Monday, January 22, 2007

Washing the Flagstones

Sky and I usually divide up the housework. He does the downstairs and I do the upstairs. But he was up in London for a few days, so this week I did his half as well. Which meant that I got to wash the kitchen floor.
I've never liked using mops, so if I have to wash a floor my preference is always to go down on hands and knees and do it the old-fashioned way. I find it rather satisfying, as a matter of fact. And washing our downstairs floor is especially satisfying because it is made of flagstones -- big, old, uneven flagstones made from black slate.
I love it that we have a flagstone floor. It is almost certainly the original floor that was put there when the cottage was built, back in 1733, and I enjoy thinking about all the people who have walked to and fro across it over the last couple of centuries and all the people (probably women) who have cooked their meals in our little kitchen and washed the flagstones the same way I did today, on their hands and knees.
The other thing I like about it is that the flagstones are continuous with the ones outside on the porch. Most people's houses seem to have a very definite separation between inside and outside and ours doesn't. And I like that. In these dark, cold days of winter, when I spend a lot of time indoors, I like the feeling that the inside, with its cosy fire, and the outside where the tree branches sway in the wind and the leaves of the honeysuckle (that I keep forgetting to prune) tap against the window, are -- in one way, at least -- all of a piece.

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