The place is a tip. No. That’s an exaggeration. There isn’t a stack of dirty dishes in the sink and empty wine glasses under the bed (actually there might be a pair of champagne glasses down there but that’s a whole other story) and so the house isn’t a complete mess, but it does need a bloody good clean. And it’s March. Officially, Spring has arrived. So, now’s the time for it.
Like all the things that you don’t really want to do, it’s making a start that’s the difficult bit. I’ve just got to decide what to tackle first, I tell myself and then it’ll be a breeze but whilst I’ve always prided myself on my capacity for self-deception, even I’m not taken in by this false encouragement. I open the cupboard beneath the kitchen sink and peer despondently in. Annoyingly, it would seem that I do have all the spays / creams / polishes I need and so I can’t use that as an excuse for delay. There’s even a set of rubber gloves under there. I sigh heavily and reach for the J-cloths.
Three and a half hours later the bathroom is gleaming, I’ve thrown away several weeks’ worth of accumulated newspapers and magazines, filed bills as paid or unpaid, vacuumed the house from top to bottom and made a start on my bedroom. With my wardrobe, to be precise, where I come to the reluctant conclusion that I have too many clothes. Who needs so many clothes? It appears that I own seventeen black tops. Who knew? Certainly not me. I don’t even remember buying half of them. Yes, they’re different shapes and in different fabrics and with different necklines and sleeve lengths but still… seventeen. With the money I spent on them I could have bought… well… something in a colour maybe?
I sit down on the bed. Then I draw my feet up under me and make myself comfortable. Spring. It isn’t just about cleaning I realise. It’s also about the new season’s trends. What are the key looks going to be for 2018? I’ve absolutely no idea. This is not an issue that would usually concern me but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t. Perhaps all that Basic Black I wear is simply reflective of a lack of imagination? I don’t like that idea at all and so scamper off down the stairs and out to the bins where I root through all the newspapers and magazines that I’d just put out for re-cycling. It never pays to be too tidy, I tell myself as I settle down with a mug of tea and flick through the fashion pages. Pastels are big this year, apparently. It’s all 1980’s Power Dressing in ice cream hues and sugary shades. I study the models and photos from the catwalk shows but I’m not convinced I can pull off this latest look. Somehow, I can’t quite see myself strutting around with oversized shoulder-pads in tones of raspberry-ripple. But still… I have got seventeen black tops. Seventeen. Something has to be done.
After a satisfying hour of online shopping, I can look forward to receiving, “within 3 to 5 working days”, one pale pink cotton blouse, one pistachio coloured wrap-top and a denim skirt that hits just above the knee in primrose yellow. (This last, I will most likely send back. Keen as I am, rocking The New Yellow Trend may well prove too much.)
Feeling pleased with myself I consider the notion of Spring and all it suggests. Then I make a list a list and tick off the first two items.
1: A new look for Spring. Check.
2: Spring Cleaning. Check. (Well alright, not all of it but I had done some)
My pencil hovers mid-air. What else does Spring signify? New life, I suppose. Frolicking lambs, fluffy ducklings and baby bunnies with long flipperdy-flopsky ears. No. I wasn’t even going to write that down. I may have recently moved to the country, but that would be going too far. Although, actually, my garden is quite large and perhaps if I penned off an area I could…
I have another think.
3: Spring Fever. That was the phrase wasn’t it? A fever resulting in an excitable or restless state. Now, that sounds more like it. Forget the bunnies and the ducklings. Thrill-seeking is the way forward. And what could be more thrilling than the encountering, attracting and acquisition of a new lover? That would practically guarantee an excitable state if past form was anything to go by. Besides, I owe it to myself, I decide. It’s been a long winter.
I have a plan. This coming weekend I’ve been invited to a party in Shoreditch at the home of Niles, Features Editor, for one of the magazines I freelance for. There should be plenty of new blood there. The big question is what to wear? I still have the “3 to 5 working days” to wait until my new clothes arrive. I create outfits in my head, trying them on my imaginary, slimmer more shapely self. Hmm not bad. Mentally I turn this way and that considering my reflection in a highly flattering imaginary mirror. The pistachio wrap-top and the denim skirt. That might work. Perhaps I can rock The New Yellow Trend after all?
If you’d like to know how Sally makes out at Niles’ party, then be ready for the next instalment of The Fortunes of Sally Forth coming soon.