The Saturday I Became a 1950s Housewife

There’s a wonderful old Danish film called Støv på hjernen which has always been one of my favourite comedies. You could translate the title as Dust on the Brain. Basically, it’s about a group of people living in the same apartment building in the late 50s/early 60s. The housewives obsessively spend their days polishing and scrubbing, the men go to work, and the unattached journalist as the only woman in trousers causes trouble for one of the wives. The underlying message is that woman need to think about more than just dust because men want someone they can have an actual conversation with. All wrapped in ridicuous situations like the building super climbing out on the roof to rescue a roast pork in danger of burning. But today I would have made any of those women proud!

The plan to spend the morning writing went out the window when I woke up to a brilliant burst of sunshine that revealed just how much dust was on the windows. That flicked the switch inside me and I went from, ‘I have to clean today because it’s such a mess’ to, ‘If this place doesn’t shape up NOW I’m going to crawl out of my skin!’ So far today I have:

  • Tidied up
  • Dusted
  • Vacuumed
  • Washed windows
  • Hung pictures on the walls (our Hamilton poster now has a home – yay!)
  • Cleaned the bathroom
  • Cleaned the kitchen
  • Made smoothies
  • Baked a cake (recipe tomorrow). Now the whole places smells of spices.
  • Descaled the kettle

Tonight I plan to go totally nuts and do some ironing. Tomorrow I’m going to scrub down the shelves in the refrigerator. It doesn’t happen that often, but sometimes something inside me just takes over and I really really want to clean. I can see why they call it spring cleaning.

spring cleaning

There’s something in the air, everything is so clean and fresh. Even though it’s still winter, even though our heating isn’t working (that would happen during the coldest weekend we’ve had all winter) it feels like world is beginning again. I love those days. Wrapped in blue skies and piercing sunshine, after the long months of darkness it’s now light when I awake on the weekends. I always say to myself I must be this thorough more often. I must spread the tasks over the week. I always fail.

Right now dinner is in the oven and I have to admit I’m exhausted. I’ve also been to the supermarket twice and my cleaning breaks have been spent playing catch with my son. We also meant to make hot chocolate. I might have to give the ironing a miss tonight. Oh dear, I’ll have to try and live with the disappointment.

Maybe once I’ve had my hot chocolate, I can get back to editing the fifth draft. Hot chocolate … Chocolates on My Pillow … how can that not be inspiring?




Author: Eva O'Reilly

Writer, avid reader, large dog lover, cake baker and Francophile. Living in hope of finding either a literary agent or a large audience on Amazon.

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