Friday, 30 September 2016

The great clean up

is going on after the state wide power outage. Questions are being asked about "what" was responsible, "who" was responsible and "why". The State Emergency Service (SES) has been working over time. 
There is a man in the next street who is an SES volunteer. He will have been out most of the night. He will now have to go and teach today - unless the school principal takes pity on him and sends home early. (He might. It is the last day of term here.) 
The storm has had tragic consequences. Nobody lost their life but some people have lost a great deal. Some embryos at the fertility clinic at one of the big hospitals did not survive and that is undoubtedly devastating for those involved. A premature baby did survive because a doctor used a hand ventilator.  
I read all that - and thought of what happens in war zones and disasters in other places. It's my job to think about those things.
And I also thought of something that caused  me and my siblings a good deal of alarm when we were children - and seems almost funny in retrospect.
The Senior Cat had what we used to call "cleaning up raids". Now it has to be said here that we are not a tidy family - and the Senior Cat is one of the worst offenders. Things get left around. Books and papers are left on the floor, on chairs, on the table, on the kitchen bench and more. The 'fridge is littered with bills, appointments, reminders, notices, 'phone numbers, business cards, "artworks" by the neighbours' children and grandchildren and more. There are currently two pieces of timber on the kitchen table, a screwdriver and the various pieces of a small machine the Senior Cat is endeavouring to repair. 
All this sort of thing was also pretty normal when we were growing up. It is probably why my work desk tends to have piles of paper and dictionaries and....well, need I explain? 
And then, suddenly, the Senior Cat would pounce. He would want to know what things were doing there. Why hadn't they been put away? The place was going to be tided - now! We would scatter in alarm. Some time later we would peer cautiously around the door. If he had gone we were safe. We would search the rubbish for things we thought were "precious". We would return things to their rightful place so that they could be used. I mean, why put the kettle in the saucepan drawer???
And that would be it - for a while. 
It has been a long time since the Senior Cat had a cleaning up raid. 
I may have to have one myself. 

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