Quarantine Diaries XXII
Sunday 19th April 2020
Apologies if I have banged on about this before, but I bloody hate cleaning. I feel absolutely no need to apologise for this – we all have essential bits of life we hate, those we barely think about, and those we enjoy, much to other people’s utter bewilderment. While I fully comprehend the necessity of cleaning, I only begin to work up the requisite reserves of energy to tackle it once dirt is actually visible. I do not feel compelled to take pre-emptive strikes. I also rarely clean at the weekends. I like to think of weekends as time reserved purely for the pursuit of pleasure, but with one day now barely-distinguishable from the next and the dirt-visibility levels in the house approaching dangerously-unignorable, I bit the bullet and picked up the sponge. While I may not enjoy cleaning, I am extremely thorough at it. If I’m going to make the effort to do it, I will bloody well do it properly. I can’t bear neglected corners full of cobwebs or dust bunnies, so once we started we had to see the whole process through to the finish. There is undoubtedly a valid argument for not cleaning at all for the duration of stay-in-place, after all, if no one is visiting your house then no one will know that it’s dirty, right! If only the dirt didn’t actually bother me I could have happily succumbed to this logic and put my feet up with a beer on such a warm afternoon instead of sweating madly scrubbing bathroom tiles. Ho hum. And no, I don’t get a sense of satisfaction or achievement once the house is clean. If I want that, I’ll go bake something. Nonetheless, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cross my mind that please god by the next time I have to do this, lock down will be lifted! Wishful thinking I’m sure, but if it comes true I swear I won’t complain a bit as I dust the bloody skirting boards.
Wild Acre Ranch Style Pilsner
After two solid hours of cleaning on a hot afternoon, I stepped out into our garden, collapsed into a deck chair, cracked this open and slugged. Don’t worry, I washed the top first. There are moments when the pop and hiss as you open a can are the most satisfying sounds in the world, and this was certainly one of them. Cleaning may not exactly qualify as an afternoon of hard labour, but that does not take away from the celebratory and well-earned nature of that first beer once a job is done, especially in 30 degree heat. And although so much of the pleasure we derive from beer is about context, I don’t want to detract from the fact that this is also a very tasty Pilsner, crisp, clean, lightly hopped and slightly citrusy – refreshing and gluggable straight from the can. A very American Pilsner, in contrast to the more European styles we usually get in this neck of the woods, and as far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier. We had a great visit to the Wild Acre taproom in Fort Worth TX just over a year ago, and I’m ever so pleased that their beers have finally made it down to Austin. I am looking forward to a summer of exciting session beers and this one definitely makes the cut.