Everyone does some sort of spring cleaning around this time of year, it's human nature to want to shake out all the dirt from a home that's been closed and heated throughout the long winter months. We want to throw open the windows and doors, roll up the rugs, put away the thick blankets, etc... So we do. We do as much or as little as we want. You would think. Until spring cleaning becomes a religious obligation, and then all of a sudden there are rules, standards to be met and, dare I say it, a certain amount of keeping up with the Cohens.
During the festival of Pesach, which lasts a full week, we are not allowed to eat any leavened bread (to comemorate the unleavened 'cracker' type bread the Israelites had to take out of Egypt with them in their haste to leave, i.e. no time for the dough to rise). In order that we don't make any mistakes on this one, the goal posts have been moved thus: We have to change to a special set of Pesach kitchenware (yup, everything in the kitchen that touches food - you can see my meagre Pesach kitchenware and supplies here). We have to buy all new food that contains no wheat flour (except for the matzo crackers which are baked and timed under rabbinical supervision). Ashkenazi Jews (of European descent) also eat no pulses or rice, incuding any foods that contain derivatives of such foods like rice vinegar or soy sauce. And - here's the biggy - we have to clean our homes from top to bottom (every cupboard, drawer, under bed and over wardrobe) to make sure there are no crumbs anywhere. And anything that cannot be sufficiently cleaned must be covered. It takes days.
Normally it's just me at home so I do what I
So this month I've been working flat out - because half of next month is holiday, and trying to not just clean for Pesach, but also declutter and organise everything to make it suitable and comfortable for guests. They are coming on Friday morning so, after realizing that I was teaching until today, that gives me two more days to do what I have to do (dust, scrub, hoover, sweep, tidy, wash the floors and windows). And I did want to write one of those visitors' guides like they have in the holiday house swap programmes but I ran out of time.
As far as Midlife Singlemum is concerned, and after briefly considering scheduled posts and other such options, I have admitted defeat. This will be my last post until we return after the holiday. I'm probably committing blog-suicide by taking a three week break but I can't do everything. And the state of the blog will make for an interesting post when we get back. Yes, I could blog from England but I've made the decision that this will be my me-time. I'm going to go out with friends while Grandma and Grandpa babysit, I'm going to read a book or two, I'm going to watch British tv, and I'm going to see if I can remember what living in reality 24/7 was like.
Happy Pesach to those celebrating with me and Happy Easter to others. See you all next month!
* All illustrations from Google Images under Passover Cleaning.