Cleaning-up for Queen better fun

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What is wrong with them in Ohio?

Don’t they know a good thing when they see it?

A woman with a penchant for cleaning keeps breaking into people’s homes and sprucing them up.

This duster-wielding fairy godmother who, one assumes, cherry-picks the untidiest looking houses in the neighbourhood, sneaks in and vacs round. She even puts out the rubbish and washes up.

OK so she’s obviously quite mad; what sane woman loves housekeeping? Plus she’s bonkers enough to leave her name and number behind in the hope of getting asked back. But apart from her insanity and your embarrassment at realising you must have got the scuzziest house on the street, what’s not to love about a house-breaking home-maker armed with nothing more serious than a can of Pledge? She sounds like the answer to a working woman’s prayers.

State police have only gone and charged her with criminal trespass, though. Can you believe it?

I urge Westlake’s magistrates: do not jail this woman. If you really must punish her, banish her overseas. All the way to Rotherham.

Send her to me and I’ll ensure she gets hard labour. Our house is in dire need of a fettling.

Before the recession hit, we used to have a cleaning lady once a fortnight and she was ruddy marvellous.

I’d be sitting at work, conjuring up an image of my very own Mrs Sheen whisking through the place, snapping her fingers like Mary Poppins and gleefully bagging all the cobwebs with an extremely long feather duster she had produced from her small carpet bag while whistling to a robin.

I couldn’t wait to get home; it was like anticipating your return to a new lover. I’d walk in and drink in air infused with polish rather than dust and dog dander. I’d be almost blinded by the sparkle on mirrors and windows and would marvel over ornaments I’d forgotten I owned.

Sadly, hard times meant that two years ago we had to do for the lady that did - and get down to it ourselves. And to be frank, most of the time we’re too tired to bother with anything other than the rudimentaries required for sanitation’s sake.

Consequently it’s like Satis House these days. All we need is Miss Havisham’s mouldering wedding cake on the dining table.

Boy having departed for rented some six months ago, I now know that much of the mess is down to the dog. Harry’s hairballs tumble down the wooden hall, waft into rooms and form nests in the corners. You could raise baby sparrows behind our furniture. His feet are tiny, yet he carries in a disparate amount of muck. A whole garden-ful some days, I’d swear.

We’ve got so used to dirt, we now don’t see it. It’s a state of mind my husband, a clean-freak whose years pre-me were spick, span and sparkling, never ever thought he would reach.

But every now and again, as we’re wading through the mire on the way to the kitchen, or trying to find our slippers beneath the matted blanket of hair on the bedroom carpet, we feel so ashamed we set-to.

That’s what we did this Jubilee weekend. We cleaned up for the Queen.

Or rather, we had nothing else to do because it was bucketing it down, as it does every British national holiday.

I caught the Royal Regatta as I waded through the ironing. Both went on for hours and seemed never-ending. Though I think, given Her Majesty’s perished expression, I was actually having a better day than her.

Out there on the Thames, frozen to death and fighting to smile, maybe she was wishing she could be ordinary and learn to Hoover up after the Corgis.