The secret life of a dangerous radical
I think this is one of those days when I should alert the media as to what I’ve been getting up to. You can keep your 90th birthday garden parties and all the rest of it: my Sunday just now fading away has been supercharged, ironic and full of intrigue from start to finish.
It started with me going out to the restored pigsty and checking my cement works from yesterday had gone off, as we cutting-edge construction types tend to say. I know that sounds like I might be leaving the pigsty as a complete reconstruction of how it was in 1790, but in fact it’s going to be a woodstore on one side and barbecue/inclement weather centre on the other.
It would’ve been quite nice to keep it as a historical artefact, but I doubt if there’s much call for visiting a pigsty from the Robespierre/Danton terror period. I certainly woudn’t pay to see a few pigs grunting while an old peasant downtrodden by the aristocrats shoveled slop into the trough: you can see that any day of the week when David Cameron visits a steelworks. Or not, depending on where it is.
I degress: the cement was looking suitably solid, so I returned to the bedroom and decided the sheets needed changing. The deciding factor was actually the pillow-cases, whose head-depressions looked as if they might be permanent – and were brown rather than grey and cream, which was how they started out. So the bedclothes went in the washing machine, and meanwhile I put new sheets on the bed. This is a real page-turner, innit?
Pulling off the dirty sheets left an interesting film of skin, hair and grass all over the floor, so I decided to vacuum the room while I was, you know, there as it were. But when I got the Bosch out, it was full. So I went outside and covered myself in fine grey powder mixed with fluff. I didn’t set out to do that, but it’s a bagless Bosch, and as you know bagless vacuum cleaners are a giant leap forward from those ghastly old bags that had to be put in the bin, but didn’t cover you in fluffy grey powder as such.
It’s over three years since I had dogs here, but those dog hairs just keep on coming out of the carpet. It’s almost as if the carpet (which is in all truth getting on a bit) has gone like an old bloke who starts sprouting hair from noses and ears. Imagine suddenly finding that your carpet is doubly incontinent. No wonder people throw them out. Carpets I mean, not old blokes.
So I go to put the Bosch back in its cupboard, along with all the brushes, pans, mops and mains board, but everything falls out. Well, everything except the mains board. So clearly, the hide-shit cupboard needs an interior rethink, and I get onto it. The air is full of blue words and grey plaster powder as I head along the corridor to the bathroom. (I’m actually larging it a bit in referring to ‘the corridor’, as the corridor is under three yards long – and represents the space left between the fire and the bijou 3-piece Polish retro Art Deco suite which is right next to (and in the same room as) the galley kitchen and the bathroom)
While I was washing my hands and muttering under my breath about crappy French rawlplugs, I sort of idly looked around the bathroom and thought, hmm – the way you do – this could do with a bit of a scrub-up.
The bathroom looks much better now. And so it bloody should. But emptying bedroom, bathroom and corridor litter bins produces a lot of litter. I mean, the clue’s in the adjective. Then I thought of all that parquet floor packaging in the old pigsty. Hmm I thought, that needs burning. And there’s all those branches that came down in the last storm, one of which buggered up my car windscreen: they need burning too. Hmm, I thought, I really must do something about the cracked windscreen.
Do you think the likes of Lenin, Kubla Khan, Rousseau, Marco Polo, Sartre, Hobbes, Bentham, Wittgenstein, Descartes and Nye Bevan did this kind of stuff on a Sunday? Who, we ask ourselves, washed Stalin’s underwear as he was busy organising the downfall of the Romanovs and agitating for the dictatorship of the proletariat?
The thing with real philosophers was, they didn’t do ‘Hmm’ when it came to bathrooms and bins full of rubbish. There was no, “I mop the floor, therefore I am”. I don’t recall reading that Bentham suggested the secret of a stable society might be “the greatest emptiness of the greater majority of litter bins”. Bevan never said, “The purpose of bedsheets is to stick them in the wash”.
Possessions are the creators of passive acceptance, chiefly because if you spend all day for weeks on end writing about why the status quo needs blowing up, a mountain of unwashed pots will drive you from the home….and others who might wash the pots will be repelled by your body odour.
Not that you particularly wanted to know, but in between the showers the sheets did eventually dry, and the litter plus assorted bits of kitchen waste were burnt in the garden pit. Even more exciting, a cheese and ham toastie with tomatoes on the side was consumed, and I did watch a bit of telly.
The SmartTV was pretuned to BBCNews, and the first words I heard in relation to the Queen’s 90th birthday were, “Oh yes, she’s a grand old English cow”.
My God (I thought) the Anarchist Underground sect in the BBC has finally managed to get something seditious on air. But it turned out to be an interview with a dairy herd manager who’s been enjoying the Queen’s patronage for the last few years.
The big street party hosted by the Windsors at N° 1 was for those patronised by Her Majesty. But giant screens were set up in Green Park so you could settle down under your umbrella to watch other people tucking into free nosh. I find it difficult to empathise with someone whose idea of Sunday entertainment is watching the privileged eat fine cuisine….while they the viewers sit under rain umbrellas eating soggy sandwiches. But each to his own.
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Anyway, me being a bigoted Little Englander Brexiteer who hates foreigners, I’m off to eat my Kleftiko Lamb out here in France.