Ed­i­tor’s com­ment

Lancashire Life - - FRONT PAGE - ROGER BOR­RELL, Ed­i­tor, Lan­cashire Life

Are you a messy person? Sorry if that seems like a per­sonal ques­tion but neat and tidy are just two of many life skills that have eluded me.

I’m not as bad as one of my son’s child­hood friends who, af­ter a sleep-over at our house, ar­rived at the break­fast ta­ble with a tri­an­gle of pizza stuck to the side of his head.

My granny, the up­right daugh­ter of a Sal­ford li­censed vict­ualler, taught me that clean­li­ness was next to god­li­ness and that prob­a­bly ex­plains my hand wash­ing ob­ses­sion. But tidi­ness? In the grand scheme of things that’s some way be­hind be­ing kind to animals and wait­ing your turn in queues.

In the spirit of universal suf­frage and the even dis­tri­bu­tion of labour, I have been known to hang wash­ing on a line and, as I do so, my in­fin­itely bet­ter half fol­lows in my foot­steps ‘putting it right.’ She prob­a­bly has a point; like most men, I sus­pect, my aim is to do it quickly so I can go off and do something I en­joy. Hers is to do it cor­rectly to save time later down the pro­duc­tion line. My teach­ers al­ways re­marked that I wasn’t much good at any­thing I did but, on the plus side, I al­ways did it quickly. You can take tidi­ness to ex­tremes. I once had a boss who re­fused to ever have more than one piece of paper on his desk. He would deal with it and then his sec­re­tary was al­lowed to give him another sheet. He also tried to ban wire bas­kets, dis­miss­ing them as places you put stuff you ei­ther don’t want to do or things that are just too hard. You won’t be sur­prised to read that my desk

looks like a fam­ily of bad­gers take it over when I put the lights out at night. I men­tion all this be­cause some­one said the words ‘Clut­ter Fairy’ to me this month and I looked blankly at them. ‘You’ll be telling me next you’ve never heard of Marie Kondo.’ I looked at my scuffed shoes and shrugged.

Ac­cord­ing to the in­te­ri­ors page ed­i­tors, de-clut­ter­ing is all the rage and we are plan­ning to fea­ture what are de­scribed as ‘stor­age so­lu­tions’. I as­sume this is an Amer­i­can­ism and fear it’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore feet be­come ‘walk­ing so­lu­tions’ and beer is trans­formed into a ‘thirst so­lu­tion’. In case you share my ig­no­rance, stor­age ‘so­lu­tions’ are cup­boards with a few shelves and cab­i­nets thrown in.

Pleased that Lan­cashire Life had once again added to the sum to­tal of my pa­thet­i­cally thin knowl­edge of the sort of stuff the ed­i­tor of a lux­ury life­style mag­a­zine should know, I took to the in­ter­net. Ap­par­ently, the Clut­ter Fairies are from Cheshire. Why doesn’t that sur­prise me? Ms Kondo, how­ever, is a rather more ex­otic crea­ture. She is a Ja­panese lady who ap­pears in the scruffy homes of messy peo­ple and, af­ter much squeal­ing and a few tears, ti­dies up the house.

She tells her fans: ‘My aim is to spark joy in the world through tidy­ing.’ Not so dif­fer­ent, then, from Mother Teresa and her mis­sion to stamp out poverty.

In one piece of video Ms Kondo demon­strates the ‘right way’ to fold jumpers and says we need to stroke them lov­ingly to ‘show grat­i­tude for their con­tin­ued sup­port’.

I’ll re­mem­ber that next time I put on my trousers. I won­der if she’d come round and sort out my sock drawer?

Have a tidy month.

ABOVE: The ed­i­tor’s desk af­ter the bad­gers have done their work

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