After some searching I spotted a fresh -looking sign in the hedgerow reading "Oak Lodge".
The door was answered by the housekeeper who seemed surprised to see me as "Madam had not told me you were coming and she is at the hairdressers, but you had better get on with it".
A couple of hours later, when I was a little over half way through cleaning the 30+ year-old wool Axminster madam arrived home. Like her housekeeper, she expressed surprise at my presence. To clarify matters I went out to the van and got the job ticket. reading it she laughed and said that I should be at Oak Lodge, this was Old Oak Lodge!
Wool Axminsters can hide a tremendous amount of soiling and the patterns are cleverly designed so as white background becomes greyish and the coloured elements of the pattern become less vibrant, the contrast between the two remains much the same. However the difference when properly cleaned is dramatic - like a torch with failing batteries having had them replaced with new.
When madam saw her carpet she was initially speechless but when she regained her composure she said that she had lived there for about 30 years and that carpet was there when she moved in - it was due to be changed after Christmas but now that it "looked like new" she would keep it.
I apologised for the mistake and promised to pack away as quickly as possible. She asked how much she owed me to which I replied that it was my error and there would be no charge.
Just before I was ready to leave to search for Ivy Lodge she approached me with a wad of cash that was obviously more that I would have charged and she was most insistent that I accepted it, Which of course I did ((just to be polite, honestly). when I later counted it it amount to about three times what I would have charged!
On the way out I stopped before entering the lane and closely examined the name board. Hiding behind some brambles was the word "Old".
The JAGUAR MX-2 ETM @ crossamericancorp.com