We have guests coming, so I’ve been cleaning out the fireplace in our living room, something I remember watching my gran doing each morning when I was a small child (she used to wrap the ashes in the previous day’s Daily Mirror), but that I haven’t done myself for…. maybe five years?
We don’t have a lot of fires, as the house always fills with smoke, which means we have to open all the windows to avoid suffocating, which in winter rather defeats the point.
For that reason there was only a modest pile of ash, spiked with nails, screws, hinges and so on (we burn waste wood, mostly.)
But the oily soot was eveywhere. Our fireplace sits in what used to be the doorway between kitchen and living room, and has a window into each, the glass of which hasn’t been transparent since 2017 when I last attacked it with hot soapy water and an abrasive cloth.
So that’s why I’m late with this – I’ve been sitting in a puddle of black, soapy water, scrubbing away at the heat-proof glass until my arm, wrist and hand muscles were screaming, all so our guests are able to see through from living room to kitchen, when they arrive this evening.
I daresay Roomie will enjoy playing peekaboo, too, which I expect to partly repay me getting smudged, damp and irritable.
But seriously, maybe never cleaning your home AT ALL, would be a better idea?
I did the hob earlier in the week (same reason and frequency). My wife noticed, as women tend to, that it was completely crusted with food spillages, dust, and general cooking grime. But the kitchen is MINE!
The hob was working OK, though, no matter the Pompei-like quantity of crap that had accumulated on it. It heated pasta water when required, fried eggs to perfection, and so on.
Who cares if it’s clean, I asked my wife.
Here then, completely off the top of my head, are tòt reasons why you should never clean your home! (Tell your life companion, if you have one, that I said it was OK not to bother.)
- It’s una fatica, as Italians say
- It’ll just get dirty again
- Dirt accumulates gradually, so if you don’t clean you may not notice you live in a pigsty
- Anyway, if you’re always scrubbing, you’ll start noticing every little mark, which is really not psychologically-healthy. You’ll eat more than a peck of dirt before you die, you know
- Tackle the cleaning yourself and you risk denying someone who actually likes doing that sort of thing the satisfaction, which is just mean
- Spiders have to live somewhere, don’t they?
- Clean houses get cockroaches too – so really, why bother?
- If the floor is crunchy, wear clogs
- Cleaning products come in plastic bottles, which are BAD
- And waste water pollutes
- No, but seriously, why not just chill??
Oh… I feel a language-learning metaphor coming on!!
Lots of people, most people?
Can’t speak a foreign language, not even a bit. Bet you know a few of them.
They never got started, or they got started and quit (like me with ironing), so never learnt the tricks, never figured out what works and what doesn’t, never got to the point where they can do it confidently.
Lots of people are HAPPY, despite having dirty houses/not speaking a foreign language even a little bit.
But are we lots of people?
I keenly look forward to my family’s reaction, this afternoon, when they notice how amazingly almost transparent the fireplace glass is.
And to their delight at the hob’s dull aluminum sheen, their gratitude when they see my soot smudged, worn-out face.
In the end, most language learners I know, that is to say those who persevere with it and actually get somewhere, take a personal pride in what they achieve. It ceases to matter what other people think.
Like our neighbor, who never stops mopping and dusting!
Some people have objectives, set themselves tasks to complete, and make progress.
Others watch TV, munch popcorn, and cultivate big butts.
New Ebook – Final Reminder
Here’s a last nag to take a look at the latest ebook easy reader in our world literature series, Don Chisciotte della Mancia.
It’s a B2/C1-level ‘riassunto’ of Cervantes’ classic. Earlier in the year we published I racconti di Canterbury. More titles in this series are due later in the year.
Until Sunday night Don Chisciotte della Mancia is 25% off the usual easy-reader price, so £5.99 rather than £7.99.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
Buy Don Chisciotte della Mancia, just £5.99! | Free Sample Chapter (.pdf) | World Literature | Italian Literature | Catalog
Thursday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news was published yesterday.
There’ll be another tomorrow (Saturday).
They’re both completely free to read and listen to (as is cleaning the hob…)
Subscribing is free, too, so why not do so?
Subscribers get each thrice-weekly bulletin via email, on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
OnlineItalianClub.com | EasyItalianNews.com | EasyReaders.org (ebooks) | NativeSpeakerTeachers.com (1-1 lessons)
Salve, Daniel! Someone is going to offer this tip, so it might as well be me: next time you have guests, try white vinegar instead of soap and water. It’s great for shining up soot-covered glass. (Not sure it works on cooking hobs, though.) However, just as in language learning, it’s the tool you’ll use that is the best.
Thanks for your posts – they are a high point of my email queue. Stammi bene!
Daniel, although I am supposed to listen and learn from your emails, sometimes they just make me laugh! Also yes Kathy, white vinegar is magic – from cleaning windows to de scaling kettles and even using as softener for the washing. As mentioned previously, watch, listen and learn.