'Cleanliness is next to godliness' – it's an ancient and wretched proverb that has endured through the ages and against the odds. Today, it's unusual to hear it without a degree of irony. But why hasn't this prissy adage died out altogether?
Times might have changed, but the word 'clean' is still linked to ideas of virtue and even of utopia. Perhaps now more than ever, in fact, with rising interest in ‘clean living’ and ‘clean eating’.
In this edition of Notes, we delve into themes of purity and sterility. We'll look at the flipside, too: contamination, pollution and disorder. James Colley tries to launder his conscience; Zoya Patel describes a messy break-up with religion; Alice Gorman sweeps at cosmic dust and CB Mako enters an eerie, ultra-sterile isolation ward in the Royal Children's Hospital.
And what stories can stains tell? Clem Bastow asks a vintage clothing restoration expert.
From our archives, catch up on conversations about sobriety, renewable energy, clean money and literary trash.
CB Mako remembers the cleanest room in the cleanest ward of the Royal Children’s Hospital.
The Vintage Clothing Restoration Expert: ‘Stains give you a glimpse into the life of the individual who owned that item’
By day, Clare* works in the fast-paced world of digital media in Los Angeles. By night, she restores vintage and antique clothing items to their former glory. She spoke with Clem Bastow about finding stories in stains, and how cleaning can be revolutionary.
The Recycling Collector: ‘Some loads are so bad, and so mixed up, that they can’t be sorted … It becomes landfill'
Something to say? Keep it clean
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