When Hoovering is no longer Wimmin's Work
"Believe it or not, Dollie... but I'd never done housework.
Val wouldn't let me. In fact, the closest I've ever come to doing anything round the house... and rest assured I'm not proud of it, Dollie... was on the sofa, lifting my feet so she could hoover under me....terrible, huh?
But that's how it was back then. I was always at the shop; had my own watchmaking business... working hard and providing for Valerie and the kids for over 50 years. Because that's what you did back then.
None of this equal rights thing that we have now. The wife stayed at home raising the kids and she did all the chores... the cooking and cleaning.
While the men went to work.
That's just how it was - and we never questioned it.
For the most part, too, it worked.
Of course now Val's gone, life's a lot different for me. She went so suddenly, Dollie... never saw it coming. So I've had to learn the hard way. I mean, who else is gonna clean up? The children have all moved far away so they're no use where they live.
But that's ok, because it's about time I pulled finger and got on to looking after myself.
Got no choice now, that's for sure.
|Good job, Gordon.|
(you sexy apron-clad beast!)
You know what? Val would've been shocked to see what I got up to today, Dollie.
First time ever... I GOT THE MOP OUT!
Funny thing, reckon I saw her urn shake, above the mantel there... the urn with her ashes in. She'd have died of fright seeing me mopping the floors!
Umm, well... she would if she hadn't died already that is - oh dear!
Gee, I laughed out loud just thinking about her watching me thrashing about the kitchen, slopping water and soap suds everywhere. Nearly tripped over the bucket about five times! There's a bit of technique to be had, I realise now. Ended up mopping myself right into a corner, didn't I!
Ahh, well... you live 'n' learn.
Guess I didn't appreciate dear old Valerie when she was here. And now she's not here, I understand how much she actually did round the place. As well as bring up the kids - AND ME! Kept it all together - and I can't have been an easy man to live with.
Or in a bad mood. Or working late... in hindsight, seems like I was always working.
Oh, and I did the laundry for the first time in my life on the weekend, too.
Me! Gordon Toogood... DOING LAUNDRY!!!
Of course the machine makes it pretty easy, I'm pleased to say. Not even I could go too wrong.
Was a whole different story when it came to folding the sheets though. Bloody hell, those fitted sheets are arseholes, aren't they? What's the trick with those things, Dollie? I think I spent 20 minutes on one sheet! And I wasn't proud of it either - looked like a dog's breakfast when I'd finished with it!
Not to mention what happened with the dooner - GEEZ LOUISE!
Jean from next door gave me a couple of pointers, but the whole thing was a disaster from go to whoa and I ended up literally INSIDE it trying to find the dam corners and get the bloody thing straightened up with it over my head!
Have you ever got stuck inside a dooner, Dollie? Trying to find my way out again - crikey, what a fuss. Won't be washing that bloody thing again!
I remember Val kept a beaudy of a linen cupboard, Dollie. Everything in straight lines and piles of towels and sheets all stacked nice and neatly. Like she'd done it with a ruler almost.
Reckon if we opened the cupboard now... the whole lot would come crashing down!!!"
Gordon Toogod, 89 years old
- Wayward widower, watchmaker and wildberry wine connoisseur
Definitely words to live by, Gordy