By Katie oliver
This week I’m thrilled to have talented and prolific author Lynda Renham with me on the blog. She’s written numerous romantic comedies, from The Dog’s Bollocks and Pink Wellies and Flatcaps to Croissants and Jam, as well as her latest offering, Rory’s Proposal.
As a longtime fan of Ms Renham myself (she’s had a big influence on my own writing), I couldn’t be more pleased to host this lady and introduce her wonderfully funny, romantic novels to everyone. If you aren’t familiar with her books yet (shame on you!), run – don’t walk – to the nearest bookshop or online bookseller and get reading, because you’re in for a real treat.
Now, without further ado, here’s Lynda, talking about her hilarious adventures as a cleaner. I dare you not to laugh out loud…
Paying the Bills
Haven’t we all done jobs we hated just so we can pay the bills? We’ve all been there. Have you had times when the bank balance was so low that debating whether to sell your body was not the question? The question was is it up to it? My body would not earn me much on the streets, but I digress.
When times were difficult and there were no jobs to be found I became a cleaner. Oh yes, a cleaner and proud. This job had great perks; I was my own boss and the clients would say help yourself to biscuits, and being as the ‘clients’ had money the biscuits were normally chocolate ones. A chocoholic’s dream job this is, chocolate on tap without even paying for it.
As time went on I built up regular clients, each with their kinky little cleaning obsessions. One didn’t care if the whole house was filthy just as long as the shower door shone. Another was obsessive about cobwebs but her loos were far from whiter than white. I won’t even go into what colour they were but my time spent on the shower door meant there was little time for much else. I don’t mean just cleaning the shower door. I had to wash, clean and then polish said shower door and with a special shower door polish.
My week would begin with Mrs Johnson, an elderly lady who in fact was a ‘Lady’, that is until she divorced the Sir. I cleaned for her every day, not that much cleaning got done as my time was spent putting her to bed with a calming cup of camomile tea after a heated row with her second husband, and trying to prevent her having a heart attack, to which she said she was prone. On better days I would help her choose an outfit for a dinner party, or some other domestic duty. It was a bit like being a ladies’ maid in a modern day Downton Abbey.
My next stop was with the dreaded yuppie couple. This job started well. I would let myself in, clean for two hours, eat the chocolate biscuits and leave. One day the husband was home and my two hours were spent trying to squeeze by him or fight him off in the bedroom using his children’s soft toys as weapons and pray his wife would not walk in and blame it all on me. I had to either give that one up, or sleep with the boss (very unappealing).
On Tuesdays I would clean a weekend home which was barely lived in and full of spiders, spiders’ webs, and lots of other horrid creepy things. I was always paid weeks in advance and usually removed the cobwebs and spiders as that took most of my time. I hated that job as I hate spiders but ‘take the money and run’ was my motto, and run faster than the spiders if you can.
There were, of course, my favourites. One of them paid me an hourly rate that was well above the norm. The first time I went I was a little nervous. He had already told me that he was a naturist but I figured that meant he walked around naked when he was on his own, or with like-minded people of which, I hasten to add, I was not. My husband thought it would be fine as his idea of a naturist was someone who was into nature, Greenpeace, plants and so on.
My first visit was great. He wore a dressing gown and we chatted as I cleaned. I can do this, I thought. The next visit the dressing gown had disappeared. Now, I cannot tell you how hard it is not to look at something when you are determined not to. As much as I tried to focus on Henry the Hoover my eyes did wander to my client’s John Thomas. I did try, I really did, but I had to look. Oh dear, I remember thinking, he has a lot of tattoos. But by the fourth week I was happily cleaning around a naked man like it was the most normal thing in the world. I even sat with him to sort out his eBay account, and yes he was naked and no nothing ever happened.
After a while I had so many jobs I was racing from one to the other and I had so many keys I looked like a jailer. I played music I liked, worked for myself and had no one bossing me about. But all good things must come to an end and as my situation changed I had to move on to other things.
I have been left with the highest respect for cleaners. It’s not an easy job and some of the people you have to work for treat you worse than a piece of shit on their shoe. But always remember how quickly fortunes can change and if you are lucky enough to have someone clean for you don’t forget that we all can fall on hard times and one day that cleaner could be you.
Read the blurb for Lynda’s latest, Rory’s Proposal:
When 29-year-old Flora Robson reversed her car into Tom’s Audi she had no idea who he was. Only after she has started to fall in love with him does she discover the gorgeous blue-eyed Tom is the man who is trying to close down her hairdressing business.
It seems that Tom will stop at nothing to get what he wants, but Flora is not giving in to anyone. Can she win the battle against her multimillionaire enemy or will her feelings for him get in the way? Follow Flora’s hilarious journey of love, hot chocolate and marshmallows, and the man who changes everything.
Find Lynda and her books:
Lynda Renham writes romantic comedy novels and has a growing fan base. She has been likened in style to Sophie Kinsella but writes with a down-to earth humour. Lynda’s novels are popular, refreshingly witty, fast paced, and with a strong romantic theme. Lynda lives in Oxford, UK. She has appeared on BBC radio discussion programs and when not writing Lynda can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook.
“Lynda Renham is right up there with chick-lit royalty! I’m not talking princess either, for me, the Queen of Chick-lit”. – Booketta Book Blog