The idea for this thread really started last week, like this: THE SPIDERMAN IS HAVING YOU FOR DINNER TONIGHT
So you're in Australia, on the first day of a heatwave with temperatures forecast to hit 39-40 degrees C for the next three days. You do all your important work early in the morning before it gets too hot. Guests have just left and in your innocence, you say, "I'm going to air the guest room for a bit, while it's still cool-ish." So you open the French doors.
Ten minutes later, you re-enter the room and find yourself in an impromptu scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie. There are flies everywhere - all over the ceiling and walls and every available surface. Hundred of flies, possibly thousands - you've never seen anything like this before. There's several dozen large flesh-eating blowflies, oodles of those medium-sized annoying bushflies that crawl into people's eyes and up their noses, hordes of tiny little flies with lacy wings, and a plethora of midges, all over every surface you can see.
After the initial shock of seeing this mass gathering of the order Diptera all over the room, you grow freshly alarmed at the thought that they might do number twos all over your pristine white ceiling and plaster. So you brainstorm ways to remove them quickly. Fly spray is not an option - you don't like poisoning people, not even strangers, and it might actually make the cleanup messier to kill all these insects. You experiment with chasing them back out of the open French doors, but the buzzing dark clouds you raise from one surface just re-settle on another.
So you hit upon the idea of vacuuming them all up. That should work, but it's going to be extremely tedious. So you close the French doors, get your iPod, and work to music while you stand on a chair and run the sofa attachment in sweeps all over the ceiling, and then the walls. The midges all get sucked down the vortex first go; the little lacy-winged flies are nearly as easy. The bushflies require chasing and persistence. The blowflies are very tricky to catch - it's best to wait until they settle on the door glass, and then go after them.
The iPod starts to play Lullaby
when you're back to standing on your chair, extending the vacuum wand all over the place like some long-limbed insectivore having a rather extended dinner - and you think, "Perfect! Yes!
This is as excellent as when The Stranglers' Golden Brown
came on by fortuitous coincidence when I emptied the compost toilet cartridge into the hot compost bin last year!"
And as you're suctioning up hundreds of flies, you sing along, with dark emphasis, to the bit that goes, "The spiderman is having you for dinner tonight!"
This wasn't work I really needed, on top of everything. I shall have to organise a flyscreen for those French doors. But, it was work made not only bearable, but memorable
, by that musical coincidence!
This little incident brings up a general topic...
For most of us, life involves doing some tasks we don't especially look forward to, around the house and the outdoors. If we avoid doing them, we end up living in a wallow (unless outsourcing the dirty work) and perhaps the house will crumble down around us and serve as our mausoleum: Here lie Henry and Madeleine, who always put off their chores until their own ceilings fell on them, and this was after they contracted fungal pneumonia from the spores of their mouldy house and could barely crawl around anymore.
So that this fate doesn't befall us, we roll up our sleeves and get on with it. We don't wait to "feel like" doing chores, because this is a recipe for eternal procrastination for many things that need to be done on a regular basis - we just do them, because they need to be done.
But, these tasks can be so much more enjoyable if you've got good podcasts, audio drama or music to listen to - then you don't feel like you are pouring your lamentably finite life down the drain. Music especially has the added advantage that some sorts can energise you and actually help you work faster.
So, this is the thread where you can post your music recommendations for various tasks.
I'll give some examples of things that work for me: For some reason, the live Cure album Paris
is just right for when I have to mow lawns around the place. Here's a sample:
It's become my go-to whenever I get the electric mower out of the shed. (An electric mower is nice and quiet so doesn't interfere with headphone music, and unlike fuel-powered models makes no pollution for the operator to inhale, and the whole shebang gets recharged off the solar panels that power our off-grid house.) Paris has a lovely mix of songs, some contemplative, others a bit more upbeat, and it just goes with late afternoon sunlight and working with green grass.
The other day, my husband suggested this as the classic song for vacuuming:
I had to dig a ditch a while back, and found this number very helpful for doing very physical work:
And the Cure song Lullaby
's uses just keep growing and growing... already one of my all-time favourite songs which I actually need no excuse to listen to, it's so wonderfully theatrical and black-humorous and gorgeously constructed musically, don't get me started... anyway, it's actually extra funny if it comes up on your playlist when you're dealing with spiders and/or cobwebs, as I was the other day when cleaning the house exterior - sooooo many spiders in the Australian bush!
...and it's even funnier if you
are the spider, a situation I found myself in the other day, which had made a horrible, "I really didn't need another job to do" situation into something quite funny.
So what are your
favourite musical choices for when you have to do your chores?