I volunteer regularly at a country house where they’ve recently opened up the below stairs servants’ quarters for the public to visit. It’s been a tremendous success so far. Having been mentioned on the local news, we’ve had magazines and other publications send columnists to look round and write positive things. The footmens’ duties are outlined on work boards and children can try their hand at polishing the silver cutlery and coffee pots. The instructions for how to do each task properly are still displayed on the wallks, from when there were lots of staff employed in the last centuries. Each fork and knife had to be handled separately to avoid any scratches and all silver wear had to be handled with gloves on. The hunting room also holds amazing details of how to give 50 sets of grubby hunting gear were to be given a good brush and sponging down. Amazing stuff.
WELCOME TO BYTEC MEDICAL SERVICES
Until recently I had no notion on how important it is to keep a heritage property clean and appealing for the hoardes of visiting public that come crashing through the place every summer. I have too been a visitor who wanders around, clean shoes only, enjoying all the touchy feely user experience items. I now volunteer some hours a week to a small country stately home – it’s no longer lived in but a trust fund operates it. I now offer to help the tiny trust admin staff who do the cleaning as well so they can scrimp and save the income. Cleaning a whole lot of valuable antiques has to be done quickly and firmly but with care. Windows need especially gentle cleaning so as not to damage putty etc. A professional cleaning agency assists with the specialist tasks – to comply with the insurance aspect and they just know how to do it properly.
You cannot imagine the ghastly vista that greeted my sisters and I when we decided on a very cheap villa holiday in the country. Boy that was some treat. We didn’t really plan it very well and one of us got it booked up via faceb. Wow that was a dangerous thing to do and not one I’ll repeat. The kitchen was revolting – there was mess all over the floor and the cooker was toxic – apparently meals for sale had been prepared in that hovel until the booking we made. The first thing we did was ring the local tourist office and asked for their advice. They couldn’t place us anywhere else immediately but when we said we’d call the environmental department they came to our rescue. Their manager came out to us and squealed. We got moved immediately and a cleaning company was brought in to fumigate and sterilise. I do hope the company gets some credit!
When you see some of the programmes on tv – mostly in the daytime lifestyle range, there are all sorts of home based subjects. Cleaning up after hoarders seems to be a favourite on a couple of channels. This is one programme I cannot stomach – the filth and grime is just too much for my poor old sensitivities. I’m not sure how folk get themselves in to the situation in the first place. On the whole I clear up on a regular basis and no-one is in danger of getting buried. Once the junk has been cleared out in a hoarder’s home, there is the small matter of cleaning – and this often requires completely disposing of the carpets and other flooring, all the curtains and much of the furniture. These clean up jobs have to be done by specialists. Folk who are rained in the art of deep cleaning with steam, anti bacterial agents, the lot.
This has been such a strange winter so far – autumn wasnt very good as I recall. Very stormy weather for weeks. As forecast after Hurricane Harvey hit the east coast of the US and Houston in particular, very badly indeed. On tv every day there would be pics of children alone, families urgently seeking other members, schools close because of water in the wrong place, not restricted to nice litle riverways. The mess and disruption and debris everywhere was more than anyone had ever expected to see and the city seemed to have no idea how to channel the floods, how to give instant assistance, stop any further water ingress etc. There appeared to be no one actually in charge of the clean up operation.
The houses there are nowhere near as substantial as ours and on the continent it’s much the same. They can withstand a mild storm but anything over 70 miles an hour appears to freak them out.
One of the greatest improvements to my lifestyle these days is not having to go down to the surgery whenever I need a top up my medication. I used to be seen on a bi monthly basis and then queue up at the pharmacy for the prescription. Now that I am on repeat medication until further notice, I can get my local pharmacy to hold that information and apply to the surgery for renewals on my behalf and I can either go down and collect from them or they will deliver, for a fee. Obviously I go and collect, but I arrange all this to happen when I am already out for other matters. This is really a brilliant upgrade and it makes so much difference – I like the efficiency of the scheme – if I don’t call the pharmacy to renew within 6 weeks, they kindly check my positon with me – it’s fantastic.
I am taken aback when I see the appalling state of my friends’ homes – some of them, in fact a lot of them, are nurses and for some reason I expect their homes to be absolutely spotlessly clean and tidy. On estate agent alert level. There is no reasons why that should be the case – it’s not as though anyone is going to be catching a death defying disease there. The perception that from playing the old playground favourite, doctors and nurse should bring natural tendencies to tidiness are out by miles if my select group of friends is anything to go by.
As it happens, two of mine are married to hygiene related personnel. As they are governed by rigorous cleaning and sterile working lab conditions, for which a cleaning company, trained specifically to meet the critical level, the joy of living normally at home and slobbing it comes as a small rewards in their off times.
Pharmacies and pharmaceutical operations have their own quite distincs cleaning regimes. The former will involve very good cleanliness to ensure the prescription preparation area is scrupulously clean, all areas kept very tidy during the day and a professional clean through at night. The industiral side needs something very much more serious. Usually a more sterile clean that involves wearing special clothing and operating in a one direction only route, so no contamination of a previously clearned area can occur.
These are both special jobs in their own right – particular equipment for a sterile clean needs special handling and keeping totally away from general cleaning hardware. The sterile cleaning involves very detailed rules to be followed absolutely to the letter otherwise the lab / factory will be contavening any rules or laws. Specialist companies who are thoroughly trained in these specialist cases will handle the job, not just the local cleaning agency.
I worked with a lady who was ultra careful with her cleaning at home. They had always rather obsessive about tidying up, in fact when you got up from sitting in her lounge, she dashed over to plump up the cushions, almost pushing you out of the way to get to them. In the kitchen, the fastidious wiping down involved popping her cleaning cloths and scourers in the microwave oven for 2 minutes every hour.
I assumed she picked up these obsessions as her husband was a biochemist – you can never be too sterile there! But it turns out that they both had pneumonia the other year, and they are always going down with the slightest cough and cold. You can be too clean – they were so over protected, neither of them had any resistance to germs by this time! She now has a cleaning company once a week and life is calmer – and just as clean!
There has always been a query about how the manarins in Whitehall make their decisions about closing their departmental offices and moving staff to other places. This happened in a seunece of moved in employment based jurisdiction. The lead admin office of many years which it’s own cleaning team, very proudly civil servants in their own right, performing a reasonable level of performance. Then to save money the civil service got rid of all their cleaners and ground staff and put that work out to tender with massive maintenance and sanitation squads bidding. The cleaning routine now doesn’t vary, the staff are drilled to do that job this way and another job an alternative way. All washroom and office cleaning has to meet a very high standard. This is the beauty of being able to engage with a professional cleaning outfit. The joy of a freshly cleaned office washroom!