Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Vacuum Cleaner

Australia day was the end of Mother's vacuum cleaner problems. If I ever hear the word vacuum cleaner again from Mother, it will be her end.

We took her out for lunch to the Pakenham Hotel. I can recommend it. The food was nice, average hotel bistro prices and good service along with a nice open aspect to the dining room. It is quite an old hotel and originally it faced the railway station with its side to the main street and its back to what are now shops. It has been reoriented to the main street, but you can clearly see its original face. I suspect the railway station was moved from the western side of Main Street to the eastern side.

Let me go back to over one year ago, nay, longer than that, back to the time Step Father first became ill before he died. Step Father used to do the vacuuming. Now he no longer could, Mother struggled on with her large heavy upright. Sometimes ABI Brother did it, or anyone of us if we were around.

Once Step Father was dead, Sister offered to buy Mother a new upright vacuum cleaner. Mother had a specific one in mind that was supposed to be easy to use. Sister bought a different one. Sister should have known better. Mother complained bitterly that it was too heavy.

Mother's friend bought her a smaller and light rechargeable upright model. I though it was very good, but Mother could never get the hang of putting the dust container back on the unit. How many times I told her, hang it on the hook and the top and then press it in at the bottom until it clicks.

Along the way, when we sold our Hotham Street flat, the tenant left behind a barrel vacuum cleaner which we gave to ABI brother to vacuum his car, but somehow it ended up at Mother's.

The count is now her original, the one Sister bought, the one her friend bought and the barrel model. Add to that two very old floor polishers, that might actually be worth something, and you will no longer wonder why her house seems crowded.

She was using the cordless one but the report on Australia Day was that she had kicked it as she could not get the dust holder back into position. It took me some figuring out to get it right. She had taken a slide in filter out and put it back in the wrong way. Because it was wrong, it was bent and I had a lot of trouble working out why it would not fit. Eventually I did, but she wanted to go and look at a new vacuum cleaner.

After our lunch, we took her to the local Godfreys vacuum cleaner shop. I thought I would let her do the talking and she did and the salesman was showing her an American made commercial model. I knew what was coming, but I did give it a tryout and it was light and good to use. At some point I thought things had gone on long enough and I asked how much. $800. Mother reeled. She explained to salesman that she was thinking of spending much less.

She asked to see the model that she wanted Sister to buy. He produced and it was a heavy machine too.

We then found a cord model that seemed to be light, and was around the right price. She won't be able to empty it and even we struggled a bit. That is fine. She can leave it alone and we will do it when we are around. The salesman knocked $20 off the price, bringing it down to $160 and threw in a new filter for the bent one from her cordless. Deal done, I said. I expected her to pay, but R whipped out his card and paid. He said it was not necessary, but I gave him half.

I am used to Mother. R gets so exasperated with her and I was sternly lectured on the way home about her foolishness nonsense. Brother took the barrel vacuum cleaner back to his place and so the balance is the same. Four vacuum cleaners and two floor polishers.

Now if she just once mentions a problem with the new one, I will call the council and insist she gets home help.

Btw, I took the cleaner that Sister bought home to give it a try with the intention that if I liked it, I would pay Sister for it. I hated it. Our Volta barrel is about thirty years old and apart from having to buy a new head (or is it called a foot?) from South Melbourne market, it works fine and has never given trouble.

Later Edit: A letter arrived from Mother today along with a thank you card for R. She loves the vacuum cleaner.


  1. R is such a good boy, you be careful he doesn't insist on looking after Mother when she gets frail!

  2. I was disappointed to read the article and find out that it WASN'T the kind of story I was hoping it would be, involving vacuum cleaners.



  3. oh hooray that she loves it! Ha ha.

  4. Anonymous7:52 am

    I would have just bought her a new straw broom.......:)

  5. I know how to make R turn white Jayne. I just say 'and when Mother has to come and live with us'.

    Many can write such stories better than I can DA.

    A relief Fen.

    And not have anyone to drive her around Anon? Nah.

  6. *SNIGGER*
    Dearest Andrew, I feel your pain.
    I've just inherited mum's vac after my sister swept through the house before the new owner arrived.
    I eventually got it going after pulling miles of garbage out of the pipes including several nuts and bolts and cutting miles of nephew's long hair off the roller.

  7. Jahteh, tis amazing how much dirt on a floor one person can make.

  8. no modern vac is as good as those old barrel ones. Dogfreys will put a new motor in for $150, and that's another thing modern ones can't do.

    R for rare, rockin, and reckless.

  9. Guess that goes for many old products Ann.