Friday, December 7, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dear Susan,
 You know how I said I was having problems with the authorities, well I have written them a letter and just want to run it by you to get your opinion. Please be honest.

Your Worship, Lordship, god Of Small Things and Sir,
Once upon a time in the "no probs parking" area of Cronulla there lived a little old lady. She'd lived in the "Shoire" all of her unblemished life.
Her unit was across the road from the Plaza, resulting in the fact that since like other residents she never crossed the bridge (Tom Ugly's), her car spent most of its happy little life curled up in her registered parking space in the bowels of her unit block.
One day however the little old lady (let's call her Jan) was called upon to help an 82 year old friend with her pussy, which had been sick with fleas, furballs and occasional incontinence.  So Jan drove to her friend's house , picked up her friend and her pussy and took them both to the vet's. The friend survived but unfortunately Oedipuss had to go to the big cattery in the sky.
Having taken care of her friend and her fragile feline, Jan drove her car to the council car park because
a)  she needed to buy a few things and
b) her throat was very sore, her temperature was very high, she had the shakes from being so cold and she couldn't stop coughing. She thought the chemist might have a miracle drug she could take to circumvent her death. Armed with eye of newt and tongue of toad and aspirin in case extreme measures were needed, Jan dragged herself home where she went to sleep for six days and six nights.
With her temperature rising and falling and her constant descent into delusional, delirious hallucinatory episodes, Jan was beginning to lose the will to live.
However this too passed and on the eighth day she put one foot tentatively on the ground and declared "It's a miracle". Having run out of essentials like bread, milk and Toblerone Jan decided to drive to the shops because she still felt too weak to walk.
Down in the bowels of her unit complex she found her registered car space empty. 'Shit a brick' she thought ' someone has stolen my car'. Then through the haze of memory came the sudden realisation that she had left it in the council car park seven days ago.
Crawling across to said carpark Jan was praying to the Parking God"Please lord, I didn't mean to overstay my welcome but I have been at death's door".
In an illustration of the saying "No good deed goes unpunished" there on her windscreen were four brown envelopes.
Jan cried as she sipped her caffeine fix, wondering how she could deal with the fines. She lived on the pension. There was no way she could produce $400 out of thin air. She considered selling one of her nine grand children on eBay but she was technologically challenged. She thought she could sell her mother's wedding ring, but that was awkward because her mother was still wearing it.
Still in the death throes of the flu Jan thought she could pay one of the fines and leave the other three in her will to her daughters. One daughter would take the case all the way to the International, nay the Intergallactic Court of Appeal on principle. One daughter would petition her local member with a persuasive argument against the Victimisation of Senior Citizens in Council Car Parks and the other daughter would take the fine home store it with all the detritus that comes with having five children or use it in a craft lesson to make 1000 paper cranes. In any case the fines were not going to be high on anybody's list except Jan's.
Therefore your lordship, I am throwing myself on the mercy of the court. I am prepared, nay excited to pay one of the fines if the other three could be
a) overlooked, or
b) paid off over a period of time,say 100 years.

In view of the above I trust you will be sympathetic to my cause.

I remain etc etc etc

Well there it is Susan; what do you reckon? An iceblock's chance in hell.
I'll let you know what happens
Janet xxxx 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dear Susan,

Happy new year.Hope you enjoyed the holidays Guess what Ivan gave me for Christmas; yep, a cleaning lady. I don't know why; I'd dropped hints about things I really needed like knickers with elastic in them, a toothbrush with vertical bristles, or a pair of pantihose with the heels still intact, you know, little luxury items. But when my stocking was hung out three weeks before Christmas, it was filled with Freda.

Nothing makes a woman feel more redundant or filthy than a cleaning lady. For three days before she arrived I scrubbed, polished,vacuumed, and scraped the fungus out of the shower recess. I found things I'd forgotten existed like the pattern on the kitchen floor, the view from the kitchen window and the carpet in Eloise's bedroom. I threw out the dead orange which had been fermenting in the bottom of the fruit bowl, the dead goldfish which I thought had just been resting on the top of the tank and a dead television programme announcing the live telecast of the Royal wedding (Victoria and Albert's). I felt secure; even my mother would have trouble finding something to pick on , or up for that matter.

Boy was I wrong. Freda arrived carrying a large sack over her shoulders. "What's in the bag?" I asked her. "Rags" she answered. "A good cleaning lady always has many rags". Well that let me out; I wear all mine.

She took three steps into the house and looked around clicking her tongue and muttering "I love a challenge" A CHALLENGE??? What was she talking about? Unless you could count an unexpugated copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover as filth, my house was so clean it squeaked.

"I will wash the windows and you will wash the curtains" she snapped at me, and before you could say Mr Sheen I was bundling the curtains up and carting them down to the laundry. When I resurfaced seven hours later with the clean, starched, ironed curtains I thought I was in the wrong house. There was Freda rubbing linemant into her knees. "What's that?" I asked. "A skirting board " she said "you'll find them all around the bottoms of the walls NOW! Next week we will clean the oven".

I fell into a crumpled heap on the floor after she left. I'd never worked so hard in my life. I hung the curtains back up and thought ' I've just paid a woman good money to clean windows that I cover up with curtains.' The curtains remained open for the rest of the week.

Seven days to get the oven into a state fit to be cleaned; short of hydrochloric acid, I used every spray, foam, mist vapour and solution known to man. I found enough grease to do a complete service on two cars, but the result was worth it; for the first time I could see what was cooking through the oven glass.

This did not deter Freda. Come cleaning day she opened the oven door, disappeared into the rotisserie and emerged three hours lter looking like a coal miner. "There" she exclaimed "Like new" She was right. I will never cook in it again.

My life has changed since freda entered it. For a start Rosie, Josie and Eloise are not allowed to touch anything in the house for at least ten minutes after Freda leaves. They have learned to float from one room to the other without letting their feet touch the floor. I deny that I have threatened to chop off the hands of any toddler who touches a glass panel anywhere in the house. Wedon't use the bathroom, I make the kids stand under the hose in the front garden every couple of days and I use the YWCA showers.

Now I spend two days a week cleaning the house to make it ready for the cleaning lady ( it's called 'spofforthing '). The castle that I used to call home now looksas though it has been decorated in 'early sterile'; which is why I was surprised when Josie started coughing and wheezing last week. " I think you must have an allergy" I told her. But she assured me that she was lacking something in her diet. " Since Freda's been coming" she said "I haven't had my usual intake of dust. The cough is my body's way of telling me something is missing".

My hands reached for her throat then I heard a voice whisper ' Cleanliness is next to Godliness'.
Fortunately for Josie I had to let go of her neck in order to alphabetise the linen cupboard; Freda's coming tomorrow.
Love Janet xx