If You Could See What I Can See When I’m Cleaning Windows

WINDOW CLEANING – arguably the best job in the world!  Today…it is my job to clean all of the inside windows of this beautiful five storey house.  I don’t normally stop to look at the view so much but already today I have gained a great deal of inspiration for future posts.

Right now…I want to tell you about one of the most loved window-cleaners in the whole of England…MY DAD!

Window Cleaning

(No…my Dad is not George Formby…if you are not sure who George Formby is, then either scroll down to the bottom of the page, or listen to this very famous track on YouTube.)

I mentioned in another post that during our school holidays, we often had to go to work with Dad.  Since I was born, Dad has been a window-cleaner. I have very fond memories. I remember having the job of carrying “the little ladder” and always had some “scrims” in my pockets (they were the cloths used for mopping up water from sills etc or for cleaning Georgian window panels). Dad gave us tasks so that we felt useful. During a day of window cleaning we might carry things, or wipe any sills we could reach, or hold back plants away from the window so Dad could clean them easily. Sometimes, Dad would ask us to run ahead and ring the doorbell and when the house-holder opened the door we would politely tell them, “the window-cleaner has almost finished and he says it is £4.50 please”.

window cleanerSome of Dad’s customers have seen his little ones growing up.  At the age of five or six, I used to wear red wellington boots and a green woolly bobble hat. One day I lost my bobble hat and was very tearful about it. Dad allowed me to join him on the Friday evening when he visited any customers who had not been home that week to collect any payments they owed him. I asked every customer if they had seen my green bobble hat. Imagine my relief when one lady said she had found it in her garden and had recognized it immediately and had kindly kept it safe until the window-cleaner came again.

Dad’s customers were very kind to us. They often invited us inside to play with their children, or sat us on their sofa and allowed us to watch a cartoon film. We were well supplied by Dad’s customers with juice and biscuits.  They would even give us some money to buy sweets.

Dad’s customers loved him and his little team of helpers.

Now…my daddy is 72 years old…officially he has retired. However, he still goes window-cleaning for one or two days a week so that he can afford a holiday in the sun with my lovely mum once a year. (Their last holiday abroad was in March 2020!)

72 years old!  Not only is he still window-cleaning, but he goes to the gym three times a week…he uses his free bus pass to get to the gym. I love what he does when he is on the tread-mill.  If a younger man starts on the tread-mill next to him, my Dad will start “racing” with him. I have even seen my Dad lean over and nudge the arm of a complete stranger on the neighbouring tread-mill and call out “I’ll have yer a race!”  Better still, he is usually the winner.

Which makes me smile for so many reasons.

Working for wealthy people has made me wonder many times:

There are people who who sit at a desk all day and then pay a monthly gym membership fee to try to keep in shape. My Dad has been going up ladders for all these years and he is incredibly fit. It is only since he has started to received his pension that he has decided to join a gym.

I have often observed that there are some people who “own” huge and beautiful houses…who don’t really spend much time in their homes because they are at work paying off the mortgage. Whereas their house-keeper spends many hours in their home and knows every nook and cranny of it. Some house-keepers cook for hours in a top-of -the range kitchen that their employer has paid for, but never even heated a tin of tomato soup in themselves.

Then there are the parents who have children who they hardly ever spend time with. The nanny is bringing up the children. Now, I am not talking about those who have little choice about this – due to circumstances. Some parents have to work so many hours just to provide a roof and food and clothing for the family that a baby-sitter or nanny is an essential part of the team. But I am talking about some of the super-wealthy I have worked for, mum is off to have her nails done and go to yoga and Pilates and a shopping trip and lunch with the girls…and the nanny is with the children. I saw this day after day and  I always found it a bit odd. I am not sure what the point of that is.  Is not the point of having a child to be able to teach them and shape their little minds and hearts them with all of the wonderful lessons in life that you have learnt? How can you do that if you see them so infrequently?  Who is there to take the child to school? To care for the child when they have chicken pox? To listen to the little one pour out their heart about their trials and tribulations at school? Why – the nanny! Respect to nannies everywhere!

walking dog.pngNow this is one of the oddest situations I have been in that still strikes me as kind of hilariously upside down. I lived for a few years in an idyllic location. Six months of the year the owners of a stunning estate would travel. My job was to live in their huge and frightfully luxurious house.  I was not paid a penny to do so, but neither did I pay any rent or bills. I was “security”. I was allowed to view their home as my home. I was allowed to swim in their swimming pool each day.  I was allowed to use their tennis courts whenever I wanted to. I was able to walk their dog throughout their woodlands and meadows. They wanted me to drive each of their five cars to make sure everything was alright with them. Even better, I was allowed to have my friends over. They wanted there to be people coming in and out of their property to deter potential burglars. Of course I did also have to make sure that if anything went wrong that I contacted a plumber or an electrician or the vet. Other than that, my only work was cleaning up after myself. I was heavily involved in voluntary projects so this living arrangement suited me perfectly. But it did seem incredibly ironic…there were young professionals in the area who had been through university and obtained top degrees and were now working hard in their chosen career…they could only afford a tiny bedsit.  I was working on an unpaid basis for charities and then earning my food money with a couple of cleaning and dog-walking jobs…I was living in luxury. The owners of that estate trusted me with almost everything they owned.

Window Cleaning with Dad has definitely taught me to think outside of the box. His example has taught me that if you are reliable and diligent and industrious and most of all a TRUSTWORTHY worker…then rather than worrying about climbing a career ladder…

…well…let’s just say: “If only you could see what I could see when I’m cleaning windows!”

PS…Did I almost forget to mention George Formby? The very inspiration to this post!!! I was listening to it today when I was working away cleaning the windows.

Another blogger – hold on moment…let me get her name right…Thechaoticmind…she has a post listing a great selection of five songs that will cheer you up on any day…below is a link straight to her site…I loved her choice of songs – perfect pick-me-ups for any down day…

….but I would be pleased to make George Formby number six on the list…are you rolling your eyes at me???

https://thechaoticmindandmore.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/five-songs-through-generations-to-get-you-through-your-worst-days/

Letting My Hair Down

I love wearing my hair down. I love it. I have only been to a hair salon once this year – August, so my hair is very long again. This year I have worn my hair up, clipped tightly for work. It feels so strange. But we have to have our hair tied neatly for work.

I love coming home from work on Saturday and literally “letting my hair down”. It is such a great feeling. Jack will spend Sunday with me and then he is going back to his on Monday to get ready for his journey up to the Lake District. He is going to make the most of the time with them.

We will be connecting via technology during the week to come, but I am working right up until Thursday evening – so he can only catch me in the evenings.

I just want to say to all the lovely bloggers who are so kind to read and comment on my posts – work has been intense during December, this past week has been nuts. We are doing alright – as a team – but the pace is fast and furious. So I come home from work and just collapse. I know it is effecting the time I have to read your posts and comment – I am sorry if I appear unappreciative. I love the bloggers on WordPress. I have lots of CARAMEL’S CORNER Book Reviews in my drafts folder to finish off. They will resume in January.

For the next week or so…I am going to be working like crazy and then at the end of the week, I finally get to let my hair down for three days in a row!!!!!!!!

Preparing For The Cold

Pretty, Girl, Smiling, Happy, Woman

Normally each spring I pull out my summer clothes from storage bags under by bed. My winter clothes are taken out of the wardrobe and folded neatly to be packed away for the summer months.

But this year…I didn’t fully do it. I was working six days a week. On my day off I was busy cleaning and doing coursework and talking to family. I didn’t have chance to wear my beautiful summer dresses and sandals.

So here I am…preparing for the cold with my woolies still in the wardrobe…as they have been all year. Sad really.

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Did you know that all three parts of THE LEARNERS AT LOVE SERIES are now available on Amazon in both Kindle Connect and Paperback formats. If you click the box below, it will take you to Amazon ❤

Books Block

Out Of Office Again

You probably already know this….but holidays are the best!!! When you have been working for the NHS through a crazy year, a holiday is even better!

Jack is a wonderful man! Did I ever tell you that before?!!!! I am sorry if I am a but remiss about replying to comments at the moment. It feels good to be out of the office again!

My Plan For Wednesday

Cobblestone, Streets, Sidewalk

I made a blunder yesterday. Two posts scheduled to be published at the same time. I normally only schedule one post a day, and occasionally you get an extra post in the evening if I have the energy! Because of yesterday’s blogging blunder, I have nothing for you today – nada, zilch!

So…you are going to get an outline of my plans for today, whether you are interested or not. I am helping the landlords today. That means shopping for them, cooking and freezing meals. Gardening (just tidying up the garden and mowing the lawn) and whatever else they ask of me. I might be doing laundry or office work, it depends on what they need.

It makes a refreshing change from working from the NHS. My fridge is bare. I have some moscato grapes and a lot of salad, but no much else. I need to do some shopping of my own tomorrow.

Jack is at his place. He will come down after I finish work on Saturday and then we are going away for a few days – yayyyyyyyyy!!!! Tonight after I finish work, a friend of mine is coming down to mine and we will go for a walk, because here in London we are not supposed to mix indoors. So we will walk and we are planning to have a drink at a local pub – outside.

I have to say, pubs are weird places right now. Hardly anyone inside, lots of people huddled outside in the cold and dark. The pub we are going to head for had some huge outdoor heaters last time I was there. They are all prepared for this odd situation of us being out in the cold.

Dear Stranger…

To the man who I served at work today…

I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to you. I was touched by your kind words. I thank you for being patient and waiting your turn with the other patients. I thank you for wearing a face mask and kindly responding to my reminder to keep a reasonable distance from the patient who was filling out paperwork before his procedure. I thank you for the twinkle in your eyes.

When you said that you thought I was awesome and commented that you had never seen someone stay so calm and efficient under pressure, it brought a little happy glow to my heart. When you said to me “Well done, we need people like you,” it was much appreciated. When you cheekily flirted with me and said that I had a beautiful voice, like an angel’s – well I have always thought of angels as big strong muscle bound men with gigantic wings – but I do realize you meant it as a compliment.

Anyway, I just want to say THANK YOU because it’s those little moments when people are kind and lovely that make my job worthwhile. They help me forget everything bad that has happened and try even harder to look after our patients in a way that knows we truly care.

A Nappy Day (Not That Kind Of Nappy)

Today did not go according to plan. I was supposed to be working with Jack again. However, I was not well yesterday. So he told me to rest.

I know he was right, but it made me so sad to have to stay at home all alone. I sent Goldfinch a message and received a lovely reply. I also sent some emails to my family and friends. I tried to do some work for on the Personnel database I look after (volunteers). But I had to give up. I started out with an upset tummy, I ended up with a headache that was running all the way down the side of my head and into my neck.

Woman Leaning on Table

I keep napping, drinking water, taking painkillers and trying to do some more work, but the screen is no good for my head. I am going to have to just close the laptop and say goodnight.

If I feel better tomorrow, I have a big day planned in North London. Lots of work to do. I just want to be with Jack.

I also want to clean my kitchen. I cleaned the rest of my little flat last night, but I was too tired to clean the kitchen and I could not face it today. Hopefully a good night’s sleep will help this head of mine get better.

Sleepy Caramel

Girl, Lady, Woman, Water, Watering Can

I’ll be helping the landlords with the garden tomorrow. I am sure I will be asked to water all the flower pots and boxes. I might have to mow the lawn. I am looking forward to it.

I think they want me to cook and freeze some meals for them as well. I am guessing that means going shopping for ingredients first.

I am laying awake in bed wishing I could sleep, but a headache is keeping me awake. It won’t go. I am tired. I will go and take some ibuprofen and hope that does the trick.

I just want to say, I know there are a lot of things that may be causing you worry. But the future for this earth and all its creatures will be better than you or I can dream. I know we have to pass through a troublesome time before then. But, there are happy times ahead.

I wish Jack was here. I miss him when he is not next to me. He whispers the loveliest of dreams to me sometimes. He has so many wonderful ideas about the future.

The Best Day At Work Ever!!!

I noticed that Fandango had asked us to write about our “best job ever” and decided that surely it was time to repost this post from over two years ago!

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jhvbdkjxhfbMonday morning hey!  I am sure that you bounced out of bed this morning full of eagerness and excitement that a new working week commences today….

Hee hee!  Back to the old grindstone it is.  Alarm clock ringing at some unearthly hour of the morning, leaving the house feeling barely conscious and squeezing our way onto public transport with scores of other commuters who all look as if they need a very strong espresso to inject some life into them.

To cheer both myself and your very good selves up I thought I would tell you about my best Monday morning ever!!!

I had a phone call about fifteen mwelliesinutes before I was due to leave my little cottage to head for work. “Bring your wellington boots” were the instructions.  So, I guessed I would be working outside.

So I set off in my wellies, curious about what my Monday morning would entail.  The gentleman who owned the estate where I worked met me near the fence to a meadow en route to their large mansion.  He was wearing his wellington boots too.  He pointed up to the meadow where they had a few sheep.

Now the sheep in that field were just pets really.  They didn’t farm sheep for their wool or meat.  They just kept a few as lawn-mowers and a lovely addition to the view from their kitchen window.  We had to put out fresh hey for them, but for the most part not too much work was involved in caring for the sheep.

On this particular Monday morning, we had to perform a task I had never imagined.

SheepFirst of all, we had to chase the sheep around a field and gather them into an enclosure. I wish there was a drone filming me and the squire running around the field trying to herd the sheep into one corner.  People would pay good money to see comedy like that. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.  We must have made quite a sight!

It took some time to accomplish the first part of our task.  The next stage in our assigned work for the day was even more interesting.  We had to turn each sheep upside down (one at a time of course) so they were on their backs.  Why on earth were we doing this?

So that we could cut their toenails!!! (That’s what he told me we were doing. But we were trimming their hooves in reality) Poor sheep!  Although, it is important for their health apparently.  What a task!

That was indeed one of the most memorable Monday mornings I have had.

I have done various types of work over the years. I have worked in finance, as a receptionist, administrator, legal and medical secretary, gardener, cleaner, sign language interpreter, pharmacy dispensing assistant, laundry, cook, teacher, proofreader (I know I know, you’d never guess by the amount of typos in my blogging posts!), data entry clerk, driver, painter/decorator, I worked for a record company, I have cared for terminally ill patients and those with dementia.  I have cared for ponies, chickens, pets, I have walked dogs – (£15 per hour for each dog in case you were wondering – and that was what the clients offered, I didn’t suggest that rate).

 

The list goes on and on!

I have had some pretty dismal Monday mornings I have to admit.  But on the whole work is rewarding and I just grin and bear the challenging times, knowing it is temporary. There are many occasions when I wish my Monday morning would involve a phone-call with the instructions “Bring you wellington boots…the sheep are due their toe-clipping!”

Fandango’s Dog Days of August

 

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/your-daily-word-prompt-enclosure-september-10th-2018/

 

I’m A Medic, Not A Nationalist

ruieddfAs well as working lots of hours, I have been doing extra training for work. That makes sense because during the past few months I have been doing tasks that I have not studied and been trained for. I actually wanted the training to feel safer at work.

However, when I read the introduction to the main course I had there was lots of weird information that I don’t see has any relevance to my work. Some of it was about preventing someone in my role from becoming a terrorist – I had no idea the NHS were likely candidates to convert to terrorist activities, so that just baffled me.

Then the next section was about what it means to be British. It extolled what it called the primary features of being British – first on the list was democracy, then self-determination, then recognising law and lastly, respect for the liberties of others. The introduction threatened to repeat these aspects of being British throughout the course.

reyhlafdgfaI was scratching my head. I was born and bred in Britain, as were my parents. Three of my grandparents were born here (the other is Australian). Prior to that their parents were all English, although somewhere we have Irish connections too.

Although I never really hear that term “Britain” other than on the news. Most people call the land I live in England. Although that is not to cause division. My family are a 50/50 split between Wales and England. I just happen to have always dwelt in England. We call Wales Wales. We have family in Scotland too.

Democracy. Well…that is quickly becoming a laughing stock. People vote and then those who don’t get the result they want huff and puff and moan until their next chance to vote. It’s tedious. Self-determination and recognition of law and respect for the liberties and rights of others – this is exactly why I chose to get out of working in the legal field and shun politics – it’s a maze of mirrors and trapdoors. The ECHR made some praiseworthy rulings, pivotal to self-determination, freedom of conscience, and civil liberties. I am hoping British politicians do not try to wriggle out of them in coming months/years.

Globe, Map, Country, Borders, OldI am dreading to think of how often these themes are going to be woven into a medical training course. I simply disagree with the thrust of the introduction, which was that those four aspects define what it is to be “British”. I think not. Being British seems more to do with being aware that this small island became immensely wealthy through oppressing others. Mate – many of us, who have been born in this country and have learnt at school of what Britain did for centuries, are absolutely aghast that this nation was allowed to get away with so many atrocities for so long. (Not the only nation we could tar with that brush.) We only cope with that by blaming the people who actually have money, because most of us are working just to be able to afford to live here.

We still benefit from being a wealthy nation and living in relative luxury compared to many other countries. We have amazing free services (such as the NHS) and yet some still complain that they are not good enough or need more funding.

Industry, Pollution, Smog, SunriseLike many other western countries, a typical British way of life has had a harmful effect on our environment and sometimes our own health. We have taken too much, used too much, wasted too much and then panic when we cannot get what we want, despite the fact that millions upon millions live without those very things everyday of their lives!

The current crises is teaching us all sorts about how silly a way of life that has been. Half of the population were moaning about the pubs being closed and not being allowed to go for a bit of sun, sea and sand abroad this summer. The other half were desperately hoping that we never ever go back to the way things were before, because many have realized how ludicrous the British way of life has been for decades.

Food, Fish, Chips, Fish And Chips, PlateBeing British has more to do with beans on toast or fish and chips, football, bad weather, classic comedy shows, and a million things that we all share in common.

No matter which country they live in, I am proud of any human who displays beautiful qualities. I do not care to promote “Britishness”. I see nationalism as something more leaning towards a blind kind of pride, a pride that tries to ignore crimes against humanity and ascribes financial wealth to being worthy – no, no, often it is criminals and crooks that end up with riches, whereas many an honest humble soul lives just above the breadline. Karma spends most of its time in a coma of ignorance.

I want to do this course to make me more effective at my job, more useful at helping other people. I am not keen on repeated references to British values (profiting from the suffering of others?) and democracy (which has not worked). Grr.

Galaxy, Star, Infinity, Cosmos, DarkI just want to show love and help my entire worldwide human family. Not only the ones who call themselves British. Being British and being medically qualified seem to be unconnected to me.

British, Italian, Chinese, American, Spanish, Brazilian…we are all one family. Our core values should be based on love, respect and a high regard for the precious value of life. Our core values should be goodness and cleanliness – keeping our bodies, our homes and our environments clean. Gratitude and appreciation should prevail. Giving rather than taking. Sharing rather than hoarding. We should love our human family, love the creatures we share our planet with and love this incredible home we are blessed with. For despite spending astronomical amounts of money on researching outer space, the most spectacular planet in the known universe is the one we are glued to by gravity. We are privileged beyond belief. When we live in a way that is governed by love we thrive, even if that means the loss of some material things. We are actually happier and healthier for living the way of love.

Doctor, Op, Medical, Operation, HospitalOh well…I have had my grumble about the introduction to my course. I better crack on with the modules. I am not sure whether it is trying to make me nationalistic or a better medic. But I am rooted. I love the human family. I love this beautiful planet. We are all in this together.

For the moment, I am enjoying my job because I am helping people. I am not helping them because they are British. I am helping them because they are fellow humans. It feels good to help them. I am glad to do this training to better help them. I will get annoyed if it keeps on promoting Britishness and democracy. I will be pleased if it teaches me more about the wonders of the human body and how to assist the incredible immune system we have.