Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Friday, June 20 – A clean sweep

In my frenzy to make everything clean for the baby, I encouraged Jane to help me today in cleaning the carpets. Thank goodness most of the ground floor is brick and tile, which can be swept easily, but carpet has to be brushed or beaten. Oh, what I would give for a vacuum cleaner which dealt with dirt at the flick of a switch.
We have a very ancient carpet sweeper, which Jane pushed umpteen times over the fitted carpet in Anna and Stephen’s bedroom. It collected quite a lot of dust and fluff, but the stair carpets we’ve had to brush by hand. It has made me realise how important specific brushes were to generations before electric hoovers. A regular dustpan brush just won’t do the job correctly. Stiff bristles are what’s needed.
So we brushed and swept all morning, and took rugs outside to beat until finally we were satisfied that the baby will enter a relatively clean bedroom, if not house and certainly not world. The curtains are washed, the paintwork is polished, the bed linen has been laundered and there is a plentiful supply of clean sheets and towels in the airing cupboard.
Then we turned our attention to supper, for we have a treat tonight. Robin came down the lane saying he’d been trapping rabbits up the road. We don’t have them here in our grounds and fields, which is fortunate for the garden as they eat their way through a veg patch in a single night. So we are having a casserole of rabbit with carrots and onions. I think sage dumplings will work well too, even though it is a fine summery day. And he brought another very special treat – strawberries! We don’t have cream but we have sugar, though they are sweet enough just as they are after all the sun.
Out in the henhouse, where I collected four eggs, the broody doesn’t care about cleanliness. She is still sitting and murmuring, but I swear I could hear peeping beneath her, louder than before. So I think the first chick may have hatched.

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