Life is extremely quiet here at the Manor.
Or rather, it is today.
Yesterday Very Good Friend called. She was supposed to call last Friday but when she didn’t turn up I assumed she would call on Saturday [that has happened a few times]. She turned up yesterday instead just as we had decided she wasn’t coming at all.
Having arrived she immediately set to cleaning the place. Now this is not an ordinary flick of the duster type cleaning – no, this is Very Good Friend cleaning. She started by washing all the dishes and cutlery which I had already washed. Everything is then put away. Normally I leave a few things out like plates which we use every day so there is no point in putting them in a cupboard that’s almost at floor level and difficult to get plates out of without smashing a few mugs or cups. VGF insists that nothing is left out which just means I have to take it all out again once she’s gone. She enjoys doing it so much that I haven’t the heart to say anything.
Then the other rooms get The Treatment. This means vacuuming the carpets, changing bedclothes, washing down the shower and mopping any wooden floors. It also means she empties half a can of air freshener into my bedroom so that it stinks like a bordello. I have to remember to open all the windows after she has gone or else I can’t sleep for choking. She must have something against the aroma of socks and runners?
She also waters all the plants which is great, but she also waters the Air Plant after I have politely explained that it gets its moisture from the air and doesn’t like water. She waters it anyway and I have to remember to pour the water out again afterwards.
Penny used to get out of her way when VGF started to vacuum the chairs and couch. Now she just couldn’t be bothered so she gets vacuumed as well. Did I mention that everything is cleaned? So far I have managed to dodge in time and have to keep on the move all the time she’s here.
Don’t get me wrong. VGF is indeed a Very Good Friend. We are both very fond of her and would be devastated if she stopped coming. She started out just being someone we hired to do a drop of cleaning but since then she has become part of life here. When I had my heart “event” she insisted on looking after Herself and when it came time for my parole it was she who drove up to collect me from the hospital. We have been told in no uncertain terms that if we ever need anything we’re just to give her a call and she’ll be here straight away.
You can always tell when VGF has been here. The Manor is sparkling and shimmering in the summer sun, with all surfaces gleaming and bare..
And our heads are spinning.