Monday 19 August 2019

Spending cash on a cleaner is the new 'pint after work'

Have Ireland's young people got notions? Certainly, demand for cleaners has grown by more than 25pc in the past five years, with most of the demand coming from young professionals living in one- or two-bedroom properties. Stock Image: Getty
Have Ireland's young people got notions? Certainly, demand for cleaners has grown by more than 25pc in the past five years, with most of the demand coming from young professionals living in one- or two-bedroom properties. Stock Image: Getty
Sinead Moriarty

Sinead Moriarty

Who's keeping house? Avocados, it transpires, are only the tip of the iceberg. Because according to new research, almost half of millennials are not only spending their hard-earned dosh on expensive brunches featuring the aforementioned fruit, they're also hiring cleaners to keep their compact apartments sparkling.

Have Ireland's young people got notions? Certainly, demand for cleaners has grown by more than 25pc in the past five years, with most of the demand coming from young professionals living in one- or two-bedroom properties.

There are lots of new apps offering cleaning services. So if it takes just the press of a button to arrange a cleaner to come to your house, no wonder they're tempted.

And, if hiring a cleaner frees them up to keep up with their exercise goals or - more probably - prevents rows about who cleans up between couples who are both working round the clock, or between people who are flat-sharing, isn't it money well spent?

Are they lazy? Wrong? Entitled? Or spending their spare cash better than did previous generations (anyone going for pints after work?).

Save the Camembert from Big Cheese

As Ireland gets the frighteners over who's going to take all our cheddar after Brexit makes it impossible to sell the stuff to the British, cheese panic has spread by contagion to France. There, lovers of soft cheese are reeling at the news that traditional Camembert, 'le roi du fromage', is in serious danger.

Camembert is the second most popular cheese sold in French markets, with 360 million wheels of the stuff produced annually. But - and brace yourselves, Camembert purists - only four million of those 360 million wheels made each year have true Camembert credentials.

Sacre bleu!

So, how did this happen? Pure Camembert is made with the unfiltered, raw milk of cows in the Normandy province. The cows must only be fed grass and hay from local pastures and the milk must be transported no further than the distance of a few fields. Ladled by hand, the rich milk must have a fat content of at least 38pc.

The scarcity of the beloved cheese is down to small French farms which can produce the cheese in this way being bought up by larger cheese-makers. In 2007, the larger producers asked if they could use pasteurised rather than raw milk as it would be cheaper to make larger cheese batches and from multiple milk sources. They were overruled, when government officials decided only raw milk could be used.

But Camembert remains under pressure from Big Cheese. Ultimately, a change in the rules could threaten the future of other cheeses made from raw milk. And with cheese being a religion in France, who knows what would happen next. Bordeaux wine produced in Brittany? Bœuf bourguignon made with chicken? A president who won't have affairs? Say it ain't so.

As good as it gets

I spent Saturday's fine weather at a football tournament in my local park. All around me were hundreds of primary school kids - including children with special needs - playing football matches. Families were having picnics on the sidelines, kids wandered about between matches eating ice creams, parents chased their children around trying to lather them with sun cream… It was just one of those lovely summer days.

One of the dads standing beside me turned to me, beaming from ear to ear, and said, "This is as good as it gets." That comment stayed with me all weekend, because it's true. With the news of terrorist attacks, apartment block fires, death and tragedy going on in the world around us, the simple things in life can renew our faith in the world and humanity.

For me, the simple act of watching my children playing football in the sunshine is as good as it gets. You can take them on fancy holidays, take out bank loans to fund all manner of pursuits, but it all boils down to the simple things. Spending time together. Being relaxed enough to have fun.

I know a woman, whom, having suffered a year of ill-health, decided to take her children on a magical round-the-world trip. When she got back, she asked her 10-year-old daughter what had been the best part of the trip. Her daughter thought, and then said, "The can of Fanta I had after we saw that big wall thing in China."

The kids will keep you right. It's the simple things.

Irish Independent

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