But I’m not going to do any of that now. I'll save those topics for another time.
All I’ll say is pleasures should never be guilty (unless they’re illegal or harming you or another). I have absolutely no guilt in any of these pleasures. I blogged about joy before, so if you want to know more about a Steps musical, and how amazingly awesome and joyous an experience it was, fill your boots there, please do.
No, no and thrice no, (that’s another pleasure of mine, Carry On films, but as I said, any more of that’s not for here…).
Instead today, I’m going to talk about why I have an obscure love of certain white goods in the home. Namely washing machines and vacuum cleaners.
Yes, you read that right. ::taps mic:: my name is Liam Livings and I LOVE washing machines (in particular twintubs) and vacuum cleaners (in particular retro ones).
I've always been interested in them but it was brought to the fore earlier this year while I took a break from social media. It had become a pretty unpleasant place to be, so instead whenever I wanted to suck on the teat of the internet I ventured to Youtube. There I discovered a wonderful channel where a man unboxes and reviews – at deliciously very serious length – old vacuum cleaners. He covers his carpet in dirt and then does one pass to see how well it picks up. He refers to the line of shame (where it leaves the dirt on the carpet).
My obsession with vacuum cleaners comes from when I was a little boy I used to vacuum the house. The vacuum cleaner was a wedding present from when Mum and Dad got married. In 1977. It was quite old and given we had a house of 4 people, 2 dogs and 2 cats it really wasn’t up to the job. I took it upon myself to research the next vacuum cleaner we should buy.
I went to the local library, searching out Which Magazine for vacuum cleaner reviews, wrote summaries, did more research. Finally I was ready to pronounce to Mum what our next vacuum cleaner should be. She then persuaded Dad that the current one could be retired and used for cleaning out the cars.
I used to love using that vacuum cleaner; I even bought myself a similar but newer version when I moved in with BF. It's a Sebo Automatic X 1 for all 0.5 people who are remotely interested.
My particular favourite retro vacuum cleaners are: the Hoover Junior, Hoover Senior, Hoover Constellation (it hovers on a cushion of air!) and I’m also partial to the Electroloux 330 series because this is what I used as a boy before replacing it, as well as the Electrolux 502.
Why do I find them interesting?
Honestly, I have no idea. I like them for the same reason I like Steps, Goldie Hawn and Yazoo – because I like them. Yes, I like them because I like them. I can’t explain it any more I’m afraid. Plus, the adverts were great: it beats as it sweeps as it cleans. Amazing! (Ok, so that’s just me who thinks that.)
Having enjoyed the retro vacuum cleaners on Youtube, I was then led onto other Hoover appliances, including the wonderful video community about twintub washing machines. In particular the Hoovermatic with ‘boiling action’. I had a friend when I was a teenager and they lived in the New Forest. For the first few years of our friendship their small cottage didn’t have mains electricity; instead they used gas lights and a sort of gas fridge contraption. When eventually they were hooked up to the mains, electricity was a rare and precious thing as was hot water because they only had a wood fired stove. My friend’s mum hence used a twintub washing machine to wash their clothes, rather than an automatic one. To a small boy, already slightly obsessed with vacuum cleaners, watching my friend’s mum do the washing with this weird contraption was like magic.
I used to stand back and stare in wonder as she loaded the clothes into the first tub (with boiling action) and the clothes would swirl around and around, appearing as if the water were boiling. Then very quickly they were passed into the second tub (hence twintub) where they would be spun at high speed. The machine had hoses connecting it to the taps, and another one where the dirty water came out into the sink. It was a sort of octopus ballet.
When I asked why friend’s mum why she didn’t just use a normal washing machine, she replied, ‘Because with this one, even though I’ve got to hold its hand throughout, I can do a whole week’s washing in less than an hour and use hardly any water.’
Here's an advert for the Hoovermatic twintub. Fill. Your. Boots. (Or swipe left if it's not your thing)
Sometimes I go to department stores and look at the washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Checking out their specs and twiddling the knobs and buttons. If I’m approached by a sales person I say I’m just looking (who just looks at white goods? Me, I do!)
So why do I have an obscure love of washing machines and in particular twintub ones?
I think it’s because they’re an anachronism. A bit quirky. Also how the person has to interact with them more than a normal automatic washing machine. I think they’re a bit steam punk.
So why am I almost blogging about guilty pleasures and actually blogging about obscure loves?
Because my friend Rhoda Baxter has a fabulous new book out, Girl In Trouble. Walter, one of the main characters, thinks hydrothermal vents are beautiful, but no one else does.
Girl In Trouble:
Grown up tomboy Olivia doesn't need a man to complete her. Judging by her absent father, men aren't that reliable anyway. She's got a successful career, good friends and can evict spiders from the bath herself, so she doesn't need to settle down, thanks.
Walter's ex is moving his daughter to America and Walter feels like he's losing his family. When his friend-with-benefits, Olivia, discovers she's pregnant by her douchebag ex, Walter sees the perfect chance to be part of a family with a woman he loves. But how can Walter persuade the most independent woman he's ever met to accept his help, let alone his heart?
Girl In Trouble is the third book in the award nominated Smart Girls series by Rhoda Baxter. If you like charming heroes, alpha heroines and sparkling dialogue, you'll love this series. Ideal for fans of Sarah Morgan, Lindsey Kelk or Meg Cabot's Boy books. Buy now and meet your new favourite heroine today.
Buy link : books2read.com/u/4Doy6r
[The book is on sale for 99p on the 9th and 10th of October, after which it'll climb up to 2.99. If you buy in the first week, you get some early bird bonuses - a short story collection and a recipe booklet containing recipes for the snacks mentioned in the Girl Having A Ball.]