One of the positive joys of being in a home stay situation is the chance to catch up on tv docmentaries and classic series. I rather like to see how lives have changed over the years by the introduction of various stages cleaning for instance. One popular historian does brilliant programmes on how the tudors lived, or the georgians etc. There are no holds barred and we get all the grim details of how rat infested the houses and palaces actually were. The lack of power made it impossible to get the properties anywhere near clean, as we know it. Their best method for pest reduction was to have terrier dogs and house cats – mousers and ratters. Food could not be kept as safely as we’re used to either and cleaning up the kitchens was a major task – the copper pans had to be kept clean and shiny. Not just for show but to stop ghastly illnesses from killing off the population too often.