The big whitewash

I am in a state of domestic limbo at the moment as I am waiting to move house. The big day is in about four weeks and I have a grand fantasy of being super-organised and undertaking a large-scale, Oprah-style declutter. But actually, despite my Goody Homemaker sounding pseudonym, this is unlikely to happen. I’m not great at domesticity. I’ve just posted some pics of my slovenliness on my fellow-blogger NDM’s Gallery of Domestic Godlessness, if you want to see the evidence.

Nevertheless, what with our new house’n’all, I’ve been indulging in some big-time, home-beautiful, backyard-blitz fantasising. I confess: I’ve been leafing through glossy magazines with pictures of fashionable rooms furnished in neutral tones, buffed wooden floors and low-backed leather couches. It’s all futile of course because now that we’ve swapped rent for a morgage, we won’t be able to afford any of this. But that’s not really the point. Because to be honest, these picture-perfect magazine homes are starting to get on my nerves.

The main thing that bugs me is the obsession with white. Walls, drapes, ceilings, ornaments, you name it: if you want to have a nice home, according to the style gurus, they’ve got to be predominantly white. There are dozens of online interiors stores dedicated to white homewares. I even saw a feature on white floors. I had to laugh. For someone like me, who mops the floors maybe twice a year, this is the height of lunacy. The hours spent on maintenance would be a kind of poetically just punishment for anyone crazy enough to want such a thing.

I suspect that the trend for hospital ward interiors is rooted in masochism. The more white, the more obvious your guilty housekeeping sins will be for all the world to see, and of course, the more washing and cleaning. Or perhaps it’s a conspiracy to give women more housework to do and get them safely back in the home… Starved of colour and surrounded by the fumes of bleaching agents, our brains will slowly decompose. And it’s strangely alluring, isn’t it? All that soothing, relaxing white, just like a fluffy white cloud waiting to swallow you up… reminds me of The Stepford Wives.

I for one am going to resist it. I pledge to you, my reader(s), that I will not indulge in this whitewashing madness. And if you see me getting a slightly vacant look in my eyes as I clutch a paint swatch with names ranging from Dove’s Song to Marble Mist, you’ll know what happened. Just throw a bucket of purple paint over my head. That should do the trick.


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Filed under Domesticity, Pontifications

Sad thoughts for a sunny day

Just when I got up the gumption to start a blog, the hazy days of January came along and in front of the computer was the last place I wanted to be. What a stop-start beginning it has been.

But for the last couple of days, as I’ve been out playing with my kids and enjoying the sunshine, I have been trying not to think about this story. I first heard about it on the radio news during the week and the voice of the doctor who was interviewed has been echoing in my head: “Ten years ago, there would have been someone even in a small country hospital who would have been able to open up her tummy and clamp off the tube to stop the blood. Now that maternity services have been centralised in bigger hospitals, we have lost all that experience.” (I paraphrased.)

It’s hard enough to believe that a woman can still die from an ectopic pregnancy in Australia, let alone that she could have been in a hospital at the time. Why is it that some country hospitals have closed their maternity wards? I assume that means that local women have to travel far away to have their babies or access other reproductive health services. So far away that sometimes they don’t make it. It’s spine-chilling.

Sometimes it feels as though we are just going backwards.

Veronica Campbell was the same as age as me. Her little boy was exactly the same age as my youngest, 23 months. Her story will stay with me for a long time.

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Filed under In the news

Nap time

Neither of us knows where we end and the other begins –
there is no Other, only our body.
You are more than just beloved.
But I am counting the breaths until sleep slackens
the clench of your arm around my neck.
Relief! Now I can stretch and be someone Other than mummy.

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Filed under Family matters