Winter, being a quieter time of year, is when we get our carpets professionally cleaned. I find that the dining room and bedroom carpets in particular seem to require more cleaning than the rest of the house carpets, possibly because of high traffic in these areas and the spillages that might occur through accidents or carelessness. Our carpet cleaner always does an excellent job, but even he cannot work miracles when light carpets are marked by boiling hot tea or coffee, (wet) leather dyes, and waterproof cosmetics, rust from wet umbrella tips and other potential hazards. The carpets at Blenheim Lodge were cleaned a fortnight ago, and look absolutely beautiful. In fact, the carpets look so good that I do not want to walk on them for fear of marking them.
We have very expensive wool carpets throughout Blenheim Lodge simply because we like their quality and look. When we bought the carpets, we were told that woollen carpets are easier to clean than synthetic ones, and last longer too. I think ours has a 20-year guarantee. However, I have since found out that there are carpets made of manmade fibres which can take a lot of punishment – perhaps even more wear and tear than the natural carpeting that we have.
Housekeeping is one of those areas of work that I never thought I would ever be engaged in. Growing up in a household where servants did most, if not all, of the housework ensured that I only had a passing acquaintance with chores such as ironing, mopping, and laundry duties. Of course I soon learnt to do these things when I left home and had no one to help me. Those lessons now stand me in good stead.
I have also realised, since coming to Blenheim Lodge, that domestic housekeeping is vastly different from cleaning on a larger scale. Blenheim Lodge may have originally been the holiday home of a rich Manchester industrialist. However, he would have had a goodly number of staff to see to its care. In fact, we still have a panel of Victorian room bells hung on the dining room wall at Blenheim Lodge for summoning the servants. (The dining room, with its large inglenook, used to be the kitchen of this 1868 former gentleman’s residence.) Now, of course, the servants are gone, and there are just Hubby and I to care for this beautiful building.
There is always lots to do when looking after an old house, particularly one of this vintage. There is a saying in Scotland, ‘It is like painting the Forth Road Bridge.’ The implication is that as soon as one has finished painting the bridge at the far end, then one must needs begin from whence one started. Well, this is what caring for Blenheim Lodge feels like at times.
Hubby and I love Blenheim Lodge. We like its quirkiness, character and period charm. We enjoy its location: the fact that we are at the end of a cul-de-sac, where there is no passing traffic with its noise and fumes; the bonus of fantastic panoramic Lake and mountain views from practically all our rooms. We are thankful that whilst we are only a 5-minute walk to the centre of town and Lake, so we need not drive for the messages if we do not want to, we are at the same time situated well away from noisy crowds and late night revellers. And the fact that the woods and fields, walks and viewpoints are practically in our backyard is a great boon – for we are able to enjoy fresh clean country air in our semi-rural setting.
So, bearing all the above in mind, do we mind doing the housekeeping at Blenheim Lodge? The answer is a resounding ‘No’! We see ourselves as caretakers of this historic home, and hope that one day, when we are no longer here, someone else will care for it and love it as much as we do.
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
Visit our website: www.blenheim-lodge.com
Phone: 00 44 (0)15394 43440