Henry, Portrait of a serial Vacuum Cleaner.


I am undergoing a domestic revolution, of sorts.

Now, this won’t be of interest to all of you, I am sure, but what I am about to tell you is important to me. The revelation I am about to impart is that for many years, I don’t believe my vacuum cleaner to have worked. I had always assumed that my carpets were beyond redemption, so when I occasionally pushed this clumsy great Dyson upright across their distressed threads and moth tundras, my expectations were excessively low.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it (perhaps in a bid not to break the hearts of those who fantasize of marrying me, I should keep my romantic status in the shadows, and remain a happy-go-lucky bachelor boy like the chap who drives the bus), however, I have recently formed an attachment, once again – not with a Dyson, I hasten to add, but with a lady – and we have set up shop together, so to speak.

One of the joyful by-products of domestic coupling, is that your partner might own better stuff than you – and this is what has happened. The apple of my eye, my beloved, owns a Henry Hoover, one of the red ones with the happy face on it, and now it is in our shared custody. I was naturally rather sceptical that anything could out-perform a Dyson; the triumph of good taste for middle-aged, design-obsessed, architectural book on the coffee table piling, Provence holidaying, one glass of Chablis quaffing, denim wearers, but when little Henry Hoover got sucking the dust, it was an epiphany. The ancient shroud of grit, skin flakes, fag ash and moth eggs I’d reluctantly called a carpet, lifted, to reveal… well, the carpet. The Dyson, given to me by my multi vacuum cleaner owning mother, was hastily dispatched to the street, with a note on it, assuring treasure hunters that it worked – and it was gone the next morning.

My love and I still have much work to do, pictures to hang – many of an unusual nature – and sadly, owing to the lateness of Henry Hoover’s intervention, we may yet decide to dispense with carpets all together. I saw the first moth of the season yesterday, along with an actual False Widow spider, who must have been disturbed due to some actual gardening. Hopefully, its sympathetic treatment will make us friends, favoured humans, not to be bitten and photographed for the Daily Mail, with our puss-oozing swellings on display.

The Labour Party, now gearing up rather well I think, are on to me, and have realised that I am not really called Syphilis. I am now the rather respectable Jonathan Goldenwinkle of West Hampstead.

Mother came to visit, and enjoyed the paintings, especially the new one. We had Shepherd’s Pie, which reminds me – I need to wash up.

Have a fine weekend – here’s to red wine, Windsor and Newton, love, and Henry Hoover.

John Moore 10.4.15