I spend a lot of my life hoovering, so it’s only fair that I write about it.
I say hoovering in an incorrect way, using a brand name for a generic item. In actual fact, I don’t hoover, I ‘Henry’. The Henry is the one and only vacuum which can cope with my hair. Every other vacuuming device we have ever had has died a death within a year due to being clogged up by my hair. Yep, even the Dyson.
Hoovering is not one of my favourite things to do. But, given the choice between cleaning jobs, I would opt for hoovering above most things. It rates higher than cleaning bathrooms and mopping floors and way, way higher than stuff like cleaning ovens. (Which I don’t do. Does anyone?)
We don’t have a particularly dirty house. We have no cats or dogs leaving hairs everywhere, just kids with their mud and crumbs and spillages.
I recently discovered that hoovering is not only boring, it can be a hazardous occupation. I was hoovering the stairs (while thinking about how much I hate hoovering and how it takes far too long), when I managed to pull the Henry down from the top of the stairs onto my own head. Needless to say, I screamed. It had also hit my wrist and knocked my glasses off.
My eldest appeared instantly, helping me up and helping move the offending item off the stairs. I was crying a bit, from the pain and the shock. My daughter was at the bottom of the stairs in floods of tears – she doesn’t like to see Mummy hurt. I sat down on the settee for a few minutes and the kids ascertained that George the Pig (our ice pack of choice, which comes out at least once a day) wasn’t in the fridge. There was a big bump on my head with a bit of a graze on it, but no actual blood. I concluded I wasn’t going to faint, then took a couple of paracetemol for the pain in my head and wrist and carried on with my day. The remaining stairs, and my bedroom, remained un-hoovered. Frankly, they could go and stuff themselves. I couldn’t care less about them.
Hoovering shouldn’t take long. I haven’t got that much space to hoover, after all. But unfortunately I have to unearth the carpet before I hoover. I say ‘I’, but I do try to get others to do it for me. Now I don’t ever claim to be the cleanest or tidiest person, but unfortunately the kids’ interpretation of the word ‘tidy’ is somewhat different to mine. So they tidy before school, then I get home ready to hoover and I tidy again.
I’m not sure that balancing a Lego boat and various Minifigures on top of a small cardboard box in the middle of the bedroom actually constitutes ‘tidying’. Not surprisingly, said box falls over during the hoovering process and the boat slightly falls apart. I do my best to make it look OK, but no doubt I will be in trouble later.
In the lounge there are cushions and various Wii game boxes and controllers on the floor. They are pushed to the side, so that the middle of the floor is ‘tidy’. However, I do actually hoover the edge of the room as well.
Lego bricks don’t go to the side of the room. They are small, so they can’t possibly constitute untidiness. Well, I hate to say this kids, but you would be very surprised at how often I think ‘Oh, there’s a Lego brick’ and before I even have time to move it (which I genuinely intend to do), it is gone. Never to be seen again. Such is the power of the Henry.
After about an hour and a half my house looks reasonable. I have a few hours in which to enjoy it. Then the kids get home and I wonder why I even bothered. And once we get to the weekend – forget it. Half a rugby pitch on my hall carpet? Yeah, why not?
It’s a good job I only dislike hoovering a little bit.