Thursday, November 17, 2011

One, two, three



I once had a cleaner (way back when life was very different) who liked symmetry. There is no symmetry in three. She and I would perform little weekly tussles over the grouping of objects around my home.



Upon the mantlepiece there were two small groups of objects - vases and bowls, a propped plaster relief, sometimes a little tower of beach stones - that sort of thing. I always placed them carefully off-centre in their little groups, I liked them to look as though they had organically arrived there and indeed I suppose they had. Over time. As any new build Show House or Room Set is surely testimony to, it is very difficult to dress a room and immediately achieve a comfortable, believable look.

Of course the lived in look is not for everyone and certainly was not to my cleaner's taste. Each week she would carefully re-arrange my objects into evenly spaced pairs. Two by two. Photographs were placed square on, no casual angles. Cushions exactly placed, corners sharp and square.




Each week I would go around the house, after she left, and put them all back.

We never talked about it. We just carried on our silent battle.

Nowadays a cleaner is way out of my budget and my little piles and groups sit as they should. With a layer of dust upon them.

19 Comments:

Blogger the veg artist said...

I had a cleaner when I worked. I am right-handed. She was left-handed. I'm not hand-ist, but there was a row of jugs, patterns better on one side on the other. I put them one way, she, the other. Weekly. For years. Like you, we did not discuss it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 9:37:00 pm  
Blogger Dotty said...

That is really funny! I much prefer a house to look lived in- that is my excuse for the disorder in my home. I have a friend who would regularly leap out of her seat to straighten a picture that was annoying her! She would also try to throw away any bruised fruit in my fruitbowl, which I would rescue later!

Thursday, November 17, 2011 9:59:00 pm  
Blogger Lucille said...

I have given up the battle. It used to annoy me, now I am rather touched.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 10:02:00 pm  
Blogger Pomona said...

I had a cleaner for a bit when things were threatening to overwhelm me a few years ago, but it really seemed more hassle than it was worth. The cushions on points, the air full of chemical sprays, the endless vacuuming of the sofa when I would have preferred the scullery to be scrubbed down, and the angst involved in trying to get the children to be tidy the day she came - it was all too stressful! I am almost glad that I couldn't afford it now!

Pomona x

Thursday, November 17, 2011 10:25:00 pm  
Blogger Tabiboo said...

Most definitely - as they should be.

I daren't lift things for the fright of what may lay beneath - mainly dust, most probably.

I do find it highly amusing (simple things - I know) when an item has been moved and you can see its outline - like a dust crime scene.

Nina xxx

ps. thank you for the shout out today from yourself and Ginny - I still haven't got my head around how Twitter works. Nxxx

Thursday, November 17, 2011 10:36:00 pm  
Blogger driftwood said...

love Nina's desciption of dust crime scenes -we get those! my mum had a cleaner for a while after having some surgery, she used to regularily break the ornaments when dusting and then try and arrange them so it didn't show.... mum didn't keep her for long....

Friday, November 18, 2011 7:08:00 am  
Blogger Not So Granny said...

I have been ill so hubbie's been off to look after me and the children. Upside is he's hoovered and dusted through! I don't know how he found the time - the only excuse i have up my sleeve is that he had a car for the school runs. But more likely he doesn't have any mum chums to distract him with the promise of coffee and cake!

Friday, November 18, 2011 9:43:00 am  
Blogger opportunityknits said...

I liked this so much. I had a cleaner way back when too and she never moved anything :) needless to say we didn't have her for long because there wasn't much cleaning done :)

Friday, November 18, 2011 12:19:00 pm  
Blogger Toffeeapple said...

I have a cleaner and she does exactly the same thing and, she turns all the le Parfait jars so that the metal tab to open them is at the side. Perhaps it is a mentality reserved for cleaners?

Friday, November 18, 2011 7:18:00 pm  
Anonymous kim said...

This reminds me of my mom. No matter whose house she visits, she sits there fidgeting until the person says, "Go ahead, rearrange things the way you want them." I can always tell when my mom has been to my house because things are always moved around. It's the artist in her.

Love the adorable hearts.

Saturday, November 19, 2011 3:16:00 am  
Anonymous Andi said...

Those hearts are too sweet! I love hearing about the silent battle with the cleaner. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011 2:50:00 pm  
Blogger rachel said...

I always thought that rearranging was part of a cleaner's perks. My dear Margery liked all framed photos to face squarely outwards, nothing at an angle; my friend's cleaner prefers all cushions to have a sharp upwards point, and all bath products to be neatly spaced out along the edge of the bath.

Saturday, November 19, 2011 6:11:00 pm  
Blogger Conny's Cottage said...

Sooo sweet...:O)


Conny

Sunday, November 20, 2011 6:58:00 pm  
Blogger Gina said...

That is so funny because when I used to have a cleaner we used to do exactly the same thing. She would arrange things in neat little groups and when she left I would rearrange them back randomly. Nothing was ever said about this little weekly ritual. But like you I now have rather dusty random groupings!

Monday, November 21, 2011 9:34:00 am  
Blogger Kai said...

:) This made me smile. Ditto on everything you've posted. Seems most crafters fall into the same category. Want my cleaner back, but love my little piles just the way they are!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 11:24:00 am  
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