Do You Respect Your Employee?

In recent years I have found the need to employ a cleaner because of several changes in my life. I’ve gone through a few. Changes and employees. Some stopped coming because the parking is difficult — a boat would be able to moor nearer. Some stopped coming because I would chat with them. I had to let a few go because they were not doing an effective clean.

My cleaner now is a man who did some work in my bathroom and garden. He had seen my advertisement for a cleaner at a certain price. He had come to do a job moving some heavy stuff in my garden, and because he had finished early we had a cup of tea.

He said that he would like to be my cleaner. I responded that I could not afford his hourly fee every week. In reply he said that cleaning for me at the pay I had advertised would guarantee two more hours of income each week, and that because I had recommended him to others for various tasks, it would be of mutual benefit.

This kind of thinking is very pleasing. I only found it odd to adjust to having a man in my home. Not because I think it is a woman’s job, but because it involves my laundry. I have never before had a man who was not a lover handle my laundered clothing or strip my bedlinen.

This guy works really hard. He cleans very well. He is far more efficient and thorough than any previous cleaner. Sometimes, he arrives and I can see that he is tired. I try to chat with him for a couple of minutes so that he can recuperate. Other times, he has finished all the cleaning early and if I don’t have another chore for him, I tell him to go home and have a cup of tea.

Of course, there are times I notice something could do with a wipe. I am not helpless, so these things I do without complaint. Other times, I might mention it if it’s something out of my reach.

I believe there are several types of cleaning; spring cleaning, maintenance cleaning, and focused cleaning.

Focused cleaning is the cleaning of things that don’t need weekly cleaning. So we have a Week A and Week B but fluidity reigns. Sometimes I ask him to clean for one hour and help in the garden for the second. The second hour is then paid at his normal fee.

Because I know that some people give him very labor intensive jobs without thinking about his need to stay hydrated, I generally ask if he needs a drink. He carries water with him. At this time of pandemic, he often asks to use my bathroom, as other people are terrified they will catch Covid-19 from him and won’t let him inside. This is fair enough. I know he is careful, washes his hands and wears a mask, and keeps a distance.

Today, I asked him to schedule two hours of gardening work for me. I have raised beds to clear for growing tomatoes, plants to be planted, and a shrub that needs to go back into a pot. I also need to clear the finished Evening Primroses that have seeded all around my footpath. They are lovely, and will come back in the summer.

I know he will have two hours of work that is good for his mental health, satisfying, and companionship. Soon he will construct my new swing seat which I got in a sale.

Published in Contemplate


Megan Markle’s Claims

We have heard various claims made and argued about since the infamous interview Oprah Winfrey gave to Megan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry.

In it Megan said that her role in the royal family had never been discussed, it was never part of the conversation.

Yet, when Mishal Hussein interviewed the couple on the occasion of their engagement, Prince Harry said how much he had explained to her how difficult it is to be such a public figure, that she would be scrutinised, criticised, and judged.

Megan told Oprah Winfrey that she had grown up completely unaware of how the royal family worked. That she was never been advised, she was naive of many things.

Both these statements are on visual media. The contradiction cannot be missed.

Maybe Katherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, found it easier to fit in. After all, she and Prince William had a ten year relationship before they married. Perhaps having a commitment phobe as her boyfriend gave her lots of time to observe and notice how to conduct herself.

Whenever I have been in a setting new to me, I tend to wait and watch others so that I don’t offend and fit in comfortably.

Apparently, Megan spoke over her husband several times and also tapped his hand to silence him during the interview with Oprah Winfrey. Body language says far more than words. I used to love how Megan looked at Prince Harry with a smile in her eyes, even when he was talking to someone else, or looking away watching sport or another event.

I was so happy that Prince Harry was loved by such an accomplished and beautiful woman. The royal family welcomed her as they have any other wife to be. The Queen even invited Megan to attend engagements with her. This is unusual, but their happy friendship was clear to see.

Are black people too afraid to admit that Megan’s story has changed? That her words now oppose what was said a few years ago?

What has happened to Prince Harry’s voice? He gave up everything he valued when they moved to California. His father paid for many things on their behalf. I dislike Prince Charles, but he has been a good father since the Princess of Wales died so tragically.

Comments made during the recent interview have seriously undermined the work that Prince William and Katherine do for mental health. It was an issue for Diana, a commoner, and her older sister. It became an issue for both William and Harry.

Prince Harry’s grandfather, with whom he was close, has now had heart surgery after one month in hospital. His one hundredth birthday will not be the occasion it was meant to be, it seems. This had been intended to be a family celebration.

In July, there was to be an event to mark what would have been Diana’s sixtieth birthday. It hard to envision both brothers being there now.

No one is perfect whatever their skin color. Please don’t be too fragile to admit that.


Trying to salvage the weekend…

I did go to the theatre last night, but was so disappointed that I left half through.

I got some food on my way. Mozzerella cheese to eat with caramelised onion. Some Skyrr – a high protein Icelandic yogurt. I also got some marzipan filled chocolates that I discovered recently. They remind me of Germany.

I ate the mozzerella with a glass of good red wine. Delicious.

This morning I got a text in relation to the anger spewed on me on Friday. It sent adrenalin through my body, with the subsequent pain, muscle spasms and anxiety. I replied with some information, and added that the text had made me highly anxious and I don’t expect this on a Sunday morning. So I got a second text which compounded my anxiety.

I told a friend which I soon regretted as he started telling me what I should have done instead so he is temporarily blocked until I feel better.

I wrote an article today which helped me focus and feel purposeful.

There is some technology I would like to have to reduce my general pain, anxiety etc. But it is expensive so I need to start a Go Fund Me page.

And I’ve realised that my medium page in here is not a link, as I had thought.


The Good News Never Happened…

For those of you who follow my blog fairly regularly, I wrote a post entitled ”Good News” a short while ago. Well, I’ve had an answer now and it isn’t good.

About a month ago, I had a visit from a local Chief Inspector of Police. He owed me an apology, as he had forgotten to write to me about a matter another officer had messed up. During the visit, several things were discussed and I mentioned the wind chimes. A Sargent told me he would visit and mediate but could promise nothing.

So yesterday, the Sargent phoned me and told me my neighbours still refuse to move the wind chimes. I was staggered. I thought that the police asking them might just shame them into moving them.

That is why I wrote the article I posted yesterday. It will appear in a local new source, but will reach much further afield. I hope to create a law requiring consultation with neighbours before installing anything that makes noise or visual distress.

I may never benefit from such a law, but hopefully others will, and it may cause neighbourhoods to be closer knit. As far as I can tell, these neighbours have no contact with anyone else in my road. I do, I have friendships and acquaintances.

In my chat with the sargent, he also told that Woodhouse will get her come upance, if not to do with her harassment of me, but sooner or later the law will catch up with her.

I feel comforted by these men, who enforce the law, although they need proof and evidence. These men are upright and honourable. They remind me of when and why I worked at the Citizens Advice Bureau.

All my career has been about empowering the disadvantaged and giving hope to the poor in spirit.

I’m not changing. I will not become bitter. I will keep my spirit sweet.

So the good news never came, but good will come out of this. I believe that with all my heart.