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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)

TITLE: Royal Commission on Spring-cleaning
By Fiona Dorothy Stevenson


Spring. I wondered why the Flower Fairies forgot to mention that spring doesn’t start until September? Perhaps the Weather Wizards were at fault: they seem to have confused their days too; uncertain whether they should be warm or chill. Just like spring.

My diary calendar agrees with the computer calendar; both tell me that it is mid-winter. But the freesias are happily nodding their buds at every blade of grass. The mimosa up the road is heavy with fragrant blossom. The magnolia next door is opening huge pink cups to the east. Each time Old Sol shines warm the gerberas welcome him with pink and orange faces. Only when the clouds hang low and the day turns gray do the purple pansies fold their petals close and shiver in the wind. Just like spring.

Is it time to get the mops and brushes out and tie a scarf around my hair? Spring-cleaning? I gave the matter considerable attention before arriving at the conclusion that it would require the equivalent of a Royal Commission before committing myself to begin. To be sure, this is what any Government Department would require before commencing such a project.

Where to begin? Armed with pen and pad I walked slowly around the outside of the house inspecting the windows and the eaves. Certainly they could do with a brush and a shine. (Make a note of the items I will need.) On the other hand, if I do them now I will probably have to do them again in September or October – that’s twice the cleaning materials and twice the energy.

I felt my energy ebb.

Drat! An oxalis flowering among the thyme and the parsley – better get it out before it sets another lot of seed.

A half hour later I struggled to my feet, disposed of a satisfactory bundle of the enemy oxalis, and returned to my Royal Commission on Spring-cleaning.

I reviewed the windowpanes from indoors. The verdict remained the same. Standing on the floor I examined the pelmets and the ceilings for evidence of cobwebs. A close examination required the use of a stepladder, but I felt a more general approach would suffice for a Royal Commission.

There seemed to be no good reason to begin the spring-clean six weeks early just because the flowers were budding and the weather was topsy-turvy.

But perhaps I should tidy my workroom. The top of my desk was piled high with books and magazines. And that hardly constituted spring-cleaning.

I set up a card table and lifted the first pile down, sorting the books from the magazines and the magazines into categories. Hmm, there was the recipe book I couldn’t find last week. And there the crossword magazine I was looking for.

And look! Just what I need. I’ll sort the others later. I sank into a beanbag with my year old Spring Gardens Catalogue. After all, spring is just around the corner and I need to do some planning.

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This article has been read 364 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 07/31/09
LOL! I know how that can go, to have that one giant project on your mind and knowing just when you're going to do, how to do and then of course, it's too much work or I get distracted. LOL!. So very well portrayed here-I simply loved it.
Seema Bagai 08/06/09
I laughed through this entire piece. An enjoyable story.