It’s been a long day


What is definitely true is that I am never short of work, and I’m not even a “great” cleaner, or a treasure. I’m a good cleaner. I do skirting boards, light switches, polish the smudges and grease off kettles and toasters. I do the stuff other people don’t have the time or inclination to do. I’ll take all your boyfriend’s work shirts back to my flat to iron if your electricity is on the blink. I will go the extra mile, because the work is honest, very physical, and at the end of the day, I sleep the deep sleep of the justly tired.

~ Michele Kirsch: My life as a cleaner in London




  1. “The deep sleep of the justly tired.” I’ve always liked that thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the punch line Russ…right there…


    • Also I also loved this passage in a great essay by Kirsch:

      “I despair of flats with no books in them at all. I take John Waters’ line on this: if you go to someone’s house and they don’t have any books, don’t f*&* ’em. I mean, I wouldn’t, anyway; nor them me. I am old. But cleaning in a bookless house is slightly soul-destroying. These are the work all day, work all night, make enough money for a deposit and holiday you can show off on Instagram, no-funsters. And they are dogged in their pursuit – to work as hard as possible, to buy maybe a bigger flat to put no books in.”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this.
    Makes me really want to write about the 3 months I was the school janitor!

    Liked by 2 people

    • And?

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a long story!
        Our 12 year old went to a Lutheran private school from age 3 and finished kindergarten there. Towards the end on the school year the janitor quit. The principal asked me to help find someone. I told him it is only 3 months til the end of the school year, I’ll do it.
        On one condition, that I do it before school opens in the morning, which meant I had to be there at 3 am five days a week.

        My stepdaughter was away for college in Florida. I had not found my sons yet. And the only reason Layla knows is a conversation we had about life and purpose. Few months ago she dropped the bomb in front of everyone at the dinner table.
        “Mom, tell us about the time you were a janitor at Bethesda.”

        It was one of the most profound experiences of my life. It would have been different had I needed to do it for money!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. i love her ownership and pride in her vocation. i wish that everyone in every vocation cared as much.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. roseanne333 says:

    Had to go read her whole essay. She’s a good writer and it’d be nice to see more.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Honest work, done with pride, that leaves you physically tired…no better sleep than that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Okay, so you finally understand why you are not sleeping Mr K!! Not enough cleaning. 👏🛌

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks David, I really enjoyed the essay. Very amusing and enlightening. I once did a cleaning job before I went to college. It was a thought-provoking job; everybody should do it at least once. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I felt myself getting defensive about her take on bookless flats. But then I realized she was talking about people with MONEY and a JOB–people who could afford books and had space for them.
    I’m perfectly content with my tiny collection and an intimate relationship with the library.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Books are great to have, and I have three long shelves of them, but they do require dusting … once every two years! I’m guessing that some people do have plenty of books, but on their eBook readers.
    I do love what this post is saying, although my choice would be gardening rather than housework, but there’s a great satisfaction to be found in doing practical tasks. For me, it’s just a matter of motivating myself first, but once I have, the energy kicks in. That being said, I would love Michele to go that extra mile in my house, as my light switches and skirting boards are looking rather grim. The kettle and toaster are okay, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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