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There’s been a tradition – certainly in the British Isles but perhaps also in other parts of the world – to have a cleaning blitz around this time of year to remove dirt that’s built up over Winter and spruce everything up in time for Summer. The sun has a remarkable knack of showing up dust and grime – particularly on windows, so perhaps this has some bearing on it being a ‘Spring Clean’ rather than a ‘Hunker down for Winter clean’.
For some years, Keep Britain Tidy has organised an annual ‘Great British Spring Clean’ and while in 2022 this is taking place from tomorrow until 10th April, the work is already underway as our pictures in this week’s news And Finally section shows. I’ve spent time in London over the past few days and as always happens, I can’t help but be on the lookout for people cleaning and noticing areas that need to be cleaned. In dashing to meet family visiting from California I noticed what I thought was an unusual cleaning operation and took a picture. I wondered, because of their antiquated methods, whether those involved were being punished for some crime or other (being forced to clean off their own graffiti perhaps?) but wasn’t able to linger and ask. It was only when I got home that I realised it hadn’t been cleaning I’d been looking at, but surface refurbishment. Surely there’s an easier way of doing this work?
Seeing the team on their hands and knees took me back to a hospital stay when I was six years old. My ward boasted a wooden, herringbone-tiled floor, which was swept with a broom and then polished by staff on their knees. Yes, it was a long time ago and thank goodness methods have improved – well, certainly when it comes to cleaning, anyway! I’d like to thank everyone employed in keeping our environment - both indoors and out - clean, tidy and hygienic, along with the hundreds of volunteers who help out, not only during this annual event but throughout the year. I occasionally see people out walking who are picking litter as they go. I’ll say here that it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t arise for them, but I appreciate their efforts hugely and am sat here wondering why I don’t follow suit. More on that another time…
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17th March 2022