Much as I wish I could write about a gorgeous human window cleaner, I must disappoint some of you and tell you all about my new gadget. Being the daughter of an engineer, I love gadgets as much as the next person, especially if they will make my life easier and the household chores a more pleasurable experience.

Window cleaning is my least favourite chore and it is something that I procrastinate as much as possible. In India, Bangkok and the Philippines I always had someone to do the windows for me, but here in Germany it’s an unpleasant solo flight. Until today. Let me introduce you to the Leifheit Window Vacuum Dry&Clean. It has changed my outlook – literally, and made window cleaning a breeze.

window cleaner1It looks like a penguin from outer space that mated with an iron along the way, but let me the one to tell you that if you
a. despise window cleaning (like I do),
b. have little time left for chores after work, and
c. love gadgets,
this is the way to go!

When I am sad or angry, I move furniture. Many a house guest of mine will attest to the fact that they rarely return to the same arrangement in my home, because when the urge to redecorate or re-arrange (the family term is “happily fixing”) hits, there is no stopping me. My excuse is always to improve the Feng Shui in the house, but the truth is that I enjoy the challenge of making the most of little space.

window cleaner2Back in 2002 when I first lived in Berlin, I had a neighbour who cleaned windows when she was angry, so between the two of us, we always knew when the other one was having a bad day. Heidi’s windows would be immaculate, and my furniture would be re-arranged. I had to think of her today (may she rest in peace) while cleaning my windows and suddenly smiled at the irony of it all. It was -1c this morning and there I was, cleaning my windows! Both cats stared at me wide-eyed, especially because the noise was new to them, and Champagne is always curious about gadgets, never one to shy away from noise.

Well, my therapy assignment for the past two weeks has been to learn to be kind to myself and learn to be a mother to my own soul. For the past 50 years, my life has been about serving others, placing the needs of the family before my own, striving to create and maintain harmony at home at all costs especially when it involved two cultures. In the process I forgot how to place myself first.

This Mothering assignment is to learn to cope and compensate for the loss of my own mother and deal with Empty Nest syndrome. I started with very small steps such as nail polish, and gradually progressed to indulging more in my photography again (hence the Bridges of Berlin and Hidden Treasures series). It’s a constant uphill battle, but this window vacuum was another step forward, something positive to compensate for my broken mug.