Victorian maid
Photo courtesy of Prometheus2011

I came upon a wonderful little piece written by my grand-grandmother when she was a young lady. A journal entry that tells of what it looked and felt like to be preparing for Christmas Day in the olden times. Cleaning and cooking at its best 🙂 Not as dramatic as the cleaning up of the public face of Victorian London but still a great insight.

Here goes.

It is Christmas day and the house is a buzz with activity and excitement. The Seymour’s have relations coming for dinner and there is much to be done. There is soup to be made, beef and pork to be roasted. Plum pudding and mince pies to be made and punch to be prepared.

Daisy, the scullery maid has fitted in well. She is a hard worker and I get to do a lot more cooking now that she is working in my previous position.

However, it is Christmas and its all hands on deck. There are dishes to be cleaned and vegetables to be scrubbed and peeled. Beatrice is making a good cook, although she is not very adventurous , unlike me who loves to experiment.

We all work very hard throughout the day and then finally the guests have arrived and are settled in the dining room. The soup is being served and there is an awful moment when Mrs Chalmers, one of the guests , has dropped her spoon into the bowl, splashing soup everywhere.

The butler saved the day with his expertise way, of handling situations like that, and still managing to put Mrs Chalmers at ease.

The dinner went well, as did the pudding. Afterwards, Mrs Reynolds and guests retired to the drawing room to play Christmas games and for the piano. However, not before Mr Reynolds made a speech to thank the cook and servants for a lovely dinner and wished us all a very happy Christmas.

Frantically we all chip in to clear away and wash up so that we can have our own Christmas dinner in the servant’s hall.

Tomorrow, I am to be given the afternoon and evening off and will be able to visit my family. I am very excited to see them as it has been months.

The dinner went very well and it was very strange to see the likes of Mr Spooner, the butler being quite jovial instead of his usual straight faced self.

There was much laughing about and if a bell rang from upstairs the servants would take it in turns to go upstairs.

I finally crept into bed about eleven thirty, so tired I didn’t even have time to say my prayers.
It was very hard to wake myself up the next morning but the thoughts of seeing my family later was helping me to get washed and dressed in the bitter cold bedroom.

I crept downstairs at six o’clock and Daisy was already there, cleaning the floor. I do forget sometimes it’s not all down to me now. Together we get the fires going and the kettle on the boil for tea for us and the upper servants. They all have a busy day today again and I feel very lucky to be having the afternoon off.

Finally, it is twelve noon and I wish everyone a happy Christmas and make my way upstairs to change.

I feel very grand in my blue going out dress and my black hat with matching blue ribbon.

I make my way to the nearby rail train station to catch a train to see my family. I feel very grown up and a woman of the world as I sit on the train looking out of the window. I watch as hundreds of houses seem to pass by outside but of course it’s me that’s passing by them.

I day dream for a few minutes and imagine what’s going on at the house.

Daisy would be working the hardest cleaning the floors and scrubbing the tables. Washing and scouring the pans until they shone and washing up the crockery, glasses and cutlery.

I would help her if I had been there but as the train pulls into the station my stomach does a skip and a leap as I look out the window and see my mother and father.

Oh, it’s so good to see them I can hardly wait and I clamber to my feet and make my way to the doors.


First Things First

 

As most of modern writers do, I have picked up a pseudonym for my writing endeavours, a simple female name “Becky”. So, Becky, that’s me. Here goes one of my stories that has a lot to do with y personal experience in life although some if it is a bit of fiction.

Meet Becky The Young Housewife

 

Becky cleaning up
Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/gldar/

The winter morning sun woke Becky from her Saturday morning lay in. She squinted and looked at the clock. It was only 7.25am so she rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.

Trouble was, she couldn’t. Now she was awake she knew she would have to get up.

Anyway, she had a lot to do this weekend. She would pop over to see mum and dad today, then to the shops and she was cooking dinner for Mark tonight.

Becky has been seeing Mark regularly since they got back together again. They are so happy and all past problems seem to be gone. Just the usual kind of quibbles that most couples have.

The snow and ice have kept Mark busy in his job as a plumber, fixing burst frozen pipes.

He had to put in many hours but tonight she would make a special meal for him.

She crawled out of bed and pulled on her dressing gown.She shivered and turned the heating up as she walked past the wall thermostat.

She made herself a cup of coffee and sat there thinking about what she had to do. The flat needed some deep cleaning she thought as she looked round the lounge. The floor and inside windows needed cleaning and the upholstery was quite grubby but she knew she would have to get the cleaning company to the sofa and chairs if she wanted a good job done.

Becky felt almost human by the time she had showered and dressed. She vacuumed all through and mopped the wooden and kitchen floors.

She needed to change her bedding next and had already stripped it to air. Becky smelt how fresh and clean her sheets were. Being very careful to wash them in at least 60 degrees to kill any dust mites and then a nice hot iron to finish off any strays.

Since Darren, her brother had treated her to have all her ironing done by a local cleaning company she had strived to keep it down.

Get To Work – Cleaning The House Is Fun

 

She dusted and polished around the flat and then set about cleaning the bathroom. Every night before she went to bed she would squirt some bleach around the inside rim of the toilet so she just had to clean the outside of the loo and seat. When she had finished cleaning the sink and bath, she decided to do some window cleaning.

Becky had made her own window cleaner with 50/50 white vinegar and water and had recycled an old spray cleaner bottle. She didn’t have that many windows and finished them in record time buffing them up with some soft kitchen paper.

When all her work was done, she tidied herself up and drove round to pay her mum and dad a visit.

Dinner Is Tastier When Tidy Up Is Complete

 

They asked after Mark and Becky’s mum invited them both round to dinner the following Sunday. “Roast lamb with mint sauce” said her dad smacking his lips and rolling his eyes.

Becky laughed “Hmm. Sounds good mum. I’m sure it will be fine. I’ll ask Mark and ring you”

When Becky left, she pulled in at the supermarket and bought the food for tonight’s dinner with Mark.

She was really looking forward to it and had decided to cook a fish pie and vegetables, cheat and buy chocolate torte and cream for dessert and Mark was bringing the wine.

Her stomach gave a little somersault in anticipation of the evening ahead.


It has been a long time since I have been able to sit down and properly dedicate time to my other passion – writing. As some of you (who know me, obviously) may already know that I have been a professional house cleaner for most of my adult life (and a little bit before that). Being a perfectionist in everything I do has helped a lot in all aspects of my life.

I remember back in the day (excuse my sounding like an old lady) I used to stay and work for longer than I was normally paid for. I loved cleaning and was not afraid of hard work. I always completed all tasks and house chores no matter if it ate up my personal time. I had my honour and passion for succeeding in everything I did so money was not my main goal. Leaving a happy customer and making a name for myself in the not so glamorous world of clean-up professionals was what I was aiming at.

So, now, when I have a lot my time on my hands that I know what to do with, I decided to purchase a shiny new Macbook and put my thoughts and endless war stories from the cleaning cupboard into digital form. Maybe some of you will hopefully find these amusing, funny and useful.

This is it for my first post. I am so looking forward to my real first story.

Ta-ta for now.

Yours sincerely,
Ms Weber