Disclaimer: I have a wonderful husband. He is a magnificent provider and family man. He is the handiest man on the planet and if he ever disappeared off the face of the earth I’d rather burn my eyes out with hot pokers than pair up with a non-handy man. Or any other man, really (but for, maybe, Jon Snow); this man is too good. Except for one little matter……
I’m not a fan of housework…..who is, really? We have a dear old house set in the middle of picturesque paddocks in the lovely mallee district. Set just metres from our humble abode is a large dam, surrounded by agapanthus plants, banksia roses and lanky gum trees which house possum families, herons, kookaburras and other assorted wildlife. Idyllic. In summer time, this dam also becomes a meeting ground for millions of miniscule flying insects. They find the warm glow of the lights of our house irresistible. They slip neatly through the screen doors with incredible ease. They die in the most convenient of places. Around all internal doorways in droves, on the kitchen benchtop; wherever they darn well feel like it, really.
In summer time, the big black spiders which hide away for the rest of the year decide to show themselves around the cornices in the least used rooms, spinning their decidedly sticky webs – the equivalent of fortified castles, impossible to remove without a fuss.
In summer time, the hot mallee wind stirs up the dusty paddock topsoil and carries it for miles. That mallee dirt loves coming in for a cuppa and a chat. It graces the floors and window sills, reminding us always of where we live.
In summer time, the dog and the cat (yes, we’re soft, they are inside dwellers) get hot and decide that their fur coats need to be reduced by half. With an air of don’t care and great nonchalance they roll around in every perceivable corner of the house, eliminating these coats. I’m sure they only shed their black hair on the white furnishings and vice versa, so immensely talented are they.
In summer time, the kids are home. School holiday grime. Need I say more?
By now, I can picture your thoughts. “This woman is a saint to put up with all this!”….or “She is slightly unhinged”. Finally, “Boy, she must have a great vacuum cleaner!”
Here are the answers to the above:
A. Yes, she is most definitely a saint! Naturally.
B. Yes. I’ve always been unhinged. I prefer it that way, it’s how I roll.
C. NO! I have the crappest vacuum cleaner that ever existed.
Several years ago, things weren’t so dire. We had a cat ‘n’ dog style vacuum which did an adequate job, along with my pride and joy, a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner which daily saved my bacon. He (yes, we personified him!) sadly had a major health scare when we renovated the house and his battery was allowed to go flat for several months. He has never been the same since. Mind you, he had a hard life and was pretty shagged prior to this. Anyone trying to keep our place clean is bound to suffer some form of mental health issue. Poor little blighter, we only call on him occasionally as he is most certainly semi-retired.
So, the cat ‘n’ dog vac eventually exploded, and the $69 Aldi vacuum was purchased as a quick fix whilst I perused the vacuum ranges on offer. Trouble is, that Aldi vac did a bloody good job for quite a while there. The quick fix vacuum turned into the regular vacuum. Only complaint being, it made a deafening sound, really requiring industrial earmuffs when in operation. Several years down the track and the darn thing is still going strong. The helpful, handy hubs has made sure of that. Only there are a few more minor quirks and issues. This, my friends, is what a regular day vacuuming looks like for me.
1. Wrestle machine out of cupboard and insert hose. Straighten out the end bit that has been silver gaffa-taped together where said hose is disintegrating. She’ll be right.
2. Plug in. Place industrial strength earmuffs firmly over ears, gently tucking in pearl earrings. All glam like. Push that ON button, hear the engines revving, and with fingers crossed do a quick test run over the carpet. Bugger. Switch machine off.
3. Take the barrel out to the backyard compost heap and empty contents. Extract missing Lego pieces and hair clips from pile of matted dust, spiders and daughter’s blonde hair. Leave that for the birds to come and find for nesting purposes.
4. Journey on to the 40 foot shed. This whole vacuuming adventure is starting to feel like a progressive dinner with none of the perks. Just a few stray chooks and the hound for company. And no food. Hound departs at this point as he knows there’s to be more noise. Turn on the industrial sized air pressure cleaner. Wish that you hadn’t left ear muffs inside.
5.Blast the living daylights out of the filter and the barrel. You don’t want to end up back in here again if you don’t do the job well. Get covered in dust particles in a mad rendition of Frosty the Snowman. Only you end up grey. The new look won’t be wasted; it’s a hot day, therefore that crap will stick until you decide to shower and wash your grey tresses brown again. Remember to also focus on eyebrows.
6. Drag the whole ensemble back inside and try again. If you’re lucky, really lucky, you’ll complete your mission in under two hours.
P.S. The top of the pipe has just snatched it. Hubs has fixed it again. I’m off to the electrical shop. Today.
Is your hubby handy?
Have you any vacuum recommendations?
Is anybody out there as crazy as me?