Monday, 3 March 2008


That's what we've been living in for the last few months. And not the fun sort, either.

I have been slowly becoming aware that our hoover was on the way out. Well, it's a Dyson.

What do you call them? It isn't a hoover. It isn't a vacuum cleaner. And saying "the Dyson" sounds really pretentious and crap.


It was on the way out. I knew this because it was failing to suck up all the dirt, fluff, hair and biscuit crumbs from the floor. That wasn't too bad. I would just kind of coax the bits it didn't want onto the the wooden floor and then sweep it up with a dustpan and brush.

Then, a development. When you pressed the pedal thingy to change the angle of the handle, a large and dismaying pile of grey crud was spat out the back.

Again, that would get swept up with a brush, rather missing the point of having a gadget to do the job in the first place.

The final straw was when you pulled the hose bit out to clean the stairs, and a HUGE grey fluffy pile of crud, gravel and assorted filth was coughed out the back of the hoover* onto the floor.

Eventually, I had to accept that we needed to replace the hardware. Time for the sad one-way trip to the tip. There was a 21-hose salute as we waved it goodbye. It was about 16 years old which I think is pretty good going, to be fair.

And so, on a sunshiny Saturday morning, Mr WithaY and I went to Argos. I can honestly say that it was about the best cleaning appliance shopping experience we could have wished for.

We looked in the book, found what we wanted, filled in the little bit of paper, went to the "pay here" terminal, typed in the details, entered the payment card, did all that "enter PIN now" stuff and then sat and waited for 5 minutes till they brought us a new Dyson.


Barely any human interaction at all. It was like internet shopping, but quicker.

And then I came home and played with it.

Oh, the filth. The FILTH. The filth. Yes, it was that bad.

Put it this way: We emptied the filthbucket 5 times. In one afternoon. That is going some, I reckon. I did go a bit mad and clean the rugs, the curtains, the sofas, the cushions and all the carpets. And the wooden floor. And the lightshades.

But even so. We were a five-bucket house. Ugh.

Still. Nice and clean now. I might do the car next. Or offer to go round to the neighbours, just for comparison purposes.

Other news: Went to a family party on Saturday night. Was a surpise birthday do for a cousin, and she genuinely had no idea it was planned. It was lovely to see so many members of the family, some of whom I haven't seen since I got married, 14 years ago.

As we were leaving, one of them said to Mr WithaY "Don't leave it 14 years till we see you again", to which he replied "It takes me that long to get over seeing you lot." Heh.

He loves us really. Even though we're mostly Welsh.

Also went and saw fatherinlaw WithaY on Sunday. He needed to go to the shops as he had run out of groceries, and since he got rid of his car** it is a struggle for him.

We loaded him and his wheelchair into the car and headed for Tescos ("that bunch of bastards") in Blandford. En route we discussed immigration ("Hungarians. Bastards"), politics ("Gordon Brown. That bastard") and the weather (nope, that was ok).

Once in the shop I scooted round with a little trolley picking up a ton of carrots and parsnips (more soup is planned) while Mr WithaY wheeled his dad and the grocery list round. It was like watching the chariot race in Ben Hur. I think we're doing it again next week.

*Yes, I know. Old habits die hard.

**We finally persuaded him that being unable to turn his head or feel his feet was making him a dangerous driver. Thankfully.


John said...

A five-bucket household?! That is truly disgraceful. I am going to keep a firm eye on my dyson from now on.

livesbythewoods said...

We were ashamed. And appalled.

And secretly rather impressed.

B.E. Earl said...

I think vacuum cleaner works for a Dyson, even if not technically correct.

Anonymous said...

there's a really unhealthy and perverse delight to using your dyson and seeing all the cack and filth in the little transparent thingy. it's the adult version of squeezing spots, i reckon.

livesbythewoods said...

Earl, I shall keep calling it a hoover but with a small H. I think that works too.

Hello rivergirlie, long time no see. Yes, I like that analogy.

It also reminds me of the bit on "You Are What You Eat" when they load up the trestle tables with all the food eaten by the victims over the last week so we can all go "Ugh, how revolting," at them.

Apprently customers in the Japanese market demanded opaque filthbuckets on their Dysons because they hated seeing all the crud and scuzz whirling around in there.