Friday, 8 July 2011
I am pretty much self-sufficient in most household tasks. I have a tool box and I know how to use it! The same can be said for most minor jobs on my car, like oil, water, tyre pressures and even changing a wheel – I can do them all when I really have to, so I do.
At home I have even taken to washing my windows myself. I know! Radical move. Well, it is a bit as for over a decade the window cleaner would rock up once a month and squirt, squeeze and shine the glass at the front of the house. Then, in keeping with the age old tradition, I would cross his palm with several gold coins.
A few years ago I decided to do them myself and it’s all worked out well. I still have clean windows and more gold in my pockets – all around success I think. Then, this week, I looked out of the window and saw Ian (my regular window cleaning professional) with a new fangled machine and high pressure nozzles and the like.
I watched him doing a neighbours window and suddenly I was overcome with the impulse to treat myself (my windows) with this “new, improved service”. Dashing out of the house I interrupted his work across the road. He was more than pleased to take business from me again and we quickly slipped back into that familiar routine of transferring gold coins between us, sharing a nervous smile and (me) retreating into the house while he earned his daily bread.
When Ian eventually got to my house I skulked in the furthest part of room, away from the windows, while I watched his magical high pressured hose do its job. Water on, soap on, water off. This routine was repeated through every pane of glass and I smiled as the rivulets formed at the top of the glass and then rushed like a downhill skier towards the ground.
The sun seemd to appear brighter behind the professionally cleaned glass. “Money well spent,” I thought as I moved closer to the now sparkling windows he had left behind.
Beautiful scene. But then ... (cue dramatic music) I noticed water inside the closed windows. And it wasn’t just condensation; this was a pool of dirty brown water. And it was dripping down the inside of the glass and forming a pool on my recently painted white windowsills. “This is not good,” I thought as I rushed forwards.
As I cleared it up I was tempted to go outside and ask Ian why he was using dirty recycled water to clean my windows but I didn’t. Instead I decided to focus on the situation in front of me. The water had come through closed windows. Ergo there was a gap that normal washing had not discovered.
I stood with a puzzled look on my face then I moved closer to the windows and examined the seal around them. Ah ha! It was broken.
That extra high pressured nozzle had forced the water through the gaps in the seal. I don’t think I would have noticed the breach otherwise. After cleaning up the water and drying the inside of the windows I called a friend to ask for help.
You see, I a pretty self-sufficient but my skills don’t extend to resealing double glazing window units (not yet, anyway).
When I approached Ian as a means of saving myself some effort that day, little did I realise that his actions and the consequences would prove to be a blessing in disguise. Although we are supposedly in the middle of our summer season we have been frequently subjected to rainstorms and I now know that it is better for me to have discovered this breach in the window now than in the midst of winter. So, with that in mind I express my gratitude.
I think that I, like most people, would prefer a blessing to appear as a blessing and nothing else. Alas, that is not always the way it works. Nevertheless however it comes, I think I’ll take it! Even if it is initially disguised as a problem.
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