Some days demand a fresh window display and today is one of them. From behind the counter I see the bare skeleton of Virginia Creeper stretching across our verandah and it is cool enough for a fire in the cast iron hot drum in the middle of the store. But on the second day of spring the front doors are wide open to let in the new season; daffodils bloom in our neighbours’ garden across the road, sun shining through skylights spotlights TALA preserving kits on a shelf and rectangles on the timber floor, and families laugh and chatter as they stroll the village for Father’s Day. Significantly, this morning I moved the metal “Open” sign from its autumn/winter position on the front door of the shop to its spring/summer position on the verandah cross post. Our new window is a nod to spring and the primitive urge to scrub, swish and rub aside the layers of winter. Australian made ostrich feather or goat hair dusters, timber and union or tampico fibre scrubbing brushes, hard-to-find millet brooms, and a 10-litre enamel bucket inspire industry. Five months into renovating our old house I am repeatedly surprised by the transformative power of soap, water, bi-carb soda and elbow grease. There’ll be a bit of that going on this week as I wash nearly 60-year-old light fittings, skirting boards in preparation for painting, and timber sash windows that will be flung open to invite the spring scent of osmanthus.