And she never touched the hoover in her life!

Do you have household/gardening tasks that you never want to do? In fact, do you have household/gardening tasks that you never do?

My inside-the-house bugbear is hoovering. I can never bring myself to hoover, or at least I have to force myself to do so at ever-lengthening intervals. One of the phrases Ex went around reciting to all and sundry after I left him was, according to my informants: … and she never touched the hoover in her life! The reason for this was, he would never let me touch the hoover (in case I should chip the paint on the skirting-board) or the cooker (in case I should have the gas up wastefully high and increase our gas bills) or the saucepans on the cooker (in case I should let them boil over and make a mess, which he would then have to spend the next two and a half hours soaping, scrubbing, disinfecting and huffing and puffing over in a futile attempt to make me feel guilty) or the supermarket trolley (in case I might place in it something he didn’t approve of) or anything, except for some reason the iron and ironing board. He controlled the lot.

Not that I minded too much about the hoover.

It’s partly the dreadful noise the hoover makes. I abhor loud noises. The cats abhor them too and run about terrified until I switch the Horrid Howly Thing off. So out of consideration for them… but no, that’s an excuse.

Fitted carpet is such pointless stuff, isn’t it? Whoever invented it? Wasn’t it so much more fun when you could pick up the mat, sling it over the washing-line and beat the living daylights out of it with a carpet-beater?


If I could afford to I’d have the whole faded, worn out lot torn up and replaced with parquet flooring or whatever-lino-is-called-nowadays. Then I could just sweep up twelve cats’ worth of shed fur, or better still rig up some sort of leaf blower gadget and simply blow the stuff outdoors.

The one upside to this is that when I do hoover nowadays I can jolly well see where I’ve been. The hoover quickly get stuffed with the equivalent of one full-size cat, which I then have to prise out. Perhaps it is a full-size cat. (Why is shed cat fur always grey, when some of the cats are ginger, some white, some black…? I suppose it’s the same inscrutable law of physics that turns those brightly coloured strands of Plasticine brown after ten minutes of making plaits and snakes and rabbits. After that, all you can make are elephants.)

My outside the house one is lawn-mowing. I rarely mow the lawn and so the grass and all the random, multi-coloured vegetation that lurks amongst it runs riot. My front lawn presently resembles a flower-meadow, with little earth mountains scattered about it. My neighbour informs me that the mini-mountains are ant-hills (I was hoping for moles). He says the rain causes their eggs to rise to the surface and… eugh. Each ant-hill brings my mower to a shuddering stop as those inadequate little plastic blades (the cheapest Argos had to offer) attempt, but fail, to trepan it.

And because it puffs me out, and it always seems to be hot and humid when you mow the lawn, I tend not to get down and dirty with the shears, which are in any case so rusty as to be no longer much influenced by a dribble of WD40, and chop off those long, whiskery bits of grass. The long, whiskery bits at the edges of my lawn have now got flower-heads on them, and something blue and rather pretty has crept under the neighbour’s fence and mingled with them, and mingled up the fence, and mingled over the tubs of overgrown lavender and whatever left here by the previous owners. I tell myself I have created a wildlife habitat, and the hedgehog will love it. Not that I’ve seen the hedgehog for quite a while. He’s probably still trying to fight his way through the long, whiskery bits.

So tomorrow out with the strimmer; no excuses, it’s got to be done.

Unless it’s raining, of course. Or looks like it might rain. Or unless I get a good idea for a post. Or unless the living room carpet needs hoovering…



3 thoughts on “And she never touched the hoover in her life!

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