“DID you have a good weekend?” The Monday dawn chorus echoes round the office.

I’m not sure what constitutes a ‘good weekend’. Complete indolence or one where every waking moment is packed full of stuff that isn’t work? This weekend was the latter.

Save arranging for my son’s card to arrive on time, I was unencumbered by any filial Mother’s Day responsibilities. My friends were either cooking, attending or footing the bill for intergenerational family gatherings, so I was free to take advantage of the wonderful weather and indulge in that most British of seasonal pastimes a ‘Spring Clean’.

The custom may have Persian or Jewish roots, or it may simply be that in countries that enjoy (?) a cold, wet winter the first warm days of spring became an occasion to throw open the windows and, in pre Dyson days, give the rugs a really good beating (something that would have been much needed if your farm animals had been overwintering in your hovel). Save for Barney the beagle and the long-suffering cat, my hovel is critter free, so it’s more a ritual than hygienic necessity.

Having a good clear out (decluttering in the modern parlance) is both energising and cathartic. A pilgrimage to the dump (aka household recycling centre) was my first call, disposing of dilapidated and unusable items that in former days had seemed essential. The one or two redundant mains chargers that during their useful life would mysteriously move themselves round the house when no-one was looking had now reproduced like rabbits and filled a large box; I have never owned that many things that needed recharging.

Thence to Alabaré’s Wilton Charity Warehouse to pass on unwanted items that still had life in them. Charity shops are fabulous; everyone wins; my cupboards, new owners, Alabaré (by signing a few bits of paper, they were even able to claim Gift Aid on my bric-a-brac!) and the planet – passing on unwanted items conserves resources and avoids landfill.

Determined to do my bit to ensure that my son still has a world to live in as he grows up, I am now taking recycling seriously, vowing to beg, borrow or buy second hand when I can. I recently discovered charity shops to be a wonderful source of barely worn, well-made, top branded clothing. My much-admired designer shirt and silk tie was good as new and half the price of their poorly-made, new mass market equivalents.

Then back home to clean the patio and a selection of garden and DIY bits and pieces round the house; jobs that had been on my ‘to do’ list since before I was born. OK, the weekend wasn’t as relaxing as it could have been, but the satisfaction of sitting down with a glass or wine on Sunday night having spring cleaned my life, was incomparable. Roll on the summer!