When you’re expecting to entertain lots of folk, especially during the lighter, airy summer months, it can be quite a challenge to get the house really clean and in tip top condition. My mother would have worked herself into the ground to get the last wee bit of dust and grubbiness off the floors and out of the seating and furniture. Before we had the luxury of fitted carpet we had floorboards covered by heavy duty rugs. Twice a year these had to be lugged out – one at a time . . and hung over the very sturdy washing line. Then they were given a robust beating all over with a rather fancy woven cane carpet beater with a movement not unlike a tennis backhand. Stubborn marks had to be removed with a damp cloth rubbed on the carbolic soap bar, until the wonder of 1001 carpet cleaner fluid came along. that, and the sweet little carpet shampoo machines suddenly revolutionised carpet cleanuing. Until even better, contract cleaning companies came along and did the whole thing for a fee – worth every single penny!