Jayne Dawson: Who needs all of this stuff weighing down their life?

SPRING CLEAN: This is the time of year when we try to organise our lives.
SPRING CLEAN: This is the time of year when we try to organise our lives.
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Have you thrown yourself at your spring clean yet? I think we all do one, of sorts. It’s a concept that has survived from earlier times.

I like to think of a spring clean in wartime terms. I imagine a woman tying a scarf around her curlers, crossing a flowered pinny across her capacious bosom and setting to work with a tin of Vim and a cloth fashioned out of pair of old knickers.

This type of spring clean involves proper scrubbing, a mop and bucket and, possibly, a carpet beater.

I’m not saying it’s impossible in 2015 - I bought a carpet beater only weeks ago from a modern sort of a shop and am proud to say I have used it, and for its intended purpose too.

I felt housewifely to my very core as I slung my fluffy wool rug over the washing line and whacked surprisingly large clouds of dust from it. As well as satisfying a primal cleaning urge deep inside, it also provided a good arm toning session.

But a spring clean these days is not usually that. It’s more likely to be less physical, less dirt-focused and more of a decluttering, a sorting and reorganising of stuff.

Because the one thing most of us have is ...stuff.

Our world revolves around it. At the very heart of our lives is the assumption that we will work to earn money to buy possessions, and that we will continue to work to earn money to update, improve and increase our number of possessions.

Then, at some point in the year, usually at this point in the bleak midwinter, we will spend time trying to make sense of the mountain of possessions threatening to overwhelm us.

An industry has grown around helping us in this aim. There are people who make a living from telling other people how to sort, label, store and let go of their possessions.

Most of us know the rules: if you’re not sure whether you need it, put it in a black bag for six months and see if you miss it; if you haven’t worn it for a year, take it to the charity shop.

There are people who can provide more detail than that. They will tell you exactly how to roll your socks, stack your t-shirts, dust your books, display your owl collection, store your extensive screw, nail, washer and fuse collection, collate your box sets ..whatever you gather around yourself.

It’s exhausting.

And probably the right time of year to talk about the change that is a coming - because change is definitely a coming.

Increasingly, we are falling out of love with stuff. Even me, and I’m Seventies Girl, programmed to acquire and hang on like grim death to absolutely anything, because it might be the last thing that ever comes my way.

Young people are not like that. Lots of them don’t want a future where they sacrifice everything for work and possessions.

They are not the mortgage, DIY, annual holiday generation. They are not excited by the prospect of always having the biggest, the latest and the most expensive.

A couple of decades ago, we would do whatever it took to buy a house and fill it with the latest status symbols, from a dishwasher to a flat screen TV. We would take on any debt to have a new car outside or - better still - two cars.

But it isn’t the same now. Those born after the greedy ‘80s want to spend their time and money on experiencing life, on doing and seeing, on tasting and trying.

First we discovered consumerism, and now we’re discovering that, beyond a certain level of comfort, we don’t need more things - we need more of short, precious, miraculous life.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? And it must make the spring cleaning easier too.

Popping a pill is taken to a whole new level by this idea

Opinion has always been somewhat divided on the subject of eating your own placenta, hasn’t it?

Did you give a mental nod of agreement there or were you too busy arranging your facial features in unusual ways, all of the configurations indicating disgust?

Some - but not that many - are firm believers in this practice, others just feel sick.

It wasn’t really an option back in my childbirth days. A jam sandwich during labour was one thing, asking for your afterbirth to be served up lightly sauteed with some onions was quite another.

Now though, for those who do believe there is goodness to be ingested, there is a way that is less up close and personal.

The placenta can be dried, powdered and placed into capsules to be taken along with your daily vitamins.

Some people warn against it, but Kourtney Kardashian is currently doing that very thing and praising the benefits to the skies.

I have no idea if there are benefits, I’m just glad there is now an alternative to serving it on a plate.

Have hair, will succeed – the world is so easy for men

It’s so easy for men, isn’t it? If they decide to go on a diet, all they do is give up the beer and the biscuits and they lose a stone overnight.

If they decide to improve their appearance all they do is have a hair transplant, and the world falls into their lap. Job done.

Look at Callum Best, who signed up for this year’s Celebrity Big Brother.

He has never displayed any great skill like his footballing father George and he can only be described as a celebrity in the very modern, ie: meaningless, sense of the word.

But what Callum is good at is preserving his hair. He has already had two transplants at £6,000 each, and is planning a third.

And it is money well spent because Callum is now working as a model and getting lots of media coverage, which can only help push up his fees. And all because he rescued his hairline which began to disappear in his early 20s. At the age of 33 he has a reasonable thatch and a whole new lease of, if not life, at least career.

Men take this simple step to success all the time. Irish actor James Nesbitt had begun to look sinister as his hair disappeared and his eyebrows became ever more prominent, but a transplant has changed all that. James is back to being charming rather than chilling.

Wayne Rooney has had two transplants and, although he was never a looker, has halted the progression towards looking like Mr Potato Head.

All men need to get ahead is some hair - if only life were so easy for we women.

l

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