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Lady who "does" .......

(8 Posts)
grannysue05 Mon 25-Sep-17 14:18:11

I was thinking back recently to times gone by (I do that a lot nowadays) to when I was working and I had two small sons at school.
I had a very demanding medical job and I eventually found that trying to do everything at home as well was pretty stressful.
I advertised for a lady who does housework (this was the early seventies).
The first two replies were from young women who much preferred to paint their nails (no iphones in those days!).
Then a wonderful lady turned up on the doorstep. I will call her Hetty to preserve anonimity.
She was a retired civil servant and had worked in Africa in a diplomatic position, so I told her that, frankly, she would not be suitable.
Well, she persauded me otherwise, and started on three hours a week.
As time went by, she came more and more frequently, in spite of me saying we could not afford more hours.
She took over shopping, cleaning and even collected the children if I was held up.
She became a much loved member of our family and stayed for eight years until we moved away from the area.
But she had just started out as the "lady who does!".
Anyone else have a story about the home help?

Eloethan Mon 25-Sep-17 15:40:20

My grandma had a longstanding cleaner, "Miss Mirelle", and it was a family joke that she spent more time standing on the stairs hanging over the bannister gossiping with my grandma than actually doing much housework. My grandma was a reserved and kindly soul and never seemed to mind. The cleaner's false teeth used to fascinate me - they always looked on the verge of leaping out of her mouth and making a run for it.

M0nica Mon 25-Sep-17 20:22:01

A friend of mine has a cleaner who has worked for her for over 30 years. They are now good friends and the cleaner is treated like a member of the family and included in all family events.

Iam64 Mon 25-Sep-17 20:29:33

No I don't granny sue but I wish I did. One of my adult children has a current cleaner who is a joy. She's eccentric, in her 50's with purple hair and tattoos. She is an ace cleaner, dog walker and this week hung various herbs (no not those kind) in their house to "bring peace and harmony".

gillybob Mon 25-Sep-17 20:46:21

My grandma was "a lady that does" for a "well to do" business and political family in our town. She started as a kind of nanny to the family when they had young children, then as the children grew up she felt she was no longer needed but persuaded to "please stay" and so began to do a bit of cleaning and home cooking. She then helped the lady of the house with dinner parties and other entertaining and looked after an elderly uncle of the family for whom she also cooked and cleaned. She stayed on well into her early 80's and used to say her few hours helped to "keep her sane" . The family were very kind to my grandma and although they understood, they were very sorry when she eventually left them.

kittylester Mon 25-Sep-17 21:15:00

My lovely lady who does also used to clean for DD3, until she moved, and for ds1. She is part of the family!

grannyactivist Mon 25-Sep-17 21:53:23

Twenty two years ago my husband was in full time work and although my job was only part time I often had emergencies to deal with so that my hours were unpredictable. As we had a teenager and two young children (boys) at home we decided an au pair would be the best solution to our childcare needs. The three year old was at playgroup on the mornings I worked and the five year old was at school, so the au pair's duties wouldn't be too onerous and I could still spend lots of time with the children. This worked well, but after having a couple of females the boys decided that they wanted their next au pair to be male. The young Slovak lad who came was studying law, but he decided to interrupt his studies to come to England and improve his English. He lived with us very happily and loved us like a son - as we did him. Now he is a lawyer, married to a judge and we are still in regular contact. He is a lovely young man and we have holidayed with him and his family and they have visited us - just this week he sent me an email (he's worried about my health) telling me how much he loves us. smile

Marmight Tue 26-Sep-17 02:03:49

My Mum had a difficult pregnancy and I was born by c section. My Dad decided help was needed and she arrived home from the hospital to find Kitty Clark on the doorstep. She stayed until I was 13, often bringing her own daughter - Kitty 2 - with her. My abiding memory is kneeling alongside her, enveloped in an enormous apron, 'helping' to Mansion polish the doorstep and then sitting in the kitchen having our elevenses and watching her dunk her biscuit in her coffee, and then saying in her wonderful cockney accent ' now come along Marmight, back to work, this won't do you know '.