The Cleaning of Bathrooms

CitrineeThis is a beautiful example of Citrine, a marvellous crystal that NEVER needs cleansing…

I hate my bathroom. It doesn’t do anything particularly to merit my hatred, it just…is. It is, as tradition says, the smallest room in the house, so as logic dictates, it is painted white to give the illusion of size, space and light. Big mistake.

White happens to be one of my favourite colours, precisely because I love the illusion of size, space and light. However, add four cats to the mix and life becomes more… interesting. My cats have a weird fascination with the bathroom. I have no idea why. Considering the actions that take place in the bathroom, I like to keep it spotlessly clean. I use pet-friendly wipes to clean the floor, I use eco-friendly washing up liquid to scrub the bath and the sink and sheer elbow grease to polish the stainless steel fittings. Lemon juice is a big help and it also smells nice.

Yet despite my best efforts, circumstances, cats, children and partner all combine in one vast conspiracy to ruin my pristine, sparkling bathroom into a mud pit hair fest.


Charlie as  a kitten… caught in the act!

From an early age, my princess Charlie expressed an interest in running water. My cats actually have a filtered water drinking fountain, but nothing seems to beat the taste of plain old tap water. It’s better still if you’ve already been outside, perhaps for a spot of light digging, so the fur between your toes still has granules of earth clinging to it, that you can mix with water residue in the sink or bath to produce a red medium through which you can express the finer aspects of your feline nature through the action of applying said medium to the wonderful white canvas that has thoughtfully been supplied for you on every surface in your room of self-expression. Yep. Muddy pawprints everywhere.

Our bedroom is just to the right of the bathroom door, and one day, as I was polishing the mirror, I happened to see Charlie in the reflection. She was looking particularly furtive and… yes, downright sneaky. She nudged the bathroom door open – I had been intending to do a quick clean in there as well – and disappeared inside. I had to see what my cat was doing.

I crept stealthily across the room and stuck my head around the door and – I’ve never seen anything like it. My little cat was standing on the edge of the bath, on her back legs, stretched up as high as she could reach. She was WIPING her front paws across the tiles and then examining the underneath with interest, as if to say:

Well, today I have managed to mix the finest shade of vermilion… notice how I use different pressures of my paws to achieve the desired textured effect…”

The look on her face was a charming picture of interest and excitement, but I couldn’t help the anguished shriek as I saw how she managed to express herself already across my previously gleaming bath. Charlie looked at me, shock in her eyes at this rude interruption, ‘Brrp’-ed loudly and ran away.

Citrenee 2“Somebody – open the lid!”

The other cats just sit. They sit in the sink. Or the bath. They like to watch while you clean your teeth, although I have mixed feelings about being observed while I am in the shower. Charlie, however, is a very different sort of cat. I am prepared to overlook her artistic endeavours in my bathroom because she’s my cat and I love her. I really hope my partner sees things the same way when he notices that the back of his favourite chair has been shredded. Art can take many forms…

Citrinee 1Can I help?”


One of the dictionary definitions I came across when looking for a starting point for this post was “an absence of pigmentation.” Not so. White happens to be one of my favourite colours, a wonderful choice – especially when combined with muddy cat paws..

But look again.. there’s a whole rainbow of colours within white. I have a white rosebush ( called Richard…) and I was delighted because the first rose opened the other day. Not only is there white within its petals, but there is the lushness of Jersey cream, thick and yellow towards the base of its velvet petals.

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Obviously there is an abundance of white flowers in Nature, it is one of the most primitive and earliest evolved colours for flowers, along with yellow. Daisies star our lawn, like the Milky Way, and I’m always regretful when the grass is cut. To me, they have the crisp white of freshly laundered sheets, snapping on the washing line.

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Another treasure chest of white, a water lily in our pond, perfectly symmetrical petals, as pristine as if they had been carved from soap and arranged origami-style to form the flower, white with palest blush pink and delicate veins of green.

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And then my dicentra, or “bleeding heart” as it’s sometimes known; it’s not very big, but the flowers are studies in softness, marshmallow cherub’s wings of cloud white.

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That’s just in my garden. Go further afield to the Arctic, or any sub-zero region and the whole spectrum of blue and green is visible within a single iceberg. The icecubes in my fridge are a poor relation doing their best, yet still in the right light you can catch glimpses of polar bears and penguins.. Look up, and most days (here at least) you will see clouds, wisps of angel hair trailing softly across the sky, or plump pillows within the folds of blue sky, newly laundered by the rain. I had the most amazing dream once, I was standing on the rockery, reaching up to pull down great armfuls of cloud, that felt like cotton wool, but was cool and crisp like shredded cucumber…

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Look within the Earth, and despite her dark innards, Mother Earth too will give up chunks of purest white that still contain the might and making of the Universe, Moonstone, Calcite and Quartz. White Calcite, as well as being good for encouraging spiritual growth and alleviating emotional stress, looks as though it has been hewn from the very centre of the North Pole, Aurora Borealis dancing within its depths.

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My son’s White (or Snow) Quartz, good for enhancing tact and co-operation, has a million tiny faceted rainbows caught within its walls, glitter in a glass of milk.

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Of course… food. White chocolate, the best quality, has the sheen of cream running through it with the richness of gold as it melts in your mouth. White rice, soft mounds nestles together like herds of tiny sheep, and white bread, cushiony and wheaty, smelling of summer, that faintly hot, parched tang of earth as it bakes in the sun. Yoghurt, peaks of whipped perfection as satisfying as the Alps.

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Not for me “ Oh, white’s so sterile, it reminds me of an operating theatre” – there is a richness within white as mesmerising as clouds on a windy day, forever changing and reforming, not one solid colour but the whole spectrum flowing in an endless cycle. Continuity and colour.


All photos were taken by my son!