...vacuum cleaners, I hope you don't mind.
Invented in the 1860s apparently, with the first motorised version appearing by the turn of the century. I can remember us having a Goblin, and then an upright Hoover with a sort of cloth bag that inflated rather ominously and concealed a paper bag which would regularly split. I can hear the deep throaty noise it would make even now and the fact it weighed a ton.
We have been through that many vacuum cleaners in our time too. Old hand-me-down Hoovers and then a succession of Mieles which sadly (and embarrassingly given that Bookhound had the local dealership) fell apart. When the bag split one day that was me and Miele vacuums finished. There is nothing to compare with happily vacuuming a room whilst blissfully unaware that behind you is a gathering dust cloud of volcanic proportions.
We migrated to the Land of Henry and had been there ever since.
Henry’s happy smiling work-horse face greeting us whenever we started the mammoth task of dragging him all over the house, up and down and in and out. Swapping this tool for that tool, getting him jammed on corners and then trying to balance him as we do the stairs, tripping over the hose, twisting the hose, getting the cable jammed under doors, running out of cable, feeling him putting on weight solidly as the bag fills...and fills, and he gets heavier and more cumbersome. To say nothing of the blocked pipe episodes. I’d suddenly realise it wasn’t sucking up like it should and it would be time for the bent knitting needle. Out would tumble about a foot of impacted ‘stuff’ and the offending twig or something. But there is no denying he was a workhorse. You wouldn’t be without Henry on chimney-sweeping day after all.
But in the end I could hear myself thinking ‘Wish I had a Dyson...’ every time I approached Henry’s stable. And I was starting to dread the whole thing. My back was creaking from all the lugging and the push-pull of leaning over, and 'housework' seemed to be taking longer and longer. None of this felt quite right for the 21st century.
My criteria for replacement were simple...cordless, light and efficient.
Deciding to buy a new vacuum cleaner turned out to be quite complicated because once you start looking where do you stop...Vax, Shark, Gtech, Bosch, Hoover, Dyson. In the end it was a discussion with my Walking Friend, with her very furry Border Collie alongside, that sold me on the Dyson. I can’t get excited about choosing things like this...just get one and bring it home is my philosophy, but Bookhound did the research and off he went, tested them all out in the shop (which is now very clean) before settling on a slimline Dyson something-or-other in a very fetching colourway of magenta and purple.It is truly the Twiggy of the vacuuming world.
Honestly, I thought the house was reasonably clean until this thing arrived and of course your sins of dereliction gather before your very eyes as the transparent cylinder in your hand fills up...VERY FAST. It sort of swirls in and actually starts to look like a beautiful geological formation, if not a really nice quilting design, until you realise it’s just dirt and detritus.
Six minutes on maximum in my sewing room and the pair of us stood there with our flabber very much ghasted. It’s a chirpy little thing but you could see it thinking ‘Hmm, I’m going to have my work cut out here.’ ...three woodburning stoves and rural life, where the outside seems to find its way effortlessly inside plus one cat.
Anyway I was off on my Dysoning adventures to the point where I think I might have given myself Dyson Arm and have a Dyson blister on my hand, but you could eat your dinner off our floors, no mistake. On normal setting it lasts for about twenty minutes which is enough to do all the main bits of the house. Cylinder after cylinder filling up with ....well with what. Currently I’m a bit obsessive but I know that will wear off. It’s just that you do it one day, empty the cylinder (it’s a very simple but natty mechanism), do the same the next day...and the cylinder FILLS UP AGAIN. Who knew that two people and a cat walked or shed that much muck and dust into our house in 24 hours.
‘Wait until you Dyson the mattress and the pillows,’ someone said.
I’m just going to gloss over that moment of incredulity, best forgotten, move on.
So now I am intrigued...has everyone else migrated long ago to The Land of Dyson or similar...
Or are you still loyal to the Old Faithful...