I was up early, and since it's a 500 calorie day I didn't have to think about breakfast, so I got on with some cleaning tasks. All of the upstairs windows are filthy with splashes of bird poo, and the sills are grey. It's a job I've been putting off.

I don't have any specialist window cleaning kit so I improvised, using a kitchen sponge, a cloth, the dustpan brush and the mop. My windows are huge with the opener at one end, and I was going to have to sit on the sill and lean out, and would probably need both hands to hold the mop.

But with my harness on, the rope going from me to a sling around the base of the newel post on the landing, then back to me, all under tension, I felt that I was safe.

Job done in ten minutes, two more windows to go.

Then a builder chappy came round to size up a job or two, both slightly problematic it seems. I think his solutions will work, but no wonder they've not been tackled before now!

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