Housekeeping Memoirs

Yesterday…I had the whole afternoon off. I used it to clean every inch of my little nest. I enjoyed myself so much (yes that’s right – I LOVE CLEANING!) that I wanted to write a post about it. But instead I found one of my first ever posts and decided it was time to share it with you again!

Cleaning Equipment

If only everyday of housework could go so smoothly….Often you get everything together and enter the room where you are due to work….but low and behold: a leak from a water tank, or someone has accidentally flung baked beans or raspberry jam against the wall, or one time, I had a pair of legs sticking out of the door…turned out the occupant was feverish with some horrible infection and had been in bed with nothing but a sheet over him, he had got up to use the bathroom, and collapsed onto the floor – guess who was cleaning on the floor where he lived that morning!  So, I didn’t get to do any work because I spent the morning being first-aider and getting help so we could get him to a Doctor.  But today…aaaaah!!!!!….no disturbance, no interference, nothing has one wrong or slowed me down today.  Wonderful!!!!

ruiegdfhlahOh the life of a housekeeper!  I have had a very pleasant morning so far and had lots of time to think of you.  The rest of the day should be easy.  I have done so much work already in this house.  I am just going to give the kitchen a refresh and clean the big windows because there have been some children firing water pistols all week, so I decided to leave them until the last point before the family get back tomorrow.  Then I am going to clean the washing machine and tumble dryer out and clean the hoovers and just basically leave everything sparkling including my equipment.

As a housekeeper you see all sorts!!!!  Some young men seem to be oblivious to the horrors they leave for their cleaner / housekeeper to find.  I have been trained as a house-holder that if a toilet is in too bad a state, there is no need to clean it, and some house-keepers even leave notes to point to the fact that they are refusing to clean something due to a lack of consideration on the part of the occupant.  I am not too bothered.  I have cleaned medical facilities, sports stadiums, concert arenas…I have seen worse things in those locations than I have in a client’s own home.  I would rather just clean it and move on with my life than enter into the shame game or go into battle with an occupant / client.

Not Hear, Not See, Do Not Speak, FunnyDid you know housekeepers can play tricks on their occupants?  Not all of them.  It all depends on the rapport you have with your client!  We might deliberately turn all of the pictures upside down.  Nothing too valuable mind!  If an occupant has a shopping list or a “to-do” list stuck to their fridge it is very tempting to add comic items to the list.  We might move toys and unbreakable items and set up a comedy scene – as I am doing at one house I clean in the boy’s bedrooms (I have such fun rearranging their toys.  Last time I cleaned their room, I had one of the teddies reading an encyclopaedia, and a “my little pony” is chasing “Darth Vader”.)   The boys come home from school and they love to see what I have done to their toys.

But some of my house-keeping friends are really crazy in the stunts they pull…only because they trust their clients will laugh when they find out their house-keeper has pranked them.  One of my friends removed all of the lightbulbs from the entire apartment she had cleaned including the spares in the utility cupboard.  So, when the male occupants came back when it was dark – they had to use their phones to see around that night.

Housekeepers have used various props, including mannequins (the old chestnut of leaving a life-size figure in an occupants bed with just a blonde wig visible.  What else?  Malt loaf – don’t read this if you have just had dinner.  Malt loaf can be moulded into various shapes and left in the toilet and then a pretend note of outrage can be left – poor client!!!!  One of the worst housekeeper tricks I saw involved a pair of boxer-shorts and Nutella.  I am sorry, the details are far too gross to tell you the full story!!!

What else?  Housekeepers often show a lot of love by folding towels into flowers or animals, and folding toilet paper to look pretty.  We try to spruce things up wherever possible.  I must say I love to have a laugh with the girls but I couldn’t play any horrid tricks on any of my clients.  I am too worried about someone having a really bad day and being overwhelmed – a practical joke might seem fun and completely innocent – but for many years I have realized that some people are incredibly delicate / fragile and you don’t know….I mean how could you know?  We can’t read what is going on in someone else’s mind.  Instead, I often like to imagine my client or occupant has had a terrible day and is exhausted and stressed out and comes home to find their place is beautiful and sparkling and so much love and thought has been poured into the housekeeping of their home.

If you have a lot of love and a lot of giving in your heart, housekeeping is a wonderful role because you can pour love into your work. Personally…I love to make things sparkle. For that reason I especially love cleaning bathrooms and kitchens.

Kitchen, Cooker, Cooking, House, Eating

I Need A Hug

Paula Light, the creator of Light Motifs II hosts the MONDAY PEEVE (I know it is Thursday today) and invites us all to join along as you can see from this week’s post below:

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2020/05/18/the-monday-peeve-36/

Well, it’s double trouble from me this week. last night, I published the first part of my peeve. This is to explain what else has been eating at me.

Rough, Day, Hard, Tired, Dirty, WomanOk…I will tell you. I am working at least six days a week. On top of that, I have been enrolled on a course because I have started to do work I am not technically qualified for. Some of my colleagues are on furlough. They made the right decision for them. I am working extra hours, as my other colleagues at work are. But we are tired.

We are working hard. It’s not just the physical work and the long hours that are tiring. We are hearing all the stress and anxiety from our patients and their families. I am sending money to family who have lost work during recent weeks. I am very happy to do that. I am doing my bit to support and encourage everyone I know. I am helping my landlords with grocery shopping (have been doing so for weeks), gardening and lots of other domestic tasks. In addition I have my own housework and laundry to keep up with. I have also managed to finish my Annabelle Riley series and seen the third and final part published (yay!!!)

But with all this…the truth is, I am tired. My longed for holiday to Australia is not going to happen. My boyfriend is in Africa having the time of his life. I have not had a hug from anyone in over three months 😦

iedfljbhvdThere was a mistake at work. It didn’t involve a life or injury to anybody. It’s a case of money down the drain. It involved stock and the loss of money. There was no dishonesty involved. In truth the responsibility for the mistake is split. It happened on a day I was not at work. But the next day it was brought to my attention. I did not understand that at that point I could have done something about it. I had so much other work thrown at me, so I didn’t think to worry myself about something that happened on a day I was cleaning and ironing.

I am annoyed at myself that after all the weeks of hard work and going the extra mile day after day, I came home completely deflated. I was sobbing because I didn’t understand that I could have prevented the loss of all that money. If I had understood what to do, I could have done something about it. Now we all look like idiots. But we are so busy. So we have bled a lot of money. The main cause was computers. Computers automatically creating invoices based in inaccurate stock levels.

Woman, Girl, Sadness, I Feel Sorry ForBut the point is, I am annoyed because after all the good good good things I have done with care and a smile on my face and a heart of love…all I felt was deflation on discovering that we just bled a small fortune. I wanted to cry. I did cry. Why is it, that even when you have done so much to help others with the best of motives, something falls through the net and when you realize all you can think about is the mistake, the missed opportunity.

I don’t like it, but my teenage sweetheart’s father always used to say:

YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR LAST MISTAKE

…in other words, that is all our mind can think about sometimes. My heart is so heavy and I feel so deflated, that despite all the hard work and wonderful cooperative spirit at work, we bled all that money…partly because we are all so busy and so tired and because technology is not reliable.

I need a hug!

This Is The Last Place You Will Read About Politics

driveI am going out tonight! Only for a drive. I am the passenger, not the driver. I don’t know where we are going. I will tell you all about it another time. For now I just wanted to think out loud for a few moments. (I think that’s what a lot of us are doing with our blogging/writing anyhow, so I am hoping you will oblige me.)

I published a post last night about how I had a little bit of a telling off for being overly exuberant. I really appreciate all the lovely comments I received. My “superiors”, the people in charge of the project I was working on, were perfectly appropriate in what they pointed out to me, and they made sure that I could not take their observations the wrong way. They were very very kind and complimentary about me as a person.

ooopsThe only reason I mention this is that I was thinking about MISTAKES. We make mistakes, or misjudgments, we misunderstand, we miscommunicate, we miss the bus and we are late for work. But we get over it, we bounce back, we move on. We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and carry on along the way. Hopefully, not too much damage has been done, but we do what we can to straighten things out and we learn a lesson, trying to avoid the same mistake again.

ooops3.jpgWhen I was a younger, I used to feel really upset if I had a telling off, it used to really knock my confidence. But nowadays, I am better at telling myself just to take the helpful advice and not let the correction crush my little old heart. But it takes a little while…for a day or two I am a tiny bit bruised, but I look at the person who corrected me with love. They love me enough to help me to see that I am causing calamity or problems that I may not have been aware of. There are plenty of times, I am so glad that someone pointed something out to me early enough to save me embarrassment and humiliation.

Now…as the title of this post makes clear, I am not going to be introducing politics onto this site. I stay neutral. I am not going to be taking sides with any parties or issues. I am way above anything as trivial as politics – haha! Just added that last sentence for effect. Don’t all jump on me now!

ooops1.jpgBut I was watching the BBC news at lunchtime, and it put the whole subject of mistakes, particularly mistakes at work, into perspective. Can you imagine having one of the most public, publicised and painful jobs in the country (ie being the prime minister), and being told by the Supreme Court “you did something bad!” That makes my mistake at work fade into inconsequence!

I am not political at all, so please don’t think I am trying to make any political statement here. I am just thinking about mistakes, coming to terms with them, accepting correction and moving on. But for anyone, and I mean anyone, who is constantly scrutinised and criticised…oh I just can’t imagine it. It must be a living nightmare! You must have to have skin thicker than an armadillo’s! or an avocado’s skin – all green and lumpy too.

annie secret

I am going to get over my mistake so much more quickly. I can see myself bouncing into work gleefully tomorrow (but with a little more restraint and self-control) without feeling even a tiny bit sullen. My mistake will be forgotten, it will not be in any history books, it will not be analysed by media corporations and brought up time and time and time again in my workplace.

I am not political at all – but I will say this, I am sooooooooooo glad I have a nice job. And really nice colleagues and lovely lovely superiors who really like me and just want me to succeed.

I Could Never Put Myself Through That Again

I found a journal from a few years ago.  Scary!  What would it contain?  I found a passage that caused my mind to flood with memories.  I WAS STOOD UP ONCE.  It has only every happened to me once.  But it was a bit of a shocker to me.  I wrote a passage in my journal.  I also found some paper napkins with my hand-writing all over them.  I recalled that after I had been stood up I took myself to the other side of London and went to a restaurant and then after it had closed, I went to see a movie, and then I went to a 24-hour fast food restaurant nearby.  I then travelled into the centre of London and as it was by then 5.30am I breakfasted on espresso and a croissant before I went back to my accommodation and checked my inbox.  There was an e-mail from him.  He told me how much he loved me and how much he was longing to meet me, but he needed to cancel our meeting.  I sent a quick reply saying it was a shame because I had not seen his e-mail before I had left the house so I had waited for three hours at the railway station we had decided to meet at.  After that I slept all of Sunday right through to Monday morning. When I checked there was still no answer from him.  Anyway, if you are up to reading a weepy, here is the entry from my journal after that weekend.

(It is a bit long and I am sure I repeat myself over and over.  When I have time, I think I should edit it to make it a bit easier to read.  But for anyone who likes an outpouring of heart ache, here is a chance to read the raw, uncut version before I shorten it.)

—————

Journal

I am really hoping you have not had chance to check your inbox …because I am kind of disappointed not to see a word from you.  But please know….it is only because I had been looking forward to meeting you so much and I am now finding myself confused and uncertain.  Simply because I have grown to love the man I have been receiving messages from daily for eight months. What happened does not seem consistent with you.  Or the you I thought I knew.  So, either, this past weekend was a blip…a carelessness of thought and moment of inconsiderateness or for these long months you have been trying to be something that you don’t think you can be after all.

I read my napkins from Saturday night…my oh my.  I poured out all my feelings on those napkins.  A man devouring a cheeseburger in McDonalds was watching me scribbling onto napkins and he asked me if I am a writer as he saw me scribbling away.  I told him I am not, but I like writing letters to friends.  After chatting me up he invited me to go back to his place for the kind of drink McDonalds don’t offer.  Scary!  I graciously declined.  Those napkins…maybe you would find them interesting…maybe you won’t want to see how disappointed in you I was that night.  My first thoughts were worry for your safety.  Slowly my sentimentality melted and I saw the situation in the harsh light of reality.  I believe you were deliberately not supplying me with a contact number to reach you and deliberately not calling or texting me to check if I had seen your message.  Was it your actual intention to leave me there for so long?  It made me write some stuff I regret now.  Don’t worry, there is nothing too horrific.  The worst point was when I wrote that I was starting to think you were a complete utter loser.  None of my other words were as harsh as that.  They just contained expressions of confusion and pain.

I re-read your message a couple of times just now.  It kind of hurts.  You sent it one hour before we were due to meet.  You knew I had already left home and would not have any access to my e-mails.  You knew I would have my mobile phone and I had given you my number several times to make sure nothing could go wrong.  However, I respect a man who is eager to use his head not just follow his heart.  I guess your message was kindly put.  There are parts that are not making sense to me. You still claim you want to meet me…but after eight months we make an arrangement and a “miscommunication” occurs.  If only you had made your decision, a decision I respect, before I left.  I gave you opportunity earlier in the week to bail out if you wanted.  I mean, I kind of would have preferred to receive it before I bought a new dress, new shoes and new jewellery and spent money on a gift for you…I wish you had cancelled before I left here with no contact number for you.  But for you to send an e-mail cancelling after I had left here.  I had told you that I would need you to use the mobile to contact me.  I mentioned several times, I would not have any access to my e-mails.  But you either chose not to tell me before I left, so I would go through all the unwelcome sensations of being stood up….and I am still wondering why,.maybe you just didn’t notice what I had said about not having access to my e-mails.  Never-mind.  I would love to make excuses for you.

Tell me please….your message on Saturday, when you said you wanted to cancel….was that actually saying you want to end this relationship?  Could you please make that more clear if that is the case.  Because that is the way it feels.  But I don’t know if I am jumping to a conclusion you didn’t intend.  You say you love me and want to meet me after these eight months of friendship online.  Being abandoned has left me doubtful.  Maybe I am still stinging from the pain and humiliation of waiting outside a railway station in the cold and the awareness you were not coming.

I am anxious.  I am sure you have some feelings for me.  Your words, your messages are so beautiful.  But I don’t think they are entirely consistent.  I can be gullible at times…but it is eating at me that you have chosen not to use the mobile phone number I gave you to contact me.  You could have sent a text to make sure I had received your cancellation e-mail (which I hadn’t).  Even prior to this, you don’t seem to have been keen on giving me your number.  We have talked about us both feeling safe and not taking risks.  But at this stage, it doesn’t make sense to me.  You said you were sorry for being vague about the details planned for Saturday.  I am kind of wondering if you were just playing along and had no intention of meeting me…or perhaps have been playing along for months without any serious intentions.

Maybe I am just being dim…was your decision to cancel and your message actually your way of saying you don’t want to develop this any further?  Or to end this….as in “sayonara”???  Please don’t be afraid of spelling it out to me…you are always kind and polite but if you want me to sling my hook – you might have to be a bit more blunt with me.  But telling me you love me and want me in your life is confusing me.

I don’t think that now.  As you might imagine, since Saturday night, my feelings have been up and down like a yo-yo.  I don’t think am not really bruised, just feeling as if everything is up in the air with regards to you….and I kind of would like some help from you to settle things down.  Please help me to understand.  I don’t know enough about you to be able to understand this.  Are you nervous?  Nervous of me, or nervous you might not be as confidant as you want to be?

I can’t think about making another plan to meet you.  It obviously has not been wise. Now I am wondering what on earth you want for us.  If you do want to end this….please tell me.  I had been in love with the thought of hanging out with you, either in town or on a sofa watching a movie and sharing a take-away.  Who knows what else might have developed?  This penpal relationship has been wonderful…but after the weekend I am resolute, until I hear some kind of explanation from you, I need to protect my heart.  My hopes have come crashing down in flames.

I do feel though, I am not willing to turn up at any other location in a beautiful dress. Maybe if we do make another plan to meet, I will put on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and we can grab a coffee somewhere.

You can decide for yourself whether our contact is worth anything at all to you.

I don’t think I am the one to be making this decision.  You felt you had to cancel Saturday….so it is left to you to decide what next.

Perhaps the thought of losing the friend who has been sharing every day for eight months is frightening.  There is a large possibility we might be a bit wooden and awkward with each other at first.  Every man I have had a relationship with has not impressed me initially, but I grew to like and trust them more.  I am not worried about the two of us needing a while to feel at ease with each other.  There is going to be an odd transition between virtual and real.

I hoped I had made it clear I am not expecting an overly confidant and possibly pretentious, conceited or arrogant man.  I was hoping for someone caring, kind, humble, hard-working, sensible, with a friendly sense of humour and who wants to share some time with me….I don’t think I ever asked for a smooth-talking, stylish, cool as cucumber, thick-skinned extrovert.  I would be thrilled to be the friend of a man who knew I loved him for his being the salt of the earth.  I am not a snob…I just value kindness, humility, modesty and sincerity.

Right now I am doubting I ever really knew you my love…I don’t know what you really want.  Maybe you don’t want to think about a relationship.  Maybe you just want to remain devoted to work and looking after your home and your motor and a relationship with a woman is just an extra stress you don’t need.  I have tried to be myself, and to be very open with you and I have tried not to express my feelings about you until I was sure about them.  But at the moment….I kind of feel as if there is nothing I can do….to make you want a real life relationship with me.  Maybe you are tired of having a loyal penpal and my messages are taking up too much of your time and worry.  Or perhaps you do want or do like the idea of a relationship…but it seems as if it might involve too much effort and it is a bit overwhelming.

Well….I have made a decision.  I don’t want a fantasy relationship anymore.  I am not willing to invest in something that is either just a bit of fun, a joke, a trivial penpalship, a virtual relationship…whatever it is.  I don’t know what this is anymore.  I thought we were two people who had enjoyed getting to know each other and had started to have feelings and were believing we had fallen in love.  I don’t think I can do this anymore.  I am very sorry.  It’s not that I have anything to complain about.  I just can’t build my hopes up and beat my fears down and then face disappointment without feeling something has to change now.  I have lost my sense of trust and I am not sure I can be a penpal anymore.  There are so many odd things that you have said that made me believe you really wanted to meet me.  It seems really odd now my love.  I can’t bear to look at your messages at the moment.

As for me….my feelings for you are still here, live and kicking, undeterred by the disappointment over the weekend.  But if you think it wise, I am happy to throw some ice on them.

Forgive me but I still don’t know what to think and how I am supposed to be feeling.  I have never had this experience before.  I don’t know how long I should have waited or not waited.  Was three hours too long?  I exaggerate, it was only two hours and forty-five minutes really.  I don’t know how long to wait to hear from you after telling you on Sunday morning what had happened.  Perhaps you are dreading seeing a message from me.  There may be a perfectly legitimate reason.

Actually, I have been thinking about what happened when I was at the station on Saturday evening.  I had a couple of blokes hanging round the station pay me a bit of attention.  Three women asked me where I bought my dress (I am not telling anyone – hee hee – I know it is gorgeous.)  One tall bloke who was wearing more jewellery than Mr T said “hey gorgeous, need a lift somewhere”.  I just laughed and said I was fine.  I noticed a man who was talking to someone on the phone and heard him say the words “just come to the station entrance and look to the right…it is the right thing to do.” A while later I saw him with another man.  For a moment I thought it might be you…I really did.  I was not sure because there were so many men who seemed to fit your description pass me I was confused with who I was looking for.  Anyway, this man went into a shop I can’t even remember the name of the shop, though I was stood outside for so long – maybe it was Whistles or something.  Anyway, I looked at him a few times and he looked a bit nervous…but then his friend seemed to be calling to him and I thought he shouted Keith….so I figured it could not have been with you…because we have had this conversation about names already.  I had already decided I was cold and I had not had anything to drink since lunch-time so I went and bought myself a cup of tea at the sandwich bar inside the station.  When I returned, the two men were both gone.

In truth I am hoping this is not the end, just a little challenge that together we can work on getting over and cement what we have been building.  This is not supposed to be stressing you out .  If you are not enjoying this relationship any longer…we can just stop. Neither of us owe anything to each other.  Neither has harmed the other.  Neither has been unkind or abusive to the other.  If we chose to end this before we meet…well, I have very fond and positive thoughts and feelings towards you.  You have built a friendship with a woman and declared your love to a woman and then accidentally left her outside a train station on a Saturday night…right I am not mentioning it anymore.  Because it’s not being stood up that I am bothered by anyway.  It’s more understanding what is going to happen next.

If we dissolve this friendship…I have plenty of things I can keep myself busy with, plenty of friends who make me thrive…but I am not in search of another romance.  In fact if you say you want to end this…I think I deserve to be a bit down. I deserve the chance to play sad songs and eat chocolateI have many friends who will help me laugh about this situation and move on.  Not that I want to.  I don’t feel like laughing now.  But I don’t know how to feel because I don’t know what is happening anymore.

Sorry lovely…I love you…but I don’t know what is happening here…and I don’t know what is happening next.

I do love you…but I am waiting to hear from you and in the meantime….

….I am going to just get on with the life I lead which you have a good idea of…work, cleaning, washing, ironing, meeting up with friends for a drink/meal (and occasional karaoke or dancing), walking, swimming, reading, shopping, my family, museums….all pretty normal stuff….it is the people in my life that make it so rich and rewarding….if you are  not going to be one of those people – that’s sad.  I would only wish you the very best and hope with all my heart that I have not caused you any hurt, regret, any unintentional offence you have been too polite to tell me about.  I would always hope you have success in all you turned your hand to.  But I would prefer, much prefer, that we met and had chance to see if our lives will over-lap and how much that will be the case.

——————————

In case you were wondering.  He did e-mail me.  He sent a beautiful apology.  We continued our penpal friendship for a few more months.  It was never quite the same. One day he just did not reply to one of my messages.  I ached at the time.  But I think he made the right decision.  There must have been a reason that he knew but would not tell me why we would never meet.  I have looked back at his hundreds of messages.  Now I can see inconsistencies I never noticed before.  Still, I don’t want to think or speak negatively.  He brought me a lot of joy, it was nice having an exclusive penpal who shared every day with you.

But I did it once, and once is enough.  I don’t want to have an internet relationship.  I prefer to meet someone in real life, which is how I met my beloved Goldfinch.

In all honesty…it is something I could never put myself through again.