I have found the secret of happy housewifery and it looks like this:
Taking time out from my writing to deal with chores, some of which are created because I choose to live with someone for whom flakes of croissant on the couch are no deal at all ( let along a big one), has always felt like an indulgence. There are more important things to do than make the bed or clean the loo; wash the dishes or dust the books; vacuum, scrub, polish or iron. And standing at the kitchen table rubbing butter into flour until it looks like wet sand, adding just enough iced, acidified water to bring it all together, leaving it to rest for at least an hour, and then going back to roll it out and line a pie dish, when there are perfectly acceptable ready to use packs of frozen pastry available in any supermarket, and it is only me in this house who notices the difference, has felt bordering on the insanely spoilt. But now as I do these things I can, at the same time, at least feel like I am making an effort to learn my craft.
Why I didn't think of it before I don't know. This beautiful machine has never felt less of a gadget and more of a tool. Here is a selection of my current listening:
The bloody marvellous Ted: lifting onions
in the rain and searching out a suitable place
for them to dry has taken on new meaning.
Because Anglo-Saxon is the tap root of my poetic
sensibility I need to understand more about it.
Being able to learn the wordhoard as I peel eggs is,
quite frankly, a revelation.
Fifteen CDs worth of pure joy. All of
Seamus Heaney's poems read by
himself. The more I clean, the more
I'll absorb his genius.