You either do what you want to do or spend your life just waiting for week-ends to come around. I think that pearl of wisdom might have come from a successful Austrian or Moldavian philosopher inside a mountain cave deep in thought and wholly absorbed in ‘Weltanschauung’ contemplation of the importance of doing nothing much except occasionally sweep out his cave.

It is all in the broom, some say. The broom that sweeps our lives of all the debris that never found any use in our lives. Lately I noticed the debris building up again. Has anyone noticed that shops now try and sell even more with big discounts on multiple items? You are urged to buy six loaves of bread and get 50 cents off for doing so. The latest that caught my eye is to buy scissors in packets of six. Six scissors?

What is there to cut still? Do peoples cut the cloth for a twin set or blouse, make boys trousers? My mum was a fervent cutter and sewer of the cloth with one of those pedal sewing machines. It was a ‘Singer’. Her feet would go up and down so fast; today it would be seen as an early form of rap-dancing beating the BigBang boys or even a Moon Walk.

My mum had one pair of scissors her whole life. Sometimes a man on a bike would come along. The bike would be put on its stand and knifes and scissors would be sharpened by him peddling the bike that drove a round sharpening stone on top of the handle bars.
This sharpening device has never been improved since. In any case nothing gets sharpened anymore. People chuck it all out and buy multiple sets of knives and scissors, six at the time. The happy shopper comes home with six loaves of bread and six pairs of scissors. It fills their lives, gives substance to an existence so thread bare that my mum’s Singer could well be in for a revival.

Those ideas of the past don’t easily let go. How come that people were more connected with sharpening knifes or scissors? Even enameled pots and pans were repaired with patches put into bottoms when rust had worked a pin-hole into them. Of course, it is nice we can afford to buy stainless steel that doesn’t’ rust but do we need to be so much on the rampage to consume? Why not take pride in a saucepan that has cooked meals for decades on end and try and keep it going as long as possible.

We used to have kind, friendly and benevolent relationships with all sorts of utensils. My mum’s green enameled milk bucket at the bottom of the stairs used to get filled by the milkman when ordered by my mum from above shouting ‘three liters to-day, please”. That bucket experienced entire generations of kids growing up. I can’t remember if this bucket followed us to Australia but I would like to think it did.

Our housed are now so full of everything. Cupboards piling over, scissors behind settees, drawers full of knives with a giant butcher block blocking access to the kitchen. Ikea boxes in the garbage bin. An Allen key looking forlorn, just cast away with all the other debris. We are groaning with debris.

We need a new broom.