Up late and dithering about most of the morning ~ Peter and Margaret left £10 for window cleaners ~ avocado for lunch and sound flop and must now pull myself together ~ can't get into email because password is unacceptable ! Shit ! I'll go and have a bath while I'm waiting to be allowed to try again . . .
Don't think I told you about bathing in Lausanne, did I ? We think of Switzerland as so clean, everything so hygienic ~ well I certainly did, but ariving there after 20 hours en route Bristol -> London -> Newhaven -> Dieppe -> Paris -> Lausanne ~ I longed for a bath but to my dismay Mme HM appeared astonished at my request : "A bath once in six weeks is enough, enough for a servant . . . " Oh my stars ! I was reduced to topping and tailing with a jug and basin of hot water in my bedroom ~ there was a splendid bathroom on the top floor but it was kept locked ~ when the time finally came round for me to have a bath, the old bat stood outside the bathroom door shouting "Servants do not lock the door." At least I had the courage to ignore her and enjoy a good wallow ! I don't know how the student lodgers fared though I think they each had a wash basin in their room ~ presumably they could have a shower at Uni after sport. Nowadays, and ever since as far as possible,a daily bath has been my rule.
With the bath I got clean sheets ~ the first in six weeks, of course ~ to find suitable ones for me, Mme went through the linen cupboard with me unfolding every item until she found a torn or threadbare sheet which I then had to mend or patch before bedtime ~ on clean sheet afternoons there was no hope of getting to my French class at the University ~ my three sisters are all talented needle women but not me ~ I am a complete fool in that respect but the old girl would inspect my repairs before the sheets went on the bed ~ clean sheet days were a nightmare !
It was funny that there was no loo down in my basement for the servant ~ there were several locked doors down there and thinking back I bet one of them was the door to a loo ~ I mean, they surely would not have built such a splendid villa with accommodation for the house maid but no lavatory ~ it meant that I nearly always had to creep upstairs in the night for a wee, often disturbing Mme much to her fury ~ once or twice in desparation I slipped out and peed among her daffodils which served her jolly well right!
My pay, by the way, was 50 cents a month ! Probably the equivalent of 50p today.and measly to put it mildly ~ I felt quite justified in treated myself to a small bar of chocolate along with groceries when she sent me into town shopping ~ again, thoroughly dishonest but there you go . . .
In spite of all this, I did enjoy my au pair year ~