"Did you see what I did last week? Did you notice the sparkle?"
It was Kelly's morning for cleaning. As I was about to remove myself, out of her way, and disappear into the garden, her question arrested my flight. Like many women, I feel guilty about employing another woman to clean up after me, and like to pretend it's not happening by being really busy with something else, but Kelly is totally matter-of-fact about it and cheerfully admits that she needs the money. I hovered, uncertain what it was I should have noticed. On her previous session I had had to take Beloved to the eye clinic for his sixth poke in the eye with a sharp object, and we'd not seen her at all. Kelly knows where the key is and we trust her to get on with the job while we're out.
"Didn't you notice that I cleaned the cooker surround? I took your pottery down and gave it a good scrub and I did the tiles too. It was really greasy everywhere."
"Oh, thank you, Kelly, of course I noticed it, you did a grand job. You made such a difference."
I took a closer look and the tiles really did seem clean. and the pots had lost the fuzziness that comes with sticky dust. A little ashamed that I hadn't even noticed before, I repeated my thanks. Every job well done deserves appreciation and all too often I forget how important this appreciation was to me during my own working life.
This time Kelly had to clean up after a pair of
plasterers. The builders finally arrived to attend to the
damp and mouldy patches which we had ignored
for far too long.
The damage under the eaves was due to
a leaking roof and has been steadily getting
worse over the past twelve months. We've had
enough rain for the house to float, like
Noah's Ark, down the hill and away with
the river and we were quite relieved to see that
there was no rot in the timbers.
It was Kelly who noticed that the
broom cupboard downstairs was peeling
off the wall. I tend to see such things with
only half a mind; I hate repairmen in the
house and any job like that will probably
cause upheaval, mess and great expenditure.
But when the leak seeped all the way into the
downstairs bathroom something had to be done.
Considering that it takes even the best regulated
firm of builders many months to turn up, it might
have been been more sensible to get on to
them a bit sooner; but now the job is done, there's
only the painting to come and the pressure is off.
We haven't had the bill yet.
I told the chap in the first photo that I was
taking his picture for my blog.
"What's a blog ", he asked.
"A kind of online diary. - ok, so mine isn't really,
but it would have taken too long to explain the
convoluted nature of this particular example of the
genre -. There'll be people on other continents reading
about you and they'll see your picture".
"Really", he said, "cool".
He might have been humouring me, the client; the 'cool'
made me stop and wonder. He was at least in his thirties
and nobody older than thirteen should use this expression, but he was a nice chap. They both were, and they managed to work all day without a radio blaring pop music. They also cleaned up after themselves, leaving plenty of surface dust but no real mess. If anybody round this end of Shropshire reads this and needs a building contractor, I can recommend them.
And finally, humdrum is as humdrum does; it is a quick walk I take on so many afternoons of my life here in the Marches, but no matter how often I retrace my steps around 'my' castle, the pleasure never wanes. But then, you've heard me brag about this many times before.