Spring Cleaning for Chinese New Year

I can’t believe I last painted our house in 2006, seven years after we moved in. How time flies and it’s another seven years. The houses in my neighbourhood took turn to spruce up their façade with a new coat of paint and this month, the houses opposite mine are decked in blue netting as they undergo a transformation. My neighbor said the costs had doubled since they last painted also in 2006, to around $12K. I gasped. My conjoined twin neighbouring house had indicated that she has no intention to paint anytime soon. Mike said we will do next year. But looking at the spanking white walls opposite, I decided the least I can do is to give my house, or my boundary wall a shower.

Yesterday, after my jog, I took out the brand new power cleaning jet we had purchased for a day of hard labour. The weather wasn’t too cooperative initially, drizzling on and off which meant my labour was interrupted a few times so that I didn’t get electrocuted.

I requested my dear hubby to help move the flower pots, assuring him that I would do everything while he spent his afternoon in the salon getting his monthly groom.  I know better than to ask him to forgo his trip to visit his hairdresser, having been warned by him already of his intention. I think his biggest fear is, as if every time he wants to go to the salon, he expects to be stopped by chores I have for him.

I began by cleaning the concrete slaps around the circumference of my garden. They were black with mold and dirty with residues of decayed cuttings of grass. It was therapeutic focusing on the task as my power cleaner erased away the dirt, one strip at a time. Now I know- how all those kindergarten years of colouring one did in preschool is actually helpful in these kind of cleaning: it’s the same technique and with the same attitude of patience.


Next, I scaled the seven-foot wall, walking gingerly like a tight-rope artist as I blasted away the green algae. My only safety catch? My son, Ivan, who viewed the task too dangerous for himself, is at least on hand to shout for help incase his middle-aged mother was to fall.



I am surprised at my own agility, which I credit to my yoga practice, as I leaped from the high wall to the adjacent boundary wall.

As I neared the end, my next door neighbor returned, saw me perched on the wall, and told me to be careful. I guess it must be a shock to see a woman in a household of men climbing around.

Hopefully, this round of cleaning allows me to ‘tahan‘ another few years before I paint. On an optimistic note, a friend dropped by last night and said my house looks newly painted. I was very happy to hear that!


About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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