Posted by: travelrat | July 6, 2017

Travel Theme: Tidy

‘A tidy desk is a sign of a sick mind’

‘A tidy house is a sign of a broken computer’  (Unknown)

At a place I used to work, we had a notice on the door:

‘Please excuse the mess. We work here!’

It wasn’t an office as such; we called it the ‘crew room’, and it sort of combined the functions of open-plan office, rest room, coffee bar and locker room. It had a transient population of about fifty, a dozen or so were ‘in residence’ at any given time. So, the place wasn’t very tidy. All the time you’d hear stuff like

‘Has anyone seen my notebook?

(Where he left it, only someone dropped a raincoat over it)

‘Jimmy! Where are the tea-bags?’

(Jimmy was our clerk, and the only person in the world who knew where everything was)

All this would change at the end of the month, when the Boss came down from Headquarters for his monthly visit, when it was all hands to tidy the place up. So, for a day or so … nobody could find anything.

‘Where are the travel claim forms?’

‘Green cabinet, top drawer, in the folder marked ‘Travel Claims’’

That was where they should be, of course, but for the rest of the month they’d be anywhere but there.


As you have probably gathered, I’m not the greatest fan of ‘tidy’. ‘Orderly’, yes … but that isn’t an exact synonym. I like an orderly garden, but not a tidy one that, to me, suggests someone scurrying around with a tape-measure and a tri-square, ensuring everything is just so, and woe betide the shrub that dares to grow an inch beyond its allotted bounds.

Bolsover Castle

Sadly, we sometimes find this trend at some of our monuments … a ruined castle is, in my opinion, spoilt by ‘over-gardening’ the surroundings, and making it too much like a municipal park. But, it doesn’t do to have it unkempt and overgrown, either. A middle ground is possible. Why not ditch the mower, and, instead, turn out some cows, sheep … or, as they did at Machu Picchu … llamas!

Llamas at Machu Picchu

This week’s contribution to the Travel Theme. More at

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