We have guests coming for Easter, which is great and we are all looking forward to it. But of course the house needs a top to bottom spring clean. Its been a difficult week so far, what with me spending two days being introduced to the exciting new company that I now work for and Mrs BW attempting to occupy the fledglings during the first fraught days of the holidays. We were hoping to have it all done by now. But as of this morning nothing had been started. I was working from home and Mrs BW was away to Birmingham for a course. I had a brain wave. I would get the fledglings to start the house work. Of course we had to negotiate. We settled quite easily on a sum of money each. It was all going smoothly. But they are hard bargainers. They wanted something on top. Something to look forward to at the end of a hard afternoons housework. “Why can’t you look forward to the money?” I asked. They looked at me like the sad weary old adult that I am. “Money’s boring and it doesn’t last” they said. We settled on a trip to Caffe Nero’s as well Painless enough really.

I settled down in the spare room come office and did some work. Now I pride myself on my ability to complete housework quickly and efficiently. But I am a slow ponderous plodding sort of beast compared to these two. The hoover fair flew round the rooms and the duster was a blur. I had agreed that they could start as soon as I left to take Mrs BW to the station. It took me half an hour. I swear that they were half way through when I got back. Forty minutes later the hoover crashed into the room in which I was working, slammed into the wall and made a cursory and frankly quite derisory trip across the wooden floor before making an equally noisy exit. “Finished, are you going to pay us now or when we come back from the cafe?” Nothing left to chance, no possibility that I might forget any part of the deal!

“B******s” was what I wanted to say. “You better be sure everything is done, because I will check” was what I actually said. “Yeah what ever” came the cocky reply. “So let me see, if I have a look behind the box under the table in the kitchen I won’t find any dust?” I replied. The cockiness disappeared. Some muttering and stomping about was followed by the sound of the hoover being recklessly crashed about the kitchen. I applied the same rigorous and critical eye to the dusting, pointing out that it was okay to shake the duster out outside occasionally as you did not have to collect all the dust on the duster as evidence that you had done it. After a few more suggestions and pointers as to how they might improve next time they did it,I paid up and took them to Caffe Nero’s .

Will Mrs BW notice? Well she can hardly fail to notice the overwhelming smell of polish that has been applied to the bookshelves in the hall and judging by the slipperiness, to the floor as well. Whether it will pass her critical eye is another matter. We shall see.

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