Thursday, October 26, 2006

MRS NINE TO FIVE

MRS NINE TO FIVE

It felt great to be one of the grown up Work Force.  Hitherto I had been a glorified school girl – resident in the work place and subject to rules and regulations.  It was a new experience to be setting out in the early morning in my new brown uniform, which often elicited an approving smile.  As I smiled back I prayed everyone would stay vertical.  Only the few would realise I was children’s trained – not adult’s.

At the Hospital everyone was friendly and there was a more relaxed atmosphere in Out Patients.  It was also much dirtier.  There were no clean air restrictions and I had noticed in our eyrie, the window sills were covered with sooty, greasy grime which needed to be washed weekly.   The poorer children often had dirty heads and impetigo was rife.  One poor boy’s face and scalp were covered and each day I had to clean him up and then treat the area with gentian violet which made him purple from the neck up.

I sometimes think that, paradoxically, now people are cleaner, standards of hygiene have slipped.  We certainly didn’t need to be constantly reminded to wash our hands or to keep our hair away from our faces and collars.  No way would we risk getting nasty skin diseases, and pediculi in our hair.  Chefs nowadays think nothing of beating a mixture vigorously with their floppy hair shedding its detritus to the mix.

We settled in to the attic room and I had to get used to doing a day’s work, keeping the flat clean, seeing to the laundry and  cooking a meal.  Our main relaxation was the cinema and the radio, both of which provided excellent entertainment.  Dodie, William’s mother used to breed dogs and her off- spring were all over the country.  She remembered ones she had had in Sheffield and more or less suggested they should get in touch with us which they dutifully did, and invited us for coffee.

It was the custom to give guests coffee – usually instant, and served in a blue or green Denby jug with biscuits or bits rather than alcohol.  We were given little savoury biscuits with a tasty Polish ham garnished with bits of cucumber and from then on all my guests were served the same.  Slowly I was learning to be a housewife and a hostess.

The people on the floor below, with whom we shared a bathroom, were very pleasant.  The bathroom had a faulty lock and I was horrified one day to see a teapot spout appear round the door.  My scream stopped it dead in its tracks and it vanished along with the very embarrassed husband.  There were profuse apologies all round and a new bolt was fixed.

Life was quite hectic.  Occasionally we would travel over to my parents and be pampered.  Gran was back from the States and Maddie had a local job.  Everybody was concerned that I had lost quite a bit of weight and I had to promise to go and see the doctor.  My life had changed: although I had worked hard for years – nourishing meals were always provided and I had no housework or laundry to worry about.  Then there was the sex.  No wonder I was skinny!

17 comments:

apprentice said...

Well there' the next project, the Past imperfet Diet Book and the Past imperfect Joy of Sex! ;)

PI said...

apprentice: that brought a big grin to my face on a slightly fluey day!

Life of a Banana said...

Perhaps the dandruffs flying from the chefs' heads are the secret to a michelin star.

PI said...

Eeeugh! Banana - that's gross but possibly true!

Kath said...

You make life sound so fun :o) I'm excited to finally have my own home that I share with my husband, and get to be a hostess!

granny p said...

Bit puzzled about the offspring you went to see. Was expecting a dog's tea party.
And oh the days of sex making you thin. A friend wrote a poem which claims one effect of being old is 'not being able to put my legs round your waist.' That kind of thing made you supple too.

PI said...

kath: it's even more fun if one of you can cook!

PI said...

grannyp: sorry it was the puppy's parents we went to see (humans that is.)
Re suppleness - I may have an arthritic thumb but I can still do that although the waist is somewhat stouter these days:)

R. Sherman said...

Dodie, William’s mother used to breed dogs and her off- spring were all over the country. She remembered ones she had had in Sheffield and more or less suggested they should get in touch with us which they dutifully did, and invited us for coffee.

That's great thing about you English. Even the dogs are civilized, what inviting you for coffee and biscuits and what not.

:)

Cheers.

PI said...

Sorry Randall; no excuse for carelessness. So I won't bore you with the fact that I was a little feverish - either from visitors or 'flu jab or both.

FOUR DINNERS said...

I'll have a copy of the PI Diet Book please....ang on....oh...Caz wants a copy of the other one...oh eck

PI said...

4d: think I'd better do a bit more research first!

kenju said...

So that's why I was so thin!!

Dandelion said...

pediculi? is that "little feet"?

PI said...

Judy; we live and learn!

dandelion: pediculi are what the nits hatch out into. In other words, head lice. Beastly little creatures! In the past only found in children from dirty homes but nowadays anyone can get them. I can never rest my head back on the seat in public transport and never share my comb but then I'm a bit nutty!

Guyana-Gyal said...

I don't want to eat out after this, thinking of hair in food, dandruff and now...lice!!! aaaa.

Did you explain to your family why you'd lost weight? :-)

PI said...

GG{ sorry darling!
No no! We never talked about sex. My goodness no!