Thoughts on housework

I should

I should clean the bathroom
sort the laundry,
unblock the sink, sweep the stairs.
Instead I walk the dog to think.

The thoughts that bubble and whisper inside my head
must be ordered to march
one at a time, onto the page
into words I can read.

I fear that they will not resist
the onslaught of time and a soapy rag
and dissipate in the dust
swept from the bathroom floor.

My house

My house is eco friendly
No bottled poison
or canisters of chemical death
no fresheners or conditioners
and a plunger to unblock the sink.
It is a cocoon of purity
and thousands of spiders.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

15 thoughts on “Thoughts on housework”

  1. I also have a relatively benign attitude to spiders,
    and a reasonably spider-tolerant policy in place here in my house.

    Partly because I tink its bad luck to kill them and so never do (kill them)
    But mostly I admit, because going through that non-lethal spider-removal procedure is just so awkward and time consuming.

    You know the one: – sliding the piece of card under the up-turned glass and then marching with hands firmly on both, towards a pre-opened window , to Flick the spider out into the garden.
    (actually I always try flicking them into my neighbour’s garden, (they are quite pompous)
    but I’d never admit that on-line,
    as, legally, this is possibly actionable.

    Beautiful poem Jane, expresses very well that eternal tension between the hundrum demands of normal life and the need to carveout space, time (and “head-space, awful phrase) to write. Loved it.

    1. Those mastodon spiders that come in from the garden get bundled out (piece of card and glass method) otherwise the neighbours think there’s murder being done judging from the screaming. Husband does that and puts them in the shed. It’s the others, those spindly ones that get into every corner of the house that he insists we leave alone. Claims they catch mosquitos. When you inspect their webs though looks like they only catch other spiders.
      Thanks for approving the sentiment.

  2. When I do housework, I go into automaton mode – music when mopping and vacuuming; TV when ironing, watching the world out the window when drying the crockery – Oops! There goes another plate ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    1. Mopping I do, because nobody else does. Vacuuming is counted as heavy work so the others do that. I’ve given up ironing; it’s a thankless task, never ending, and the stuff just winds up in the dirty laundry the next day anyway. I don’t dry dishes, I let nature take its course. I do a lot of thinking when the jobs can’t be put off any longer. Otherwise I’d feel it was a complete waste of time.:)

  3. this is FAB Jane. i only do the house work when i am trying to get fit, i do it to put off going to the gym or for a run

  4. Housework, what’s that? It happens on the spur, as I walk past.

    I tolerate crawlers, unless they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m a afraid I killed a giant, exquisitely elegant spider the other day. It had a deplorable sense of timing when it appeared in my sleeping cubicle, which I access via a ladder. I actually had a precognition, maybe my reading material attracted it. I didn’t have the handy glass available, to catch and release it with. I knew it would slip into some nook if I were to fetch a glass, and my imagination would’ve prevented me from sleeping. Not good, with an early day’s of client work ahead. I tried to use tissues but didn’t press hard enough. Spiders are incredibly resilient. However, it was in shock, a bit dazed, so I used a cream-jar to crush it – traumatic. I got up to smoke a roll-up, calm my nerves and do penance. Kind of sobering, to accept I have a killing instinct, based on irrational fear.

    1. You’re braver than I am. The spindly ones I don’t mind and leave alone. They tend to keep to out of reach corners. The ones at floor level, Little Cat gets inadvertantly when she eats the web. Big fat juicy ones though are man’s work. I leave them to the expert. Like many people, I think what stops us killing them is the fear that you’ll get just close enough to wham them and they’ll jump on your hand, or foot. Spider vengeance can be terrible!

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