When I was a boy, Mum had a sure fire, annoying response to all of my valid boyish whining.

‘Mum, there’s nothing to do,’ I’d moan.

‘Go outside and play in the sunshine!’

‘Mum, I’m hungry.’

‘Grab an apple and go outside and play in the sunshine!’

‘Mum, can I watch something on our black and white TV?’

‘No. Go outside and play in the sunshine!’

‘Mum, I’ve got skin cancer.’

‘Go outside and play in the sunshine!’

We lived in the country and there were paddocks and hills and sheds and adventure, and sunshine. She was right. Life is short and you should go outside and play in the sunshine. Wear a hat.

Fast forward to now, and Robinson has a similar dogged response to my valid mannish whining.

‘There’s nothing to do,’ I moan.

‘You could vacuum.’

‘It never stops raining and I can’t do any gardening. ’

‘You could vacuum.’

‘Should we go to one of our Inner-West groovy micro-breweries and drink beer all day with bearded people and their dogs?’

‘Maybe. Or you could vacuum.’

I’m not sure when this fetish began. Maybe she’s genuinely concerned about the cat hair and dust all over everything. I couldn’t care less. Maybe she gets off on watching me stooped in domestic duty, crying, vacuuming.

Whatever. Imagine my delight earlier this week when a great big box was delivered to our front door. I’d been expecting a great big box for our French neighbours who are away down the coast. But this great big box had my name on it!

Robinson and Nina sat on the couch in the sunroom and watched as I excitedly tore it open. Maybe it was a giant rain gauge to measure the end of the world?

Lo and behold: it was an upright, battery powered vacuum cleaner. Thanks Robinson! Before I’d unwrapped all the attachments, Nina was off the couch and into the empty boxes. Robinson was beaming at this extra opportunity to hear a vacuum cleaner whining in our house.

We now have four vacuum cleaners. One for upstairs, one for downstairs, a hand-held one for cleaning around Nina’s litter tray and the mats in the Skoda, and now an upright battery powered one for those quiet moments when I’m not doing anything.

We’ve both given it a whirl. It has headlights, so you can see what you’re about to whisk away. It has no cord, so you can keep going around and around for kilometres. It’s got a little see-through container, so you see how filthy your floors were before you sucked it all up.

It’s better than an air fryer. It’s worse than a Skoda. But it’s convenient. We vacuum daily now and even I have to admit it’s quite satisfying.

When the novelty wears off I’ll go outside and play in the sunshine. I mean rain.

That outdoor terrace could do with a quick tidy up…

2 thoughts on “SUCK IT UP

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