CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Cotswold Mother: A pane in the glass

PUBLISHED: 09:57 18 August 2015 | UPDATED: 09:57 18 August 2015

‘I’ve never quite recovered from emerging from the bathroom in my all-together, only to see the top of a ladder appear at my bedroom window’

‘I’ve never quite recovered from emerging from the bathroom in my all-together, only to see the top of a ladder appear at my bedroom window’

Archant

‘I’ve never quite recovered from emerging from the bathroom in my all-together, only to see the top of a ladder appear at my bedroom window’

The good weather means I can’t ignore it any longer: the windows are in dire need of a clean. Sun streams valiantly through the kitchen window, despite the crust of bird poo and a layer of suspiciously green slime. I shall have to call the window cleaners.

We’re not short of good ones, round our way. I see them daily, in their branded polo shirts, zipping around town with ladders on car roofs and boots full of buckets. I know (because they remind me every time) that it would be proportionately cheaper for me to go on their books for a regular clean, than to call them up on an ad hoc basis, but I have a deep-seated fear of tradespeople who start work unannounced.

I’ve never quite recovered from emerging from the bathroom in my all-together, only to see the top of a ladder appear at my bedroom window. With nowhere else to go I was forced to dive behind the bed, pressing my naked body into the carpet until it was safe to reappear. It makes for a most disquieting start to the day.

Even when fully clothed it’s rather alarming to suddenly see a chap peering in to your house. I’m never quite sure what to do: surely it’s not good manners to ignore them? Does one wave? Mouth “hello”? And if one wanders through the house and sees them at several windows in turn, is it expected etiquette to acknowledge them on each occasion?

Privacy matters aside, it’s an interruption I don’t welcome. I have the sort of intrinsic work ethic that makes it impossible for me to sit down, flick through a magazine, or watch the latest scintillating episode of Come Dine With Me, while other people are working. Even if I’ve nailed my word count for the day, and am celebrating with a cup of tea and a Bourbon (the biscuit, not the liquor, although that’s not a bad thought…) when the window cleaner appears I feel guilt of Catholic proportions, propelling me out of my chair towards whatever housework I can lay my hands on. I once washed up something already clean and on the draining board, just to prove to the window cleaner that I wasn’t some lady of leisure. Far too stressful.

Last summer I washed the windows myself. Lacking a long enough ladder, I cleaned the upstairs ones by clutching the windowsill with one hand and leaning precariously out with my sponge. The neighbour opposite sat in the sun and watched me, helpfully informing me only after I’d finished about the ‘easy clean’ button which turns the windows inside out to facilitate such a task. Even armed with this knowledge, it’s an arduous job, leaving me with windows that – whilst clean – are so streaked they could pass as frosted. It’s a job for the professionals, to be booked for a specific day, when I can brace myself for their arrival and line up some honest toil to do at the same time.

A revealing conversation during drinks with the girls on Friday night suggests I might have been missing out on more than consistently clean windows. “I visited a friend on The Leys this morning,” Anna told us, referring to a street on the other side of town. “Goodness, how I wish I lived there!” It seems the window cleaner responsible for that particular round has attributes far beyond a squeaky clean pane of glass. “Taut biceps,” Anna went on, “tattoos, a rather lovely beard, and a stomach you could bounce peas off.” There was a collective pause as 20 middle-aged women pictured such a stomach, and thought about moving to The Leys.

“Imagine that knocking on your door, offering you a go on his squeegee,” one of them said wistfully. Another pause. Somebody coughed. “Do we know him?” I said. By ‘we’, I meant the vast school gate collective, its tentacles extending across Cubs, swimming lessons, cricket club, rugby training...

We pooled our knowledge, but couldn’t put a name to him. There should be some sort of database, we decided. Like Tinder, but for window cleaners. Winder. Housewives everywhere (and indeed house husbands, should they be so inclined; far be it for me to discriminate) could log on and match profiles to rounds. It could be exactly what the property market needs, giving a surprise boost to areas serviced by attractive window cleaners.

In the meantime, however, my own window situation is critical, and in the absence of such a database I shall have to take my chances on the eye-candy front. What a pane in the glass.

-------------------------

For more from Clare, follow her on Twitter: @claremackint0sh

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Yesterday, 14:39

Recorded in the Domesday Book, Bicester has a rich past relating to sheep, horses, leather working, lace making and military. It’s a treat to visit somewhere new, and so it is with a first-time visitor’s perspective this postcard by Tracy Spiers is written...

Read more
Yesterday, 12:44

Celebrate the other side of Yuletide in the South Gloucestershire village of Marshfield, where on Boxing Day a curious procession from another age can be seen making its way along the High Street...

Read more
Yesterday, 12:29

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Friday, December 14, 2018

The Cotswolds are abundant with picture perfect locations ideal for a ramble. Gather loved ones, wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with one of these winter walks in the region

Read more
Monday, December 10, 2018

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search