Monday, 20 February 2012

A Bit Parcy

Apart from some explosive diarrhoea (not mine), today has been okay.  A good hour this morning was spent in icy Parc de Woluwe with the Boy.  We took bread.  I wondered would the ducks be interested.  Let's just say it was like a yeast-based version of The Birds.  Some big bastard swans took over and wolfed most of it.  They may be able to break your arm with their wing, but they can't bloody catch things in their beak.  They were close enough to peck, and it was slightly scary.  I may take pictures tomorrow.  If I'm not found with my eyes plucked out on the verandah.

The cleaner at the house where I work in the morning is a Filipino who speaks perfect English.  I wonder if, like me, she sometimes upgrades herself to Housekeeper.  I've only done it once (when trying to get this apartment) but it definitely sounds better.  And why is that?  I'm no different from or less than the person who sat and advised students on their legal status in the UK, just because I'm cleaning bottoms and kitchen counters, and spooning various types of gloop into small people, and pretending to be a troll.  All work is work.  And yet I do feel a bit diminished at times.  I guess the people who clean things, and who care for kids, are always considered to be some way down the food chain.  They are the invisible beings who make life easier for others - the madly-pedalling feet under the swan.    


  1. Ducks I took my 3 yr old grandson to feed this week were more interested in pairing off for early spring sex I think....the bread held no interest ! Liam was amused though.
    As for the diminishing feeling of "lower order" work.....after years of quite high power stuff in education management, I worked for 3 years as an auxiliary nurse on a busy gynaey ward....(bed pans and lots of blood).... some of the management might have made us underlings feel worthless, but the patients made me feel amazing....and I'm sure those small people you support and entertain and carefor love you.
    Best wishes....keep paddling away !

  2. All work is worthwhile. It's what makes the world keep going. I've certainly done my fair share of what would be considered menial work and I know exactly what you mean. People do tend to put a lot of emphasis on the type of work we do, but I think it says more about them

    (By the way you will probably notice a couple of new followers here...I gave your blog a plug:

  3. Thanks for these comments. Most of the time I really enjoy working with little children. I think ultimately I will need a bit more stimulation but this is a very valuable few months.

  4. The more 'menial' the more important it can be. We'd all soon notice if the rubbish collectors quit, or if the loo attendant bogged off (deliberate crap pun alert). We are not 'just' mothers, or 'just' cleaners. We are creating and moulding new global citizens, we are the first line of defence against germs and disease. Though I am still scarred by the red-wine-vomit toilet and hardcore-europorn-under-the-bed from my hotel scrubber days...

  5. Very true, Mrs M. I chatter away to my charges about all sorts of things, telling them about when I was little, teaching them basic manners, praising them when they are generous. I love that part of it. And there is nothing more wonderful (well maybe) than teaching a three year old to catch a ball.