Monday, November 6, 2017

Constantly Childproof

When my baby learned to crawl, I engaged in a life or death race against his new powers of exploration. It took a couple of months before I could comfortably turn my back on him in certain rooms, or catch my breath, for that matter. In the ensuing years I have tried to keep the house child-proof, but an empty nest and creeping tech change have added layers of complexity. It's time to resolve the thickets of electrical vines I have happily added to the inventory.

 One ofNeal Stephenson's sci-fi novels has an inspiring scene set in a Peninsula farmhouse. The living room is festooned with extension cords that support the geeks who live there. I took courage from the sheer expedience of the arrangement to release  most of what remained of my matronly death grip on housekeeping systems.

Geeks, however, appear never to have been subjected to the dire training in electrical safety that was the lot of twentieth-century girls. No doubt that training was necessary: I suspect that discovering safe ways to apply electricity to domestic life was as hazardous in the beginning as was the introduction of suffocating gossamer polyethylene bags into the stream of packaging amenities in the Seventies.

Wallingford's lighting boutique offers just about anything I could ask for to resolve cord clutter short of rewiring the house. With the holidays approaching and foul weather offering respite from garden duty, I'll be free to explore the world of good cord-keeping -30-

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