Wednesday 31 August 2011

Unboxing The Aqua-Dapter Mk 2

Out of the bag - the box of parts & hose.
So the kind people at Aqua-dapter sent me the Mk 2 version of the water controller to play with. For those that don't know, the Aqua-dapter is a new water fed pole on/off flow controller, developed by window cleaners, for window cleaners. In development for over two years, the complete unit was tested rigorously 'in the field' for over 6 months before release while the individual components have had numerous other tests too. For the wary ones - the Aqua-dapter comes with a 12 month warranty on all parts.

The new hose seems a lot more supple & the bright orange colour may help to stop those aircraft spotters from tripping over it. The polyurethane hose is based on the same hose used in pneumatic applications. The poly-ether compound makes the hose completely waterproof. The hose will lose it's coil, unlike the original yellow hose which seemed to have more coil memory & tangled more. For all those that want to match it to your couplings - the outside diameter of the hose is 8mm, inside Diameter is 5.5mm. Each unit comes as standard with 10m (approx 33') of high-quality low-stretch hose, which stays consistent in hot and cold weather.  Extra hose can be supplied to order, as can a tube strengthening insert.

Inside the box: The aqua-dapter & fittings with the paperwork.
First impressions: the Aqua-dapter is light, seems strong & looks durable. It weighs 198g (approx 7oz) & for those of you like me - I had to have a play of pulling the metal tubing stem to see how it works when you take it out of the box. It comes with clamp and a gifted T push-fit connector.  Aqua-dapter also offer a choice of push-fit connector sizes when ordering to account for different hose sizes. The screw thread adapter is new: This female End Screw Adapter (pictured left) allows you to use your Aqua-dapter (Mk2) on any pole with a metal or plastic end screw that has a hole in the center of it (to allow the aqua-dapter stem to pass through). It goes on the end of the pole before you fit the Aqua-dapter - for some users this won't be necessary. It doesn't require any modification to your pole and no tools are necessary when adding to your pole.

Click to enlarge
The paperwork: Comes with a packing slip order with shipping details & a full list of contact papers to connect with Aqua-dapter & phone line/customer service info'. The instructions are very concise & really helps you with the order of putting it all together.

How does it work? It is quite a marvelous piece of engineering - The Aqua-dapter Mk2 can be fitted to your pole in less than 5 minutes. The Aqua-dapter is fitted to the end screw of your water fed pole, then your existing brush can be screwed on to the aluminium screw thread which is part of the Aqua-dapter. The hose goes down the inside of your water fed pole, allowing you to switch the water flow on or off by simply pulling on the hose at the bottom of the pole. The tap can also be turned manually if you are working on ground level windows. As you can see from my pictures - the whole process of putting it all together is captured.
The supplied female end screw adapter waiting to go on.
Looking pretty - just screw on. so easy!
Add the push fit connector.
Straight out of the end of the pole at the brush head end, connect straight to the aqua-dapter unit pictured behind.
Taking shape - the aqua-dapter goes straight on the collar (now hidden) & is waiting for the clamp.
Collar fitted - as an after thought, probably best to slip on the collar primarily to the end of the aqua-dapter unit before connecting the push fit into the stem. Not that it is a problem - it just means unscrewing & re-screwing the collar.
Brush head fitted on to the euro thread angle adapter.
My brush head already has a T-piece, but one is provided in the box if you need it. Just need to connect the T-piece with the aqua-dapter (see the short plastic tube in the background following the line of the P).
I used my own tubing, but if needed you can cut a small piece off the hose provided. You only need enough tube to link for the action of the aqua-dapter, if you have a long extension, you'll need to cut your hose taking into account the extra length.
Add your choice of water connector to the end of the hose.
All done, ready to rock 'n roll.
All done & working...success!
The Aqua-dapter Mk2 can be fitted to your pole in less than 5 minutes. Overall, with picture taking - it took me a little longer but I think the team at Aqua-dapter are right in their time scale. Pretty impressive piece of kit - saving you water while working, meaning less DI usage if you are in the US, allows you to do more jobs, and so earn more money. Thanks Aqua-dapter! The Dr Squeegees Sill Saver brush used was provided by the Window Cleaning Warehouse & the Assassin pole provided by Window Cleaning Resource or alternatively from Jeff Brimble in the UK. Back-pack by Omnipole.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

UK's Window Cleaner's Call To Stop The UnInsured Cowboys

Window cleaner's call to stop conmen: A concerned window cleaner is warning householders they could face expensive legal action if they pay uninsured workers to wash their windows. Matthew Softley, (pictured) 39, who trades as the Window Man, says these cleaners can often be much cheaper but can leave residents with extra costs if they cause injury or damage. He wants to set up a scheme where residents can access the names and contact details of legitimate window cleaners.

He said: “If you have got any offers to clean your house for under £10, I would seriously question them and if they cannot give you satisfactory answers or produce any paperwork, avoid them like the plague. “The main thing I have been trying to tell people is with these guys there’s no way on earth they are going to have any form of insurance. “If you have got an uninsured tradesman on your house and they injure a member of the public, the member of the public can sue the householder. “Also, if an uninsured tradesman is on your house and he wants to put in a claim against you because he has injured himself and he isn’t insured, he can sue the householder.”

Mr Softley said people can ask to see an insurance document, which should state that the worker is insured to clean windows, including with the use of a ladder if that person has a ladder. He said residents can call the insurance provider to check it is legitimate and still in date. He said people should be particularly wary of window cleaners who do not have contact details and will only be paid in cash.

Mr Softley, of Abbey Meads, said rogue window cleaners are rife across Swindon, but often target vulnerable and elderly people on council estates. He said: “Some of these guys have got whole areas sewn up and a lot of the people in these areas are just getting ripped off because the quality of the work is disgusting. “A lot of the old dears who are having this work done, you are trying to poach them but they are absolutely terrified of change or confrontation with anyone. I have been window cleaning for about a year and a half and predominantly a lot of it is on the council estates that this is going on.”

Coun Paul Baker (Lab, Penhill) is backing Mr Softley’s plans for the scheme to protect residents. He said: “Then you know you have a recognised and respectable person doing the job and there’s no fear of anybody, especially elderly people, getting ripped off.”

From the Window Mans website (spelling mistakes not corrected) ...


There is a major problem for the hard working decent window cleaner in swindon.  That is the illegal workers/benefit cheats, who have been pleauging the profession for many years.  Some of these people have been getting away with it in the Swindon area for many years.  I know of some people that have been getting away with it for over 10 years.  These people range from the all out benefit cheats, to the bloke who cleans windows on the side and does not pay tax or national insurance.  Some people think this is o.k and harmless and getting one over on the tax office.

The bottom line is it's a crime and taking away work from hard working decent window cleaners.  In my view it's just the same as supporting the local drug dealer.  Just because someone is nice and regular does not mean they are not braking the law.  These people really could ruin your life, and put you through a lot of pain and stress with lengthy court cases.

The quality of the work by these people is disgusting and all they think about is getting off the property as fast as possible.  I have picked up customers in many areas who have stated they have a window cleaner who charges them £6 (this for a £12 house) the frames, sills and doors are dirty and in some cases black or even green. 

I have come across two people working together around swindon who offer to clean houses for £6. To make that pay after tax and everything else they would have to be cleaning over 44 houses a day.  There is no way any two people could do that even if they were ripping people off and doing a poor job.  If I had someone who worked as fast as me working with me we could do about 25 at a push.  If all the houses were close together and we did not have to travel from area to area going from job to job.  There is not a window cleaner who  has a round and whole are sewn up like that, even if there was they could not do that many houses in a day it's impossible.  So how are these people making a living and and providing a quality service?  They must be topping up there state benefits or not paying tax.

The things to look out for with illegal workers are:
The bloke who walks around with his ladder and bucket of dirty water with a couple of dirty rags, who you don't have any contact details for. They come knocking your door or put through a leaflet saying they will clean you windows for below £10 or house with a conservatory for under £20 for a small one.  There is not a window cleaners on this planet using traditional cleaning methods who could make a living cleaning your home for £6 to £10 for a small house unless they are illegal or just rushing their work so fast to make it pay that the quality of the work is very poor.  By this I mean dirty frames, sills and doors.  Everything earned is taxed at 27% then there is national insurance.  Thats before you take out other things such as fuel for the day (most window cleaners will use about £10 per day), public liability insurance, tools equipment etc.  I am youngish very fit and work hard and can work fast enough to a high standard to clean bout 14  terriced or council sized houses per day max doing both back and front.  When you increase the size of house say with more or bay-windows etc that number will drop.

The bloke who will take cash only for his work the sure sign that he is up to no good.  Any honest legal window cleaner will be happy to except either cheque, direct bank payment or cash.  Just because some one is

Are they insured/properly insured?

Nothing is worse than being monetarily liable for a window cleaner’s accident that occurred on your property. That is exactly what can happen if an uninsured window cleaner falls or, by some other means hurts themselves or a member of the public.

Illegal and some legal window cleaners for that matter don't bother with Public Liability Insurance.  Many customers don't have a clue about problems this can cause and the impact it can have on their lives in the event of serious injury, death or damage to property. Do not just assume that a window cleaner has Public Liability insurance.  Don't ever employ or use a window cleaner until you have seen their current policy in printed form. 

If in dout (sic) about any document shown to you then call the insurance company direct to confirm the policy is real.  Don't be put off with some story about them not being able to find it.  It should always be shown on request no ifs or buts.  If it can't there is something wrong and do not use these people.

No one is breaking the law or doing anything wrong by not having public liability insurace for domestic window cleaning. Apart from putting the customer and thier property at risk.

Another problem people working on the side and stating that they have Public Liabilty insurance thinking they are coverd from say their taxi driving insurance.  When in fact if there policy does not state window cleaning and use of ladders etc.  There will be no protection for you the customer in the event of any damage to your property or serious injury to you, your family or members of the public.  Or even the window cleaner who could very well take you to court for damages running into thousands.  As mad as that sounds that can and does happen.  Rouge window cleaners could try and get a big payday by using no-win no-fee solicitors at your expense.  It's just not worth the risk using an uninsured window cleaner.

Misleading cliams by some dishonest people using Water-Fed Pole Sytems to gain more work.

If in any doubt about this then feel free to contact Trading Standards.  Who I have talked to at length about Water-Fed Pole Sytems and TRADITIONAL methods. If the use of ladders were banned and illegal for working at height then the bloke who comes to paint your house, install your sky dish, put up your t.v areal, install your gutters fasiacs, fit your windows would be breaking the law. For other window cleaners to tell people that the use of ladders is banned is a criminal offence under fair trading laws and can be delt with by legal action from trading standards. If you have been told this by Water-Fed-Pole System window cleaners to gain more work and rubbish the better quality work that TRADITIONAL methods provide. Then please contact: If in any doubt about this then feel free to contact Trading Standards. Who I have talked to at length about Water-Fed Pole Sytems and TRADITIONAL methods.

If the use of ladders were banned and illegal for working at height then the bloke who comes to paint your house, install your sky dish, put up your t.v areal, install your gutters fasiacs, fit your windows would be breaking the law. For other window cleaners to tell people that the use of ladders is banned is a criminal offence under fair trading laws and can be delt with by legal action from trading standards. If you have been told this by Water-Fed-Pole System window cleaners to gain more work and rubbish the better quality work that TRADITIONAL methods provide. Then please contact: Diane Miles Fair (Trading Officer/Trading Standards), Swindon Borough Council,

Monday 29 August 2011

How To Rescue A Window Washer

Firefighters Conduct Window Washer Rescue Training at Portland Providence: This week, Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters from Station 1 participated in a rescue drill at Portland Providence Medical Center in NE Portland. Pictured above, rescuer en route to victim; time is of the essence in these types of rescues.

Rescuer contacts the victim. The drill included a simulated rescue of a window washer whose equipment malfunctioned.  The window washer began by rappelling about one story down the side of the six-story building and then tied off, playing the part of a victim awaiting rescue. Portland firefighters took turns being lowered to the window washer, securing to the victim’s harness, removing the washer off his rope system, and lowering him safely to the ground.

The edge person oversees the rescue and is in charge of overall safety and communication with the rescuer. During the drill, firefighters utilized “two points of contact” in their system. This means that the rescuer and patient are always attached to the system by two ropes, a mainline and a safety line, that are part of a system. The mainline is the working rope that is used to do all the work. The belay (safety) line is attached to a separate anchor and a different point on the rescuer and patient on their harness. In the event of a failure of the mainline, the belay (safety) line is always there to catch the load. This type of redundant system is essential in maintaining a sufficient safety factor for not only the firefighters but also those being rescued.

The rescuer performs an assessment of the victim upon initial contact. Firefighters used specialized equipment including helmets, gloves, harnesses, static rescue and safety ropes, pulleys, and other hardware.

The rescuer attaches rescue equipment to victim and lowers the victim to safety. The simulated rescue went smoothly.  The close to 40 firefighters involved in the rescue drill are members of Portland Fire & Rescue’s Technical Rescue Team. These members are trained in high angle rope rescue and are skilled in the use of ropes and other rigging gear to use in high angle rescue scenarios. 

According to Station 1 Lieutenant Jamie Ziegler, “Our firefighters frequently practice rope rescue skills and this drill was a great way to prepare for a complicated rescue.” Photos by Dick Harris, Portland Fire & Rescue.

Sunday 28 August 2011

Zip Code GlassRenu Special

Regular Price: $2,495.00
Special Price: $1,195.00

The GlassRenu Scratch Removal System repairs damaged glass to new condition with ease. Designed as the most effective tool for window restoration the GlassRenu Contractor Grade system is able to remove all types of surface damage from glass quickly with little mess without leaving distortion behind. Financing Available!

In response to the increasing need for window restoration Window Cleaning Resource has teamed up with GlassRenu to bring an amazing deal to the window cleaning community at WCR. Over the past few months GlassRenu users have been flying around the country tackling restoration jobs from $100 to $100,000 simply because there is no one offering the service in those communities. Cities as large as Philadelphia and Houston don't have a single GlassRenu user. With the goal of fixing this problem GlassRenu and WCR would like to announce that they will be selling one (1) system into each of these markets at an amazing discount. The first to purchase in any of the cities listed will receive a brand new GlassRenu system for $1195. This is on a first come first serve basis so if the tool is on your list of must haves, now is the time to act. Once the list has been completed this special will end.

The Case Offered as a "Rolling Workshop"; the GlassRenu Contractor Grade System is housed in a ruggedized and balanced field case, built to take punishment. The case features a durable foam interior to hold your tools snugly, press & pull latches to hold fast, a Vortex™ valve to automatically adjust air pressure without letting in water, telescoping handles and rugged in-line wheels, and double-layered, soft-grip handles for strength and comfort.

The System The GlassRenu Contractor Grade System is offered as a complete solution for the removal of the most common types of scratches and acid damage on glass of all types. Included in the System In the Ruggedized Field Case:

•    Premium variable speed grinder/polisher
•    4 Custom density backing disks
•    3 Renu FastFelt Polishing polishing pads
•    110 Most commonly used RenuDisks®
•    Rasp
•    Non contact temperature gun
•    Wire brush
•    GlassRenu Polishing Spray
•    GlassRenu Finishing Spray Manual/Instructions/DVD

Where can you use the GlassRenu Machine?

- Bus Shelters
- Store Front Graffiti
- New construction damage
- Hard water staining
- Building run-off
- Pet scratches
- Fabrication Debris
- Over Spray (welding, stucco, paint)

Users have found work in areas such as:

- Downtown Plaza's
- Schools
- University's
- Zoo's
- Amusement Parks
- Ski Resorts
- Hotels
- Casino's
- Homes
- Public Transportation
- Buildings

More blogs on Glass Renu here, here, here & here.
Glass Repair System Comparison Chart.

Saturday 27 August 2011

Window Cleaning People & News

Va governor warns worst of Irene yet to come - saving the windows! Missy Seavey, employee for Kohr Bros. on Atlantic Avenue near 22nd Street, looks down an largely empty sidewalk at the Virginia Beach, VA, oceanfront area on Friday afternoon, Aug. 26, 2011. Hurricane Irene has the potential to cause billions of dollars in damage all along a densely populated arc that includes Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston and beyond. At least 65 million people could be affected. In Virginia Beach, souvenir shops and other businesses along the resort strip were protected by sandbags and plywood nailed over windows. The usually bustling oceanfront was virtually abandoned as waves lashed the beach. The city had several shelters open, including one at an elementary school that housed about 100 people — most of them homeless.

Within weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Smithsonian Institution began collecting a wide range of artifacts recovered from the three sites where the hijacked planes went down. “There are some everyday moments in the midst of destruction. There are things we all recognize. They help people understand it happened to all of us,” Yeh said. Some are ordinary objects — a window shade and seat belt from the wreckage of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville. Some are ordinary but became extraordinary. Jan Demczur, a window washer at the World Trade Center, donated his squeegee handle to the museum. On Sept. 11, he was stuck in an elevator with five other men in one of the towers. He used the handle to force open the elevator door and then dig through the wall. All six were saved.

LONDON — Frederick A. Goodwin, the disgraced former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, used to lose his temper because of biscuits and sent the bank’s staff into “panic mode” because of a broken model airplane, according to a new book. When a window cleaner fell off a ladder in Mr. Goodwin’s office and broke a small model airplane, some people at the bank worried more about the broken toy than about the window cleaner, according to the book written by two British Conservative politicians and scheduled for publication next month. A short excerpt from the book was published in Prospect magazine on Thursday. The two politicians, Matthew Hancock, a former chief of staff of the chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and Nadhim Zahawi, disclose these details about Mr. Goodwin, who was widely blamed for the downfall of Royal Bank of Scotland, in “Masters of Nothing: The Crash and How It Will Happen Again,” a book about how human behavior made the financial crisis worse.

Window Cleaning Warehouse - The Tune! Did you know Window Cleaning Warehouse have started a record label? Here is the first offering - expect a whole album of window cleaning based tracks soon!

When the Bronx was burning 40 years ago, Angel Cruz was setting borough basketball courts on fire with dazzling slam dunks and dribble drives. He dominated the concrete playgrounds at the Patterson Houses in Mott Haven, wowed street ball crowds in Harlem, and then turned pro and played for Puerto Rico at the Olympic Games. But then the human grasshopper known as "Monchito" - perhaps the greatest Nuyorican player of all time - vanished. No friends or family have laid eyes on Cruz for more than a decade. "We don't know what happened to Angel," said Noemi Cruz-Lymon, the star point guard's sister. "No one knows." Cruz's heartbroken family will host a charity basketball game in his name tomorrow at the Patterson Houses, where he grew up. Angel Cruz Jr., 34, Monchito's eldest son, feels the same way. "With my father, you never knew what to expect," said the Bronx window cleaner. "He would pop up out of nowhere and act like nothing was wrong."Angel Cruz Jr. holds photo of his dad, Angel (Monchito) Cruz, who has been missing since 1998.

‘Little Elvis’ death – man arrested. A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after the death of a well-known Morpeth karaoke star. Michael Marshall, who was known locally as Little Elvis, died on Tuesday, two hours after an altercation at Sanderson Arcade in the town centre. A 55-year-old man was arrested and released with no further action and a 49-year-old man has been released on police bail after he was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. Mr Marshall, 52, died following an incident outside the Corbridge Larder at about 3.30pm on Tuesday. Police say there was a “verbal altercation”, before he was assaulted. It is not thought that any weapon was used. Staff from Sanderson Arcade rushed to help and an off-duty nurse and lifeguard administered first aid before paramedics arrived. An assistant from the Corbridge Larder is also believed to have helped. Another resident said: “Everyone knew him, he used to be a window cleaner. He loved the karaoke and he always introduced himself as ‘Little Elvis’.

"That's what's great about disc golf," he said. "Someone my age can compete. And someone 100 times my age can play." With that, the father and son stood to announce this year's regular-season rankings and the night's pairings. The guy to beat this year was Luis Nava (pictured). Though the 25-year-old only made one ace -- that's disc golf lingo for hole-in-one -- he still had the best score of the season. "I'm a birdie person," he said. Though some Tuesday Twos competitors have been playing for a decade or more, Nava only began throwing three years ago. "But when I first started, I played four to five hours after work every day," he said as he warmed up for the finals. "I just couldn't stop. I fell in love with this game." He still plays nearly obsessively. By day, he's a skyscraper window washer. Come 5 o'clock, he heads to Orchard or another Metro-area disc golf park. His two brothers and his sister often play, too. That constant playing will come to a temporary end soon. Nava and his wife, Carla, are expecting their first child -- a girl --in December, and he promised to take a six-month hiatus once the baby comes.

Dirty Jobs That Nobody Wants: With 14 million Americans out of work, long  grim lines at job fairs, and employment agencies jammed with the hopeful, there are still jobs that go begging. Despite the desperate measures some are taking to find employment, a handful of positions remain stubbornly vacant. Last month the ratings firm Fitch reported that even with high unemployment, some businesses can’t fill their openings. Window washer: Almost all window washing jobs involve scary heights and exposure to the elements. Injury rates are high—about eight window washers in New York City are involved in accidents each year, and 75 died on the job there between 1983 and 2008. Finding people comfortable both on a scaffold and with a squeegee is tough. Leonard Malray of Contract Services Group, based in California’s Orange County, says that of six open window-cleaning jobs he’s had open since the beginning of the year, he’s filled only two.

Southfields dad committed suicide after housing benefit cut: A desperate man who lined up three kitchen knives before stabbing himself twice in the heart, blamed cuts in housing benefit. Unemployed Richard Sanderson took his own life after writing three suicide notes which were laid out neatly on a bed in a meticulously planned act. In one to his wife he wrote: “Don’t come into the bathroom, this time I will most certainly be deceased”. Mr Sanderson, who said he could not face the thought of his family being homeless, stabbed himself twice in the heart with a kitchen knife on May 29 at home in Augustus Road, Southfields, after years of being unable to find work finally took its toll, an inquest heard. The 44-year-old former helicopter pilot wrote three suicide notes – two for his wife, Petra, and one for the police – after carefully planning the suicide over several days. Mr Sanderson, who was also a window cleaner, met his wife while travelling in South Africa in 1995 before the pair eventually settled in Wimbledon in 2007 to find better work prospects in London.

Japan faces costly, unprecedented radiation cleanup: Pictured, a worker decontaminating radiated particles on a window of an elementary school in Fukushima, northern Japan. Nearly six months after the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years at the Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan faces the task of cleaning up a sprawling area of radioactivity that could cost tens of billions of dollars, and thousands may not be able to return home for years, if ever. Fuel core meltdowns at the facility in March, triggered by a huge earthquake and tsunami, released radioactive material into the air which mixed with rain and snow and covered dozens of towns as well as farmland and woods, mainly along the northeast coast of Honshu. Tokyo has been slow to provide a plan for rehabilitation, leading some residents near the plant, who have been exposed to high levels of radioactive caesium in homes and food, to start their own cleanup instead of waiting for the government to act.

Aldar's desert disc is simply unique: ABU DHABI // "Simple" is not the word that jumps to one's mind when driving into Abu Dhabi and seeing the gigantic disc standing on its side in the desert. But that is the word Randall Heinrich, the senior project manager at Aldar, uses to describe the property developer's new headquarters at Al Raha Beach. "People see the shape from the outside and you get people commenting that it's an inefficient building, but it's not," Mr Heinrich says. "It's great. It's a very simple building. It has two poles coming up the middle of the building and the structure built around it. "Yes, you've got larger floors in the centre but all the floors are very open, beautiful spaces. Everyone expected it to be a wonderful building but it's also practical." The slim, circular building on a concrete plinth is the result of slightly less than three years of work and has more than 3,000 panes of glass. Apart from the empty moat, the vision of Aldar's offices is complete. Twenty-three storeys tall with three underground parking levels, the building is one of a kind, says Tony Abi Gebrayel, the area manager of the designer, MZ Architects.

Addict's £1000 theft 'has wrecked family business' - The mother of a drug addict who posed as a window cleaner to con residents into paying for work not carried out has spoken of her fears his actions have ruined her husband's business. Steven Walton (pictured), whose father David owns a window cleaning business, targeted regular city customers to fund his heroin addiction.
His victims included an 82-year old woman, from whose bank card he stole £1000 after she entrusted it to him. Yesterday, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, the 36-year-old was placed on a drug treatment and testing order for 18 months. Walton, who has been a heroin addict since he was at school, was recently released from custody in Saughton.
Today his mother Ann Walton, from Sighthill, said: "Steven used to work for my husband. People are going to read this and not want my husband's services. This being in the open will really affect our business and my husband's business." She said the family have stayed clear of him for some time. She said: "I've had really nothing to do with him much, because of what happened."
Yesterday, Sheriff Alistair Noble heard Walton had previously pleaded guilty to stealing £1000 between March 13 and March 21 this year; to obtaining £5, £10 and £20 by fraud on April 18; and stealing £15 from a house on the same day. Fiscal depute John Kirk told the court that Walton was estranged from his family but his father allowed him to sleep in his van from time to time and he had helped him with cleaning in the past.
On this occasion he went to the 82-year old woman's home and asked for money, but she had no money on her and gave him her bank card and the pin number, which he then used on a number of occasions. The prosecutor added that Walton had two minor previous convictions. Walton's defence solicitor, Angus McLennan, said the woman had become suspicious and contacted the police, while another customer raised the alarm when the real cleaner turned up looking for his money. The defence agent said Walton knew that cleaners often returned for payment at a later stage and had come across the 82-year-old victim while helping his father. He added: "It was an opportunistic theft. The temptation proved too much for him".
As for going round other houses, Mr McLennan said Walton had been "simply chancing his luck by knocking on doors of homes he knew his father had cleaned windows". Mr McLennan said Walton's father David was very disappointed by his son's actions, which had caused a great deal of embarrassment and impacted on his business. The solicitor said his father had refunded the money taken from people on his round, but that he had not known about the £1000 card theft.
Walton's mother added that her son had been clean of heroin for two months. She said: "He's been on drugs for nearly 20 years, since he was at school. There's not a lot of people outside the family that know about it. "Now that he has been proven to be clear of drugs for two months I'm starting to, not to warm towards him, but accept him and learn to trust him a little bit more. "He's been in the gutter and this has been his wake-up call."

Window cleaner turns author: A transition from washing windows to author is most unusual, but Jamie Robison of Margaret River is not your usual window cleaner, and has made the literary jump. In 1994, Mr Robison decided to write a book after a tragic car accident involving a young boarder living with him. Seventeen years and 15 drafts later, Robison has completed the book. Titled Charlie’s Dream, the book is about a teenager stuck between real and imaginary worlds after a serious car accident puts him in a coma. “It was amazing to finally finish writing the book,” he said.
Although this was Robison’s first foray into the world of novel writing, he has been involved in the media before. Prior to moving to Margaret River, Robison owned a production company in Sydney which made shorts for TV. Along with his other duties, Robison would help out with scripts. After deciding to move to Margaret River over a decade ago, he has been cleaning windows for local businesses. “I’ve been doing window cleaning for about 10 years – through my work I know most of the people in Margaret River.”
Since completing his book, Robison now has the writing bug and plans to continue with other projects. “It is the first part of a trilogy. I’m currently halfway through writing the second part. “I love writing – it keeps me sane. I also just finished a book of short stories and a screenplay,” he said.

Billy's still in the running - MAUCHLINE runner Billy White is gearing up for his ninth Great Scottish Run - and he's looking for your help to make it his biggest, most successful year yet. The pensioner, who just turned 65, should be putting his feet up and enjoying his retirement. But he's still working as a window cleaner and putting in the miles as he embarks on his latest half-marathon charity run. Just last Saturday he ran 20 miles along the River Ayr to his hometown in preparation for his latest attempt.

Texas Rangers learn new signs at Southwest Airlines - Mitch Moreland needed some help marshaling an airplane into a jetway. He had no issues cleaning the pilot's windows on it, though. The Texas Rangers first baseman did both jobs as part of an event where players traded places with Southwest Airlines employees on Tuesday afternoon at Dallas Love Field. "Cleaning the windows is something I'm a little more capable of," Moreland said. "The window washing was a good job for me. Guiding the plane in is a little different. It's nice to know all the different hand signals now."

BATMAN, Turkey - Suicide, murder debated in Turkish deaths. Some women choose to attempt suicide a result of being victimized by their families, Batman Women Rights Commission head Hatice Yilmaz said. "There was a girl who was forced to wear a headscarf and her family withdrew her from school," a woman who asked to remain anonymous told the Women's Foundation Center. "According to reports, she fell from a window while cleaning it, but the doorman saw that she fell backward from the window." Women are battling stress and harassment and the situation was the same for every woman in Batman regardless of age, she said.

A university education should be about mind over money: The value of going to university was questioned in a recent Guardian Money article. Student journalist of the year Simon Murphy replies. My mum is still the only person from her immediate family to go to university, and few of my cousins have stayed in education after their GCSEs; they are now builders, decorators, labourers, plumbers, window cleaners, etc – the kind of jobs where you don't have to worry about feigning interest in post-feminist literature to fill a few lines on your Ucas form.

Fishy Stories... seems everyone wins top awards at Fish..

Jerry and Juice Jenson, owners of Fish Window Cleaning in Colorado Springs, received the Top Sales Award at the 11th annual Fish Window Cleaning Convention held in July in St. Louis. The Jensons were presented with their award for adding more than 500 new customers during 2010. Their business provides window cleaning services for commercial and residential customers in the greater Colorado Springs area.

Tony and Wendy Espeseth, owners and operators of Fish Window Cleaning in Stillwater and Eau Claire and Appleton, Wis., received more awards at the company's annual convention this year than any of the other 200 FISH franchisees. Last year, the Espeseths were named "Franchisee of the Year," and this year, the couple received five awards for their business. They were the Top Producer Award for leading the country in sales; Small Market Star Performer Award for their Eau Claire location and the Multi-Office Star Performer Award for the 2010 performance of the three offices they run. In addition, the Espeseths earned membership in the 500 Club for opening more than 500 new accounts during the past year and they received the Navigator Award in recognition of their work with prospective new franchisees. Tony and Wendy Espeseth, operators of Fish Window Cleaning in Stillwater and Eau Clarie and Appleton, Wis., took home five awards at the company's recent annual convention, more than any of the 200 other Fish franchises.

Fish Window Cleaning of Manchester received the Top Sales Award at the recent Fish Window Cleaning Convention in St. Louis. The award was presented to the franchise for adding more than 500 new customers during 2010. In addition, Rick Petry, sales manager for the franchise, was recognized as the top sales person among all Fish Window Cleaning franchises and received the Top Sales Person Award for 2010.

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