Today is that day (is there an International Men's Day?) and Caitlin Moran (she who does not mince her words) talks about the book '100 Women who made History' - or as she puts it 'the bold, the brave, the outlying, the trailblazers'. I love the way she says 'we'll know feminism has finally done its job .....when women can be awful, dim, lacklustre, nuts' - in other words' as thoroughly average as men'.
She says that in this year girls need not someone they can look up to especially but someone they can look sideways at and still admire.
One such is my Chief Carer, J - a wonder woman if ever there was one. She comes every morning (except on her every other Sat/Sun when it is her well-deserved week=end off) at 7am for an hour. Not at five to seven, not at five past seven - but on the dot of seven. And in that hour that follows, chatting away cheerfully as she goes, she empties my commode and disinfects it, strips and remakes my bed (I am a restless sleeper - she does occasionally question who I have in it when she is not here but I reply 'no such luck'), washes/showers me and helps me dress, wipes down all kitchen surfaces, and all bathroom surfaces, takes out all recycling and dustbin rubbish and puts out appropriate bins on the right day (Wednesday), puts my washing in the washer ready to put into the drier when she, or another carer, can do so at night. She then takes home anything which needs ironing and does it with her own ironing. In addition she gets my breakfast and does the washing up. She also cooks my mid day meal at home with her own and puts it in my microwave so that all I need to do is switch it on and in four minutes my lunch is ready.** She brings The Times from the letter box and puts it by my chair - and then she is off, with a cheery goodbye, to her next client. All in one hour. My house is always clean and tidy and given a thorough going over once a month by D, my cleaner.
That is the kind of unsung heroine who gains my total admiration and thanks. So thanks J for being my nomination for international woman of the year - and I am sure there are thousands like her - doing magnificent jobs for not enough pay.
** Her partner also deserves a mention as he always cooks their Sundaay lunch and makes the best gravy I have ever tasted. I even wonder whether I could put any left (she brings it in a little jar) in a glass, top it up with something like Cinzano Bianco and drink it with my lunch!)