Oh that happy time of year is nearly upon us. Yes, Christmas and New Year. When I was small we always had a busy round of visiting to do at Christmas and mum used to go balmy trying to keep our main sitting room as clean and presentable as possible. Not easy with several youngsters about, one coal fire, parquet flooring and no fitted carpets. Gosh it seems unbelievable how good my memory makes it all look!
Last year when approaching the same period, I did hold a family pow-wow to deal with the accumulated junk that was now taking over our old family home. Mum no longer able to cope. We had one weekend of clearing the piles of clothes, crocks, papers etc. and then a professional cleaning company was brought in to completely clean throughout from top to bottom. The carpets look fantastic and feel incredibly soft. Hurrah!
November – well it is unbelievable just how quickly the months go flying by. It’s no time at all since I was sitting here giving my pearls of wisdom about the previous bonfire night – oh yes, the bonfire party! We had some friends over and they had just taken delivery of a new puppy and didn’t want to leave alone, I said they could of course bring him over. Wow, big mistake. The poor little chap was terrifed of everyone new, even more terrified of all the noise and sparkly fun. He was violently unwell all over the suite and the carpet. My chum was so embarrassed and upset. We assured him it was no problem. Obviously we cleared up as much as could be done at the time, the in came our favourite professional cleaning company to do the rest. I couldn’t believe how efficient they were – the suite and carpet look amazing – much like new and they smell divine!
Halloween used to be just something that happened at the end of the month I was norn in and was a small stopping point between my birthday party and celebrations and the major do – Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night. The house was scrubbed out and made ready for the big visit and woe betid anyone who trod bonfire into the rugs! Although we used to know instinctively that Halloween was an old tradition that grannies and old folk used to tip their hats to, for youngsters, we didn’t really do much. When my sister was a Brownie, they had a fancy dress competition – they each had to make a suitable outfit to include witches, brooms, black cats. etc. Not too much mess involved there.
These days there are huge sales of pumpkins, the shops go absolutely crazy trying to outdo each other to get the halloween party season cracking. Bigger clean ups than ever needed!
Mellow September – oh what fun I had this year. Fantastic fun. It would have been even better had the weather played ball a bit more. We had 3 dogs between us and as we all know, dogs, small cottages, rain – not a good combination at any time. The holiday cottages were part of a stable block arrangement with an old smithy and all extremely old. There was a small laundry room, with cleaning tools such as dust pan and brush and broom. This proved pretty useless and one member of our clan was getting really irked about the mess. What we needed was an industrial cleaner! The owners didn’t mind the mess, they have a system whereby hirer leave Friday morning, in comes the professional cleaning company Friday afternoon. all clean and hygienic again Saturday for the next lot! I was amazed how effective a professional cleaner is compared to normal domestic quality products.
Referring to an earlier post, it reminded me of when I worked in the offices of a very well known and respected wool and worsted fabric mill in a very smart northern town. I was not born up there and was wary of joining this old fashioned family outfit, as the secretary and export clerk, and lunch time telephonist. I learned so much from my colleagues about cleaning the office and why they were so fastidious about sweeping up after any snack or lunch was eaten. I laughed at them at first but was soon put in my place when signs of vermin near my desk drawer were discovered. We had to get the cleaning lady in to strip out the area and once the deep cleaning had dried, I was named and gently shamed – forgiven, for being a southern nitwit I suspect. I’m a much wiser and cleaner one now though, they taught me proper like!
I can remember when we last had dramatic heat waves througout the summer. 1976. It was so unbelievable and I don’t recall there being any summer season anywhere near as hot or for so long – until this year. I was living in the north of the country and they are well known for being a might more careful about their cleaning of houses and windows. Not the quick swipe over with a duster and spray window cleaner for them. No, a full scrub down with hot suds and a brush, but not after the most viscious round with the vacuum cleaner had got any possible crumbs or loose stuff up. This was to ensure no wildlife made their prescence known and I know now from bitter experience. I had problems with smelly vermin. It required me to hire a carpet shampooing machine and really hard elbow grease. I also vowed to engage a professional cleaner for the rest of my born days!
This is definitely the time of year for weddings, baby showers, christenings and family parties. I have been helping out at a heritage property lately and every weekend sees some kind of function going on – it’s the most effective way of making enough money to swell the coffers sufficiently. With all this activity brings a great deal of muck and mess. Up the main steps to the magnificent front door there are massive pots with various plants. Then inside the hall door, the rush matting takes a pasting when the wind blows the leaves and debris inside. The volunteers keep it neat and tidy on a daily basis but a professional company comes in 6 monthly to carefully but thoroughly cleanse all the carpets and rugs that can be done. They hand finish where necessary so as not to damage anything. There are some very special rugs that needs that kind of spoiling.
There have been some very important public events going on recently – not least the Royal Wedding last weekend. Lots of cleaning activity needed at Windsor Castle for that of course. There is a double edge to cleaning up important venues these days for functions. It also give the security teams ample opportunity to search premises and ensure absolute safety for the folk invited to attend. I help out at a country house on a regular basis and the cleaning there is carried out by local ladies who are very quick and extremely efficient. They have industrial powered vacuum cleaners of course and have to be careful in some areas. Can’t go banging about with heavy hoses in case the delicate furniture gets marked or damaged. On the other hand, the need for absolutely clean carpets, floors and cabinets is paramount. A tricky medium line needed to please all.
When you run any kind of business the need for janitorial services doesn’t diminish when you run it from your home. There are certain standards that have to be maintained and to keep a good clean business premises makes for good clean organised working practices in general. I do know of a couple of youngsters who have moved on from the start up business arrangement in the back bedroom. It used to be a nightmare fighting my way past the discarded pizza cartons and half empty coke cans. Sweet and crisp wrappers mixed in with work tools are not a good combination. Getting organised with professional cleaning and janitor services in an office complex shows how serious you are to offer the very best your company can manage. It is easy to overlook the hygiene issue and if you have visitors, especially ladies, that washroom has to be inviting, clean and attractive. As does that kitchen!
My family has just moved from a very easy to clean modern starter home in a busy town, out to the country with they now reside in stone converted plendour. The garden backs on to land owned by what is still a very grand, grade 1 listed stately home, though it’s not been open for visits for many a year. Their land is full of trees, which look fabulous, especially at night and at sunset. The only minor draw back to this picture of beauty and wonderment is the amount of leaves that gather on the lawn. It used to be fun going through the local ark in autumn, kicking up great piles of them – that familiar rustling as you kicked them higher and higher! It’s not such a barrel of laughs when you have a mountain of them every hour of the day and you want to mow that lawn!