Living with the family.

Living with the family.



I am having a problem, that in my wildest dreams I would never have thought possible.

We have a cleaning lady—my mum was a cleaning lady—now this may be the ‘norm’ for a family like ours, living in the leafy roads of Wood Green—I kid you not— with both parents working, this was something Ann and I never had or thought we needed.

It’s OK for them, I am left to deal with ‘Lesley’. I think that is her name as I never quite catch it when she speaks—I think she comes from Lithuania or some such place and speaks no English.

‘Lesley’ arrives on Wednesday mornings, which means I have to wake up early to clean the house before she is at the door.

Now you may find this odd behaviour but it is a matter of self-preservation, I am actually afraid of our little lady from Lithuania or where-ever, it’s not so much ‘Lesley’, you understand, it’s when she is armed with the ‘Henry’— such a friendly name for a vacuum cleaner— but in the hands of our little helper, it’s a weapon to be fearful of, she is a whirlwind, I try to anticipate which room she will enter next, I hear her go from one to another, with the sound of bits of ‘Lego’ flying up the hose, with me trying to keep one step ahead, fearful of meeting her on the stairs, heaven forbid.


I have developed a strategy to befriend her, to get her on my side, if you know what I mean, as soon as she arrives, I say “coffee” She says “Ah, yes pliss, coffee”

Then I go to Alex’s, our local shop to buy two chocolate bars and a nice cake.

She says, ”Tankyou very” I think this the only English she knows.


Now this is not the problem I am talking about.

‘Lesley’ came last Wednesday, dressed in very tight, flowered trousers, nothing wrong with that of course, she a lovely young lady.

The trouble is the pattern of the trousers, I am not averse to glancing at a lady with tight trousers, but it was where the pattern was situated that caught my eye.

At first glance or in my case several glances, the patterns made it look as if she was wearing her pants over her trousers.


The problem I have, is how do I tell ‘Lesley’, who speaks no English, and comes from Lithuania—probably a very strict Catholic country— that she may not realise, that the pattern on her trousers makes it look as if she is wearing her knickers on the wrong side of her trousers.


But, then again, what do I know about anything, this might be the ‘norm’ in London.













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