It’s raining, it’s a Bank Holiday…. I’m thinking Windolene


So it’s the Jubilee Holidays and in typical Bank Holiday form, you sweat your pits out in a stifling office for weeks, longing for a break and when it comes along – it rains.  Solidly.  For the duration.

I know I should get out of bed and do something constructive, on my lonesome, but I just don’t have the heart and compunction to do so.  Kind of reminds me when I was single (I married later in life) and I would go places on my own.  It’s amazing how fast you can get around a stately home when you are only looking at things you want to look at.  I eventually decided it was a complete waste of money.  Almost I came, I saw, I buggered off double quick and didn’t get my money’s worth.  You can’t linger on your own – well, I didn’t think I could.  There’s safety in numbers sitting on a bench licking an ice cream.  On your own you just look…. suspicious, weird, plotting?

So I find myself on a soaking went Bank Holiday Monday wondering what to do.  And that’s how I got to thinking about Windolene.  You just don’t see it these days.  In the olden days (I’m talking about 5-10 years back) pre-DIY shows times, you didn’t WANT people to see the complete hash you were making transforming your front room into a state of the art lounging area.  So whilst slopping distemper and whitewash everywhere, you’d wipe a layer of Windolene over the windows and it would dry out thus making it gloomy and difficult to paint on the inside and suspicious looking on the outside.  Then you had the fun of being able to scratch little messages or smiley faces in the layer of dried Windolene (that was pre-computer game fun for the kiddies).  You could even carve out a man with a big nose looking over a wall and write “what no Watney’s”…… that was adult pleasure.

Why did they do that?  The Windolene, not the “man with the big nose”.   I think it must have been so that when you did slop paint all over the place, the paint would not stick to the glass, you could just wipe it off, plus have the added bonus of gleaming shiny windows to set off your new decor.   But a flick through the interweb and I have seen comments like “to stop people seeing the mess you make when decorating”.  Eh?  Who gives a monkeys!  You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.  Do DIY SOS cover up their windows?  No, I don’t think so.

So, that’s Windolene for you.  I wonder what they put in the stuff to make something so basic (water and possibly vinegar) so complex.  I can’t even begin to think of the manufacturing process involved in making Windolene – what exactly is in the stuff!  No wonder it’s not as popular.  I remember using it once, stopped half way through the cleaning to have a chat, or do something more compelling and returning to the windows to find the wretched pink stuff had dried out and would only come off with a scraper.  Horrible stuff.  And then mum insisted we clean our windows with scrunched up newspapers and a bit of spit (no, the spit is poetic licence, she would say a splash of water).  Apparently it was something in the newsprint that brought them up shiny.   Life’s too short.  Nowadays, for those who might possibly be interested in how I clean my windows (no not of interest to the majority of readers of my blog who are spammers) I use water, sometimes if I have any left, with a splash of window cleaning washing up liquid type stuff.

I’m really bored now.  Not as bored as Mike will be because access to the gym is restricted today due to “sports day”.  Apparently three people had signed up to compete in the sports day.  Coming on the back of an arbitrary pay cut, I’m not surprised at the lack of community spirit.  The Sheppey Cluster has decided to revisit the pay structure of those working within the prisons and Mike, who assists in the teaching of a Business Skills class (not allowed to teach, that’s down to the professionals) has had his pay drastically reduced.  Contrary to popular belief, prisoner’s wages are not huge.  Mike will drop down from something along the lines of £7.00 a day to £3.00 a day (I can’t remember the exact figure).  I’ve never sent a penny into Mike since he went inside.  And he doesn’t want me to start.  He’ll just have to make compromises like I do on the outside.   He has decided that although he enjoys and finds it worthwhile teaching fellow inmates how to run their own businesses after leaving prison, and let’s face it, when you’ve got a criminal record, sometimes it is the only way you will be able to find work, to work for yourself, he’d be better off doing voluntary work on the outside.   So rather than do voluntary work with inmates on the inside, he’ll do it for those on the outside.  No, it doesn’t make sense, but that’s what being in prison is all about.

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