Doing the “Death Clean”

Barbican, Going Postal
Serpentinite from the Precambrian of Wyoming, USA. (public display, Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, Golden, Colorado, USA)
James St. JohnLicence CC BY 2.0

The “Death Clean” was coined by a Swedish woman who, sensibly, decided that, as death is a reality for us all, began it with her own house.
I’m doing it with mine.
The only certainties in life are “Death and Taxes” and since I started my working life, I’ve paid a lot of tax not least because I became a tobacco addict in my teenage years and had many good smoking years until the evil weed finally caught up with me and COPD was diagnosed.
I suppose I was in that very long African river, Denial, before I did something about it and quit the evil weed but it was much too late.
I could no longer take the dawgs out for our lovely long walks. It was just short out and backs.
Thankfully, I’ve admitted to my friends and neighbours what is actually going on and they are rallying around like true British bricks.
One is coming to help me with the housework which I can only do in fits and stops because I, literally, run out of breath but I do try.
I ordered a skip, which was delivered this afternoon by a most efficient local company, and another neighbour, a wonderful fit chap has done all of the heavy lifting of all of the stuff I simply couldn’t have managed on my own.
He and his family were here after Christmas, their house is a long work in progress…5 years to date…and I’d done another “Death Clean” thing by giving them all a little something and, in particular, for two of his three lovely children, little objects made of Serpentine.
When we chatted today he admitted that he knew nothing about this wondrous plutonic plug. All of these beautiful elements bubbling up “Down the Lizard” creating a substance which doesn’t absorb any rays from outer space hence they built Goonhilly there.

Barbican, Going Postal
Goonhilly Downs Looking south towards Croft Pascoe woods. The dark lumps are not grouse butts but anti glider defences dug during WW2 to defend the military tracking stations on the Down from enemey raids. The heathland on Goonhilly Downs is part of the Lizard National Nature Reserve, a complex site that extends to some 1600 ha. The reserve is a complex of numerous isolated sites and has two main habitat types: coastal grasslands & heaths and inland heaths. The Lizard is noted for its rich flora with 18 rare plant species growing in the area. There is a diverse range of heathland and coastal habitats and the heathland supports a diverse collection of heathers including the rare Cornish heath, a type unique to the area and seen in the foreground of this photo.
Simon Huguet / Goonhilly Downs

His kids absolutely love their gifts and have been researching Serpentine like mad. On that score, I’m delighted, inspiring these sweet kids to want to learn is an added bonus as far as I’m concerned.
Then the great chap who reads one of the meters turned up. He saw the skip and asked if I was having work done. I told him what is going on and he admitted to me that he was close to a breakdown when his daughter got really ill and had contemplated suicide if she’d died. She is better now but parental love is all powerful.
Golly gosh, what a day this has been and all of this took place after I’d driven Elderly Aunt to the dental surgery to have a broken tooth repaired.
On the way, she was bemoaning the fact that she’s so old, all of her siblings gone, “Why am I the one left alive?” I said, “You could always take up smoking” and she giggled.

© Barbican 2020

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