Friday, 24 February 2012
I don't think many of you would disagree with me, when I say "hoovering" doesn't have a very masculine image. When you think of a person with a vacuum cleaner is it Betty Boo or Steve Reeves? Or, in a similar vein, what image floats up before your mind's eye when you think about ironing. I bet it's not a bulky, beefy prop forward. More likely a young, harassed housewife with a bottle of gin and the valium
However, I've notice that in recent years these household helps have got increasingly industrial. Today for example I was hoovering and at the same time the local contractors were resurfacing the road outside. Ten ton steam rollers were huffing and puffing up and down the road trying to flatten the speed humps (I had told them not to try!), but could I hear them. Not the tiniest rumble. So loud and powerful was the suck of my Dyson that you'd have thought I was re-laying the kitchen floor with one of those hand thumping jobbies.
If you'd stood outside our front door you'd have had an image of a mountain of a man stripped to the waist, muscles bulging, sweat pouring of his brown brow as he swigged pints of sweet, milky tea. Instead it was just little old me clearing up the split cornflakes.
It doesn't stop there, the magical transformation wrought by these mechanical wonders. We bought a steam clearer. A really powerful industrial one from Italy. They're extremely hot on hot steamy things, I blame it on La Dulce Vita. Anyway, as well as being remarkably effective in cleaning almost any surface no matter what it may be covered with, with a steam iron attachment it skips through that particular household chore in no time. Heavy duty denim: a doddle - one blast and you're Levi Slims are as drain pipes.
But the real beauty of this beast is the noise and the steam. What with it's little red light, steam issuing from every pore and orifice and a gurgling that reminds one of a Yellowstone geyser, this piece of machinery is perfect. I feel like Hephaestus knocking out old Achilles' armour. There I am, surrounded by pyjamas, nighties, cord boxer shorts and lumberjack shirts and I scythe through them as I wield my iron of destiny. One gets quite carried away.
But, of course, it is the food mixer that is king. Pulse, blast, pummel. The noise it makes as you whisk the most delicate of ingredients is truly majestic. When I'm in the kitchen and the blender is pulsating, kicking the shit out some small poor herb or nut, I am Johnny Craddock transfigured. I am the offspring of Delia and Hades; turning my kitchen into a Hell that wimps can't take.
Wilted spinach holds no fear for me when I've my whisk in my hand.