climbed in gingerly, and as passersby gave me (or at least my lower half, which is all that was visible) curious looks, I rooted around for the Kong. (They cost £18 each, so I wasn't about to give it up!) Finally I found it, much to Olga's relief, and then it never rained anyway.

Upside: I got to snack on some blackberries that I found deep inside the thicket. Yum!

Fortunately, there usually is an upside to such arduous tasks. Dave surprised me Saturday morning by announcing, when he woke up, "I'm going to mop the floor today."

I said, "Who are you, and what have you done with Dave?"

It's true that the floor needed it -- a sort of dark urban film covers everything here, especially in areas where we don't walk. He read online that a vinegar/water solution was perfect for cleaning floors, so he went out and bought a pail, some vinegar and some soft cleaning cloths and we got down on our hands and knees and washed the entire floor in the kitchen and living and dining areas.

Upside: It looks a million times better. Kudos to Dave for taking the initiative, because I'm not sure I would have done it any time soon.

Yesterday, I had to go buy socks. I am not a shopper, as a rule, but I got onto the tube and went to the mall in Shepherd's Bush. I found some basic footie socks (or "trainer liners," as they're called here) in Marks & Spencer, and then decided to amble around the mall and see what else was there. I found mostly lots of clothes that I could never imagine myself wearing. And why is everything in the mall so shiny? The floors, the walls, everything is glass and marble and glint and glare.

Anyway, I popped into Banana Republic, which is one of my usual stops when I absolutely have to buy new clothes, and I did find a cool shirt with kind of a purple Indian batik pattern on sale for £15. I bought it. I need new work clothes, right? Upside to exploring the shiny mall!


37paddington said...

I love how Dave says he's going to clean the floor and then you BOTH get on your hands and knees with scrub cloths! That's teamwork!

Ms. Moon said...

Oh, I need to clean my floors too. Not just the kitchen but all of them. And yes, vinegar and water is a wonderful cleaning solution. I always think that clean floors are like clean sheets for the feet. All the grit gone. For a little while, at least.

Lynne said...

Love that moody sky! I'd have run for cover too.

Ah, good old Marks & Spencer. THE place to go for socks and underwear!

I don't like malls much either.

The Bug said...

I hate shopping - & I do it so infrequently now that I go into some sort of fugue state & just grab the first thing I see.

I mopped & vacuumed on Saturday - but I did NOT get down on my knees. Our bathroom sure could use that kind of attention though - and it's tiny. So why the heck do I just wave at it with the mop?

LOVE the sky! I like a broody sky almost more than the bright blue, fluffy cloud kind :)

ellen abbott said...

I don't much care for shopping either. and some of the indoor malls here are as big a small towns.

Linda Sue said...

Now that your flat is all shiny and smelling as fresh as a pickle, you can slide across the floor in your new socks! - Getting stuck in blackberries here is a lot like getting stuck in walls of spikes. SERIOUS blackberries here, There will be blood. The pies are almost worth it.

e said...

Not being a fan of malls, I tend to wait until socks have holes or the holes have holes...

I hope you take a photo of that shirt!

Nancy said...

I love a brooding sky. It ministers to my black bile. And I can imagine Olga's "Snoutbook" post that day: "You guys shoulda seen it. He was head and shoulders in the bushes after that Kong, only his arse hanging out."