There is a phenomenon in Italy that is unexplainable whereby dust accumulates faster than the speed of sound, or at least faster than the normal rate of accumulation in every other corner of the globe, thus leaving the floors in need of sweeping on an all-too-regular basis. While leaving the windows open is common and would explain dome input of dust, it doesn’t explain the rapid flow into the house. No matter how frequently I sweep, the broom gathers together a large pile of matter including large, clumpy dust bunnies which seem to multiply faster than…well, rabbits.
We had an issue with sand leaving a layer on the windowsills and beneath the entry doors in New Mexico, but that was different. It was rather localized. Here the dust is apartment-wide and is constant. A flow beneath my feet.
Speaking of "beneath my feet", everything here is tiled, which is actually a relief in that if there were carpets I’d be worrying about the accumulating dirt getting trapped within its fibers and how gross that is (in addition to the hundreds of chemicals I’d be inhaling, but that is another story). Tile is easy to sweep and mop and so really it’s a practical floor covering (except that I’ve not yet purchased the much-needed steam cleaner for mopping and must continue with the wring-out-the-rag-and-mop method previously noted in the blog archives)
The drawback, of course, is that tile is cold. During the summer when the temperature and humidity had me swooning and whining the tile floors were a blessedly cool relief. Now that the weather is normal and the mornings are a bit cool, my feet are always cold. And before you think me a simpleton, yes, I wear socks but that cold seeps right on through them. Shoes track more dirt through the house. My slippers need to be replaced for while they are cute, all the stuffing has been scrunched down to such an extent that makes them rather useless and they swish off my feet. (“Cute” because my mom gave them to me as a gift; when she saw them she laughed as they bore the banner “Baci” boldly and came stuffed with the Baci candies.)
The other issue with tile is that, when coupled with the plaster walls, the stone floors create echos and even our conversations over the dinner table have a bit of a repeat factor. We need an area rug to absorb sound but it’s been difficult to find a natural fiber at a reasonable price; something to hang on the walls would probably help give some echo relief as well. But really, how much do we want to spend to decorate a home when we don’t know how long we’ll be here? A conundrum for I do like to be comfortable (and I prefer to have warm feet).
Meanwhile, I’m sweeping the floor like I’m training for the winter Olympics curling games and trying to keep my tootsies warm. If you come across some nice, thick wool socks or cute, comfy slippers, let me know. And if you come for a visit, bring along a broom. We can have curling championships in the living room.
copyright 2006 Valerie Schneider