An unusual start to the day: three loads of washing done, and a pot of soup on the stove, and some niggly bits of cleaning in the kitchen - all before I allowed myself to come up to the study. Ok, I admit checking my mail and playing a move in Scrabulous before I even went down to breakfast ... but that doesn't count. Anyway, as I did all this virtuous labour, I thought about why it's not my usual pattern in these my declining years.
It's not that I like working in a scabby environment. I don't feel proud that the toaster as often as not is covered in crumbs, that the breadknife still bore the sticky remnants of the hot loaf it sliced yesterday, that the rings on the hob had burnt bits lurking round them even though I cleaned them - oh, must be a week ago. It's not even that, as I used to pronounce dramatically, I hate housework. Per se, it's even satisfying, in a quiet sort of way. And if vigorous enough it uses up a satisfactory number of calories. So where's the rub? (And isn't that a lovely pun?)
And today I reasoned that there are simply too many other things I'd rather be doing. When you're scrubbing a worktop or washing up the myriad bits that soup-making seems to produce you can listen to the radio, you can sing, you can, I suppose, recite poetry at the top of your voice. But you can't read, do a sudoku, write, surf, play Scrabulous, check Facebook/Twitter, go for a walk, swim, talk on the phone ...
In fact, most of what I did for that hour was think about housework. But at least my kitchen looks clean. For now.