This morning the window cleaners arrived with their cheery round red faces under their little round bank-robber hats. I bade them welcome and get on with their work while I got on with mine. Then I noticed that sheets of water seemed to be pouring down the sides of the house. No ladders or leathers, just a hosepipe. Now I am quite strikt and increasingly prone to hound and persekute tradesmen so when they rang the bell for their money I asked, “Is that it? Aren’t you going to polish them off?” "No need", they cried, "they will dry crystal clear you wait and see." They then produced a little meter and blinded me with science by showing that our tap water had a reading of 240 particles (of what, per what?) whereas using their purified water gave a reading of 000. This new system, which I now know to be the Water Fed Poles System is being adopted by window cleaners because it is too dangerous for them to go up ladders. The new kit costs £4,000 and some window cleaners, I am assured, are doubling their prices. A cleaner 'up north' has been fined simply for going up a ladder! This will put an end to cowboys with no insurance! It also halves the time it takes to clean our windows but I paid them anyway and as we stood chatting on the freezing doorstep, the snow began to drift gently down.