This morning my little bubble of domestic joy was burst. I cane in from walking the dogs on one of those bright, lush and green early summer mornings to be met with the news that my cleaner has decided to retire. With immediate effect.
I have no excuse for having domestic help. I live on my own, I have no children and any mess that I make is entirely my own fault. I started to employ by Cleaning Fairy, as I call her, when I had a proper job involving wearing a suit, working all hours and driving hundreds of miles each week for meetings of little consequence. All this feeling terribly important left me with precious little time for chores and I had all the money in the world to throw at the problem. In fact I allowed myself the luxury of a gardener and an ironing lady as well. I had ‘staff’. The thing is that I got used to coming home once a week and finding my little house looking amazing and it remains my little treat. I turfed over all the flower beds when I got my first spaniel so the gardener went, and I quite enjoy mowing the lawn, and the ironing lady went when I realised that no longer being an executive meant I could not longer afford executive perks (and as I no longer wore the suits I didn’t need to look pristine and pressed!).
I guess I am lazy. I have four (including Truly Madly Kids) self employed part time jobs and the hours can sometimes add up, but rarely do they add up to the old suit wearing hours. I don’t have a wild and crazy social life any more and try as I might I can’t say I NEED another Cleaning Fairy, but I want one. Of course I now have to find one, and then I have to break them in to my slovenly ways and worst of all… I will have to have a jolly good clean and tidy before they start.
(As I write this I am also conscious that I am apologising for having a cleaner. I am justifying the need for one to you and myself. Why do I feel this guilt? It’s my money and I shall spend it how I choose, supporting the local economy and giving myself a break. What is it about society that makes us feel we have to do everything domestic and that only the landed gentry should have help?)
The current CF has been with me for about 15 years. To be frank, she isn’t that good at it and spends a great deal of time gossiping with me, drinking tea and having a fag break. She picks things up to clean under them but doesn’t clean the item in question itself before putting it back down. She doesn’t clean anything above eye level… add she is 5’1″ . I am 5’8″ and therefore notice! She has frequent weeks off to see to her poorly mum and husband and she tells me off, all the time, about the mess I leave for her, but she does more than I do when I am left to my own devices… and I love her. She makes me a Christmas cake very year, and brings me odd pots of jam that she has made. She has become part of my little world…
Wish me luck!