Today I did my last everything … ironing, cooking, cleaning, serving guests. Then I took my cases to Chur Railway Station where there’s a service that checks you in for your flight and relieves you of your bags so that you can travel by train unencumbered to the airport. I’ll next see them tomorrow lunchtime in Manchester. After a quiet afternoon chatting with a new guest, Agnes and I served the evening meal outside again on the terrace.
… But then this evening I discovered the handbook Agnes must have meant me to read in advance of my starting to work here : The Sunlight Book of Housework. It was on the book shelves in my room! Surely a hint as to how the housework here must be done!
Now, I’m intrigued to see all the jobs I did :
A bit of brushing and sweeping
Cleaning the wash basins
A bit of mending
Serving the Guest Breakfasts and Sometimes Dinner
Popping the Laundry in the Washing Machine
Popping it in the Drier
All the Ironing
Plus all those travels and hikes … I’ll be glad to get home for a rest!!
Earlier this week I looked out of the kitchen window and noticed two old men standing outside the house and looking up at it whilst talking to each other. Then I saw Agnes approach them and join the conversation. It turns out that one of the men was involved in building the house back in 1948. It’s a lovely wooden house – old but not ancient. When Agnes bought it about three years ago it was divided into two separate dwellings so, although she has had the ‘ground’ floor opened into one with a lovely long hall, the first floor rooms are quite separate from one another and there are two staircases.
Agnes’ loft area is one large open space at the top of the house. The East side was totally uninhabitable so it was the first area to get the renovation treatment and now is equipped with two guest bedrooms – single and double – and a modern bathroom. On the ‘ground’ floor the modern kitchen and dining room are open plan and that’s an area where ‘staff’ and guests can mingle.
I put ground floor in inverted commas because literally on the ground floor are the workrooms, laundry, washing lines etc.
The Wooden House nestles into the hillside
The Double Room is ready for guests
It is now my job to make the Bircher Muesli each evening ready for breakfast the next day. On previous visits to Switzerland I don’t think I ever had this dish for breakfast. In the past I have had it as a supper dish – but I could have misremembered. Anyway it is a very popular dish with our present guests who are from Germany.
On Monday evening Agnes and I made the Muesli dish together. On Tuesday she entrusted me to make the whole thing. For this all measurements are approximate – a handful of this, a squeeze of that, any available fruit either grated or chopped, pour in some milk, some cream, some yogurt and taste, adding more sugar if needed.
The oats go in first
I think it was a success!
Not such Extreme Ironing
Today the ‘work’ began! I put it in inverted commas because it really was just like being at home on Monday morning. This is normally the time in the week when I ‘do’ the kitchen and bathroom and catch up with the ironing. It was pretty much the same here. Even taking two tea breaks during the morning. The major difference is ironing with a view a view of the Alps. Can’t be all bad. Agnes recommended to me the route of a short hike from the door this afternoon. I need to be back in good time to make the genuine Bircher Muesli which here *is* served for breakfast – yummy!
The View when Ironing