One of my favourite films is Mary Poppins. I saw it first when I was seven years old and was completely enchanted by Jane and Michael's strict but magical nanny transformed their lives. I've seen it about seven times since, once quite recently - and was only slightly put off by Dick Van Dykes ludicrous yankney accent.
But my favourite bit of my favourite film is the part where MP convinces the children to play a game called 'tidying the nursery'. The phrase 'In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun,' has always struck a chord with me (worryingly, even when I was seven). And when the lovely Ms Poppins smiles enigmatically and pronounces melodically 'You find the fun - aaaaand snap! The job's a game!' I am, quite frankly, her slave for life. Because in fact she's expressing a sentiment that deep down, I have always felt must be true. That is, a spoonful of sugar really does make the medication more palatable - and you can at some point, have a bit of a laugh doing even the most tedious of chores. It's just a matter of approaching it in the right way.
Last week I had a big changeover to do. Five beds to strip, along with five towelling robes, ten towels, 2 handtowels. A veritable mountain of laundry.
As I divested each room of its used linen, I hurled it over the bannisters, until, when I was done, the entire stairwell was completely hidden under a sea of white cotton. I hesitated only a second at the top of the stairs before leaping into the air and surfing all the way to the bottom, cushioned beautifully and shrieking with glee.
Mary P made perfect sense.