Monday, September 28, 2009


A clean boat

My mother used to have a saying, ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’. Somehow it seems to have stuck. I don’t like being unnecessarily dirty, and make it my business to have a strip wash every day, and at least two baths a week. Without being excessive with the use of water, that seems to eliminate body odour and do away with tide marks around the neck, wrists and ankles. Two shampoos a week keeps the hair smelling fresh.

Cleanliness is not just a bodily necessity; cleanliness of the mind, thoughts and actions make for total cleanliness,* but without ones surroundings being clean, body and clothing would soon be tarnished. Likewise bad company (those with dirty thoughts), corrupt the mind and soul. My mother was right to have taught me habitual cleanliness for good hygiene. I have followed her teaching throughout my life, preferring to live in clean surroundings: the house, the car, and the boat. Clean laundered clothing and bedding complete the picture. A block of soap costs little, but I must admit that washing powder costs a great deal more.

Working in a clean kitchen with spotless surfaces, a shiny hob and oven, and a sparkling sink makes cooking that much more enjoyable. It’s a civilized joy to sit at a table while entertaining guests when the food is wholesomely presented on clean crockery, on smart place mats, set upon a freshly ironed tablecloth. There are no cobwebs on the ceiling; there’s no dust on the lampshade, neither are the windowpanes smeared or the window sills caked with dust and the odd dead fly.

*John 13:3-15

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