Sunday, 28 January 2018

Spick and Span

 "A most terribly tidy little mouse always sweeping and dusting the floors" so wrote Beatrix Potter in her book The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse.
Well! I have to admit that for the past three weeks I too have been similarly engaged having turned the house upside down and given it a good shake, but a helper in the form of Mrs. Tittlemouse would not have gone amiss. Apart from cleaning, some decluttering has been completed along with the purchase of new mattresses and some smart storage. Having now almost finished the house my thoughts have been turning to what this year might hold.
During 2017 we had decided that a trip to Myanmar (Burma) was on the cards for 2018, a country that we had been contemplating visiting for some time. Subsequently though, and as a result of the horrific treatment inflicted on the ethnic minority Rohingya people of Myanmar by the Burmese military, we began to question our intentions. Nobody has any particular interest in whether or not we condone the treatment meted out to these people, but our consciences are quite another matter. After much consideration, we have decided not to do the proposed visit, and are turning our sights elsewhere. There are so many alternatives - countries filled with wonderful landscapes, nature, architecture and cultures for us to explore and learn about. Currently we favour the month of May, and with luck, will hopefully have an alternative trip organised within the next few days.

46 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary, Sadly, such considerations are necessary when deciding where to go or how to spend out money. Although perhaps no place is perfect, we have to decide individually where to draw the line, and I applaud you for obeying your conscience.

    I never read Mrs. Tittlemouse, but the idea of a tidy mouse already puts the book well into the category of fiction!
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - if the situation changes and Mayanmar makes amends for the way it has treated the Rohingya people by allowing them to return home safely then may be one day we will be able to visit. However, their treatment was such that I doubt if any of them would wish to return.

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  2. I understand your hesitations to visit that country. Hope you find a "safe" one to explore.

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  3. What a good feeling it is to get the house all clean and organized.
    I am sorry you have had to abandon your plans for a trip to Myanmar. Still it should be fun to plan a new one somewhere else. I look forward to hearing all about it and seeing all the gorgeous photos you will take. ;-)

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    1. I find it more and more difficult to motivate myself to do these jobs, but now it is a good feeling to be almost finished, and there is not much else you can do at this time of the year.

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  4. Yes, not a country on the travel 'wish list' to consider any time soon. Know you'll decided on another lovely place, as you say, there are many to choose from.
    Seeing Miss Potter's adorable mouse illustration brings back memories of visiting Hill Top - now that's stunning countryside and a safe place I must think of re-visiting one of these days when returning home!

    Enjoy your day Rosemary - I need to do some of that dusting and sorting myself, so with rain all day this may be something to consider.
    Hugs - Mary

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    1. We returned to Hill Top a couple of years ago having not visited for many years - I agree it is situated in a lovely location.

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  5. Good decision Rosemary. I wouldn't feel comfortable visiting such a country. Cambodia pushed my limit of bad governments, but at least the local people are benefiting from tourism.
    I need to do more decluttering, but lack the energy.

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    1. I did think that if everyone makes a decision such as we have done then it would affect the ordinary local people in Myanmar who would suffer because, rather like Cambodia, many of them must now rely on the tourist trade.
      Getting the house in order seems to take longer each year.

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  6. Dear Rosemary, Spring fever has taken hold of you. It sounds a little more than just getting the house in order. It must feel great to have it all spic and span.
    There may be another time when you can visit Burma. In the meantime I can't wait to find out where your wanderlust will take you.

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    1. Hello Gina - I don't have the boundless energy of old - it takes me much longer than it used to do, in fact it feels as if the house is getting bigger.

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  7. I remember you had a previous post asking about this moral issue. I think you have made the right decision! And you're right -- there are so many other exotic places in the world to explore. How about Canada? The snow is usually gone by May!

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    1. I think instinct and how you feel plays a big part here.
      I hope to return to Canada again sometime as it is where my big brother lives.

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  8. Decluttering and cleaning, something I always push forward, but when I've started I cannot stop till finished, then I feel so clean and relieved.
    Always better to avoid unsafe countries, there are indeed so many places in the world worth a visit, I'm curious about your decision.

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    1. Our decision has not totally been finalised as yet Janneke - I like to do the whole job too on the house front as then everything stays much better for a lot longer than if it is done piecemeal.

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  9. It is such a wonderful feeling to get your home in order! I have a plan in the back of my mind to work on that before the restaurant opens. I hope to have everything more or less squared away. As to Beatrix Potter, she is my favorite! Thank you for adding her picture to your post, she seriously makes me smile everytime I see her work :). I've actually been reading the most wonderful account of her life, it has lots of pictures and paintings. Good luck on planning your trip!

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    1. Yes, you are right Marica it is a wonderful feeling, and for me I have nothing else to do in January anyway. However, I know that for you January is frightfully busy and luckily you seem to have boundless energy.
      About 4 years ago there was a wonderful film about Beatrix Potter's life, I wonder if you saw it. We have been several times to her beautiful home and farm in the English Lake District. Sometime you should try and take your lovely family there for a visit, you would all enjoy it.

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  10. That is an understandable decision.

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    1. We wrestled with our decision, but in the end decided it was not for us.

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  11. I’m sure you feel relieved having made the right decision. Myanmar (I still think of it as Burma) was on my wish list of places to visit, but as you say there are many, many other places to visit. I need a Mrs Tittlemouse.

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    1. The old country names still linger for me too - they are stuck in my memory from learning about them on my globe of the world as a child.

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  12. I have always found January a good month for decluttering and house organisation, however these days it is too hot. Perhaps in Autumn for me. Yes, a very understandable decision re Myanmar, and it looks beautiful in the photo. Australians are great travellers, everyone is flying off somewhere, but not one person has told me they are going to Myanmar in recent times. Meantime, I need Mrs Tittlemouse here to sort me out for 2018.

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    1. Yes, I can well imagine that house reorganisation would be impossible in your January heat - I have seen how hot it has beenon the tv when showing the cricket in Australia - winter cleaning is best for you, I think.

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  13. Looks nice in the photograph but as you say there's so many other great countries to visit. I've just watched programmes recently on three separate countries I didn't know much about and would never have thought of visiting in a million years but they were truly spectacular in different ways. Even in my own back yard I had a day out last week in a new post industrial urban area that few would think to visit but it completely mesmerized me with its unexpected beauty. Exploration is its own reward.

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    1. The world is so small now - it is our oyster, and as you mention even in our backyards.

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  14. Well done, on the house front. Too hot to tackle much here at the moment.
    It's always exciting making travel plans. I have been tossing up some ideas for the year ahead too.

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    1. It is a great feeling to have the house done and dusted, it feel as if I have a clean sheet ahead of me now.

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  15. You have been very busy then, spring cleaning early - always feels wonderful to spring clean once in awhile, and it doesn't have to be spring.
    Looking forward to knowing you new destination later one :)

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    1. Cleaning at this time of year is good here as there is not much else you can do, but I know our Wintertime is your Summertime which I understand is being very hot.

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  16. Beatrix Potter's characters are so well-drawn and universally appealing, it seems. I imagine you feel very satisfied with your uncluttering and cleaning finished now. Looking forward to hearing where you've decided to travel.

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    1. I feel like I am on a new clean page now which seems to take me longer to achieve with each passing year.

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  17. A good oldf ashioned Spring cleaning is sometimes what it takes ! Such a satisfaction when it is finished :-)

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    1. I think that we all know that feeling when the job is done - I wonder if there is anyone out there who does like cleaning?

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  18. I have to do cleaning and tidying piecemeal, it is the only way I can bear it. To the point where I do about an hour in a day and then give up!
    It is one of the conflicts of travel, almost wherever you go. Mostly the issue is poverty and it is very hard to look away. But in the case of Myanmar I'm quite sure you made the right decision.

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    1. Getting my head around doing this job gets harder and harder with each passing year. I like to have it all thoroughly done and dustered and then I feel free for the rest of the year with just with just the odd top up of essentials. I aim to do a room per day and then have the next day off, depending on my mood and energy.
      Not going to Myanmar after really looking forward to it was a difficult decision but you have to follow your instincts.
      Hope all is well with you Jessica.

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  19. Maybe you are due a trip to Turkey ? Here's hoping.

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    1. I would love to visit the 2000 year old ancient heads of Mount Nemrut one day, but they are in such an inaccessible spot to organise from over here. Have you been there, and seen these wonderful heads?

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  20. It must have been a blow to have to change your plans for your next holiday. Sarah x

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    1. I have managed to fix a trip elsewhere Sarah. May be the circumstances in Burma will change in the future and we feel it will be ok to make a visit.

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  21. Hi Rosemary...
    Good job on the Spring cleaning....
    I am certain that wherever you go, the photos will be fabulous, and you will educate us all on the location.
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. It is a good feeling for me Linda - I expect that you are heading off to Florida any day. My brother and his wife are flying down to Anna Maria on the 7th February.

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  22. I would like this wonderful mouse to clean up my apartment very carefully :). I'm sorry if the travel plans are changing, but I think that was the right decision. Regards.

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    1. There are times when a little helper would be very useful - happily a new holiday has now been fixed.

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  23. Kudos to you for your decision to boycott Myanmar. I know that we cannot always be the conscience of every country but I think that that in the treatment of the Rohingya the government there really crossed the line and should not be supported. It really distresses me that Aung San Suu Kyi has turned out to be such a disappointment and I wish that my country would revoke her honourary citizenship. Enjoy your travels wherever they may take you.

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    1. Dear David - I cannot understand Aung San Suu Kyi, I have always had such a great regard for her stand against the military leadership. She sacrificed her marriage and her two sons, who grew up without her in Oxford, whilst she was held captive in Burma. Her husband died here several years ago without seeing her because she would not abandon Burma. I can't help feeling that there must be more behind what is happening to her now, no doubt we will find the answer in due course.
      A trip has now been fixed elsewhere.
      There you for visiting.

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― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh