Gone are the days when household chores were undertaken without much thought. We just did them. No sweat!
Making twin beds each day was no problem, in fact it was something I enjoyed doing. I was proud of my beds, and the way they were ‘dressed’. To me they weren’t just somewhere to sleep, they were part of the room’s attraction and I intended to keep it that way. This is what living in a bungalow does for me, it didn’t matter so much in the big house because the bedrooms were upstairs and out of sight.
Things change, though. Or rather people do. I gave up the twin beds and got one large. Ooooh, all that room to sleep in was heaven even though it meant more walking, round and round, on a daily basis, when I made up the bed. I can’t remember when the breathlessness started but start it did, and always after the morning ritual of making the bed, which necessitated a daily hike round the bed. That was when I realised I was getting older and things had to change.
Bed-making was eased by the introduction of fitted sheets but, after a while, when those sheets needed washing it got to be a struggle to replace them with clean ones. It’s the back, you know, plus that tendency towards breathlessness.
I dealt with it, as you do, until it got to be a worry. This meant a rethink was required. What to do? I remembered when Joe was quite poorly, and bedlinen had to be changed more regularly, I got into the habit of taking the washing to the launderette. They washed and ironed – for a price – but it was convenient and meant I got the clean sheets back in double quick time. Now there is only me, and only one bed, so I started to do my own laundry again.
Two large sheets is all, top and bottom, but they were a struggle to fold and impossible to iron, as well as being a struggle to fit on the bed, not to mention all that walking round and round the double bed. It got that I was having to sit down between each move so I knew I had to do something about it.
Back to the launderette. By this time the price (£12 UK money) had risen to £15 although that wasn’t the reason for the rethink. The shop is a car drive away and if you asked me to walk there and back it would be like asking me to polish the moon. I began to wonder what would happen when the car was disposed of.
Two weeks ago I saw the mother of Paola, who used to clean my house once a week. Her mother had moved from cleaning houses to taking in washing and still collected laundry from the house opposite. Aha, I thought. I waited for her to come out and went over for a little chat…the sort of chat that sounds like a plea for help.
After explaining what I wanted I was disappointed to learn that she was too busy, but after a while she backed down and said she would do it for £10 per sheet. That made £20 in total for one wash. Well, what else can a body do when desperate? We exchanged phone numbers then went our separate ways.
This week was the turn of Molly Maid to visit. Molly Maid is the name of the
Now Tina has come up trumps with the laundry. Changing bed linen is part of their duties but not washing them. We got into a discussion about the price of laundry, something Tina felt strongly about. After a few rants on her part about how physically able people were making money out of us oldies, simply because we had no choice. I nearly passed out when she grabbed the sheets and said she would do them. FOR FREE! Apparently, she was incensed by the way people seem unwilling to help.
So off she went, sheets over one arm and the vacuum cleaner pulled along by the other. She returned the washed laundry three days later.
I can’t offer her money but maybe an occasional box of chocolates? I don’t want to offend her and ruin a good relationship. My way of helping could be to provide things for her regular bring-and-buy stall – something she does to help charities. Books galore are waiting to be disposed of so maybe that’s the way to go. Helping her would help me and hopefully repay her kindness.