Peter's gran paid a cleaner and did the hoovering herself!

In 1778, John Wesley gave a sermon where he said “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” which has been much quoted ever since by people like my mum every time she had to drag me in for a bath when I would be far happier running about outside with my mates.

By Peter O'Donnell
Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 8:28 am
Peter got into trouble with his wife - for rinsing a cereal bowl under a tap!
Peter got into trouble with his wife - for rinsing a cereal bowl under a tap!

It was 10 years earlier that the first shower was invented but unbelievably it took over 200 years before they would become commonplace in our homes. Seems cleanliness never really took off?

Back then there was also another saying which was “a little bit of dirt does you no harm” which I probably took a bit too far when I came home from hours of slide tackling on muddy grass fields.

This drove my mum crazy, especially when you consider that baths were measured in weeks rather than days. You could clean off the dirt as best you could but bath night was Friday so dirty knees were hidden behind trousers all week at school.

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Nowadays we wash ourselves morning, noon and night.

Some people shower twice a day and that’s not including the fake tan gang who shower right after a shower!

I once walked past the bathroom and thought my daughter was having a shower only to then see her sitting in her room. Apparently she was waiting till it heated up! I just turned around and walked into the garage to headbutt the wall.

Modernisation has a lot to do with it. We all prefer a dishwasher to messing about in the sink but were we really that obsessed with cleanliness before we had them?

My wife screamed at me the other day for cleaning out a cereal bowl under the hot water tap before putting it away. I thought someone had been murdered! Everything goes in the dishwasher, even the butter knife after just one swipe on the toast. The plates are even cleaned under the tap before going in. Sometimes I can't even tell if the dishwasher has been run or not?

It was my own little granny who took cleanliness to a whole new obsessive level. As she got older, she had a cleaner who she paid to come in every week but the cleaner never did any work as my granny would clean up the day before she came.

Well she didn’t want the cleaner to think her house was dirty, did she?