either get a window cleaner, with the specialist equipment,
or wait until the local hire company have an offer weekend, and hire a scaffolding tower, very easy to erect ( the new ones are very light and cleverly designed)
or get your children to put their climbing harness on and let them belay each other up and down the outside of the house for a treat in exchange for doing the gutters and windows while they are there (my preferred option) as getting my scaffold towers over to my house means emptying my van, bringing it here, and then back to workshop, and a re load of tools.
My hire company will deliver and pick up a full tower, for £20(trade), you build them safely from the inside.
same as alberta here. Do bottom pane/s first then pull upper frame down and do that. It was a frequent sight in my mother's childhood with one woman having a conversation with a neighbour who was doing the same thing. Obviously the more frequently you do it the easier it is as the glass wont get very dirty.
If you have the swinging mechanism the most obvious sign is two slotted hinges on one side of the frame, looking like this. On the window there would be two screws a bit lower down. On the opposite side there would be a removable batten on the frame (usually screwed in place).
To operate, you fold the hinges back against the frame, slide up the window, open the hinges and then lower the window so the screws on the window go into the slots of the hinges. Then you unscrew the batten on the opposite side and pull the window towards you. There will also be a way of taking off the sash coard at that side once the window is pulled inwards.
They are very common in Scotland, but I don't think they are so common elsewhere.