Whilst it's not technically spring, I have caught the spring cleaning bug and I can tell you it is a satisfying contagion. With the children back at school today after a 'snow day' yesterday, I was able to knuckle down Broadhurst* style and get on with the job of once more clearing my desk and the various boxes of 'art stuff' stored underneath it. I have no idea what is contained in some of these boxes. A couple of these dear girls have journeyed to and from the loft when I have accepted defeat in not sorting through them and have packed them off once more, not quite knowing when we will be reunited. Now I must confess, there may be a box that I packed when I was days away from giving birth to my second child who is now four and half years old. Throw it away some have suggested, if you haven't needed anything from it in four years then surely it is superfluous? Not so. Plus the hoarder in me cannot bare that there might be that four hundreth drawing that my eldest drew for me, that polaroid of the eldest boy and I in the bath when he was very little that I can't find but know I haven't thrown out, those early drawings of performances I still plan to make.
Gently I reminded myself this morning that I actually like clearing and sorting and filing, especially when the task gives way to being able to 'make' in an orderly environment. I have always needed this. I need it now so that I can 'DO' whatever I like, whenever I like without any excuses. So I cast myself back to happy studio times in my Anne Frank room* where I would spend hours working whilst listening to my favourite programmes on the radio, desert island discs and woman's hour. So as an ode to good times past, today I sorted and filed and dusted and purged and it was bliss! I rewarded myself with lunch at my desk, tomato soup from a tin accompanied by a grated cheese sandwich and desert island discs back to back powered by my lap top. Amidst the clearing I found some old work, words and handstitching, collaging and collecting ... nothing much changes but it is wonderful to remember.
*Broadhurst is my maternal grandmothers surname. She was a single parent housekeeper for the rich who worked harder than anyone I have ever known. I can still clearly picture her reaching for a pretty hand made apron from the hook at the back of the kitchen door. She would reach behind her waist and tie her apron followed by rolling her sleeves up and that's when you knew that serious work was about to commence.
*Anne Frank Room is the name that I gave to the studio I inhabited when I lived in Nottingham years ago. It was a small loft space that I could only stand in, in the centre of the room where the roof rafters allowed. It had narrow winding steps that led up to it, carpeted cheaply which resulted in many carpet burns as the steps did not really accomodate my size eight feet. A long homemade door disguised this space making it a perfect haven. This was particularly significant at the time, as I had witnessed many random acts of violence in a city that at the time had the greatest number of victims of random assaults.