My nemesis throughout life has been how to escape ennui. Mother’s answer was always; keep busy and don’t nourish impure thoughts (hold hands above blankets) and think of poor little Moses in its reed basket floating down the Nile. But…sometimes keeping busy does not always mean an escape from boredom. Take vacuuming. What can be more soul destroying? It is a painful truth but Jack Russell roughies lose their bodyweight in hair each day. Hence the relentless vacuuming. Helvi pretends she doesn’t understand the technicalities of switching on/off the vacuum cleaner. Humfppp and grrr.
But here is where Aldi shines, yet again. They had a robotic vacuum cleaner for $179.- .It was on ‘special’ and it would be ‘saving money’ at that price. Who could resist? I hurried home to tell Helvi the good news. “Will it work, she sceptically asked?” “Oh, it will. Come upstairs and I’ll show you the video. It is a very clean movie, no nudity or strange hairy bits, I added for comfort”. The video was no Godfather or The Killing. It did show how deft and persistent the robot fulfilled its programmed task. It faultlessly skirted around crevices and dipped into every nook and cranny. Not a square inch forgotten. It reared up over carpets and assaulted dust as if Lawrence of Arabia in the Sahara. Amazing. I was so happy and more happy. I was on the edge of my chair. I had overcome.
Yes, there is more. Remember the kids’ tablets behind lock and key? We just could not stand them sitting around on holiday fiddling with those tablets eating up all our data. I had an emergency e-mail from Telstra that most of my data was used up and there were still over twenty days left. I took charge and locked up the devices. The good news was that after an initial period of pissed off kids, scowling and threatening to call their mother, they relented, and lifted their heads up from the almost permanent 90 degree angle of heads to chest. In between Emergency Hospital visits, Thomas read hundreds of pages and started building his V8 engine. He managed to get the 8 pistons in the cylinders on the crankshaft. No mean feat considering the pistons moved up and down in series of two. He also got all the tappets working. I just took a minor role providing him with nice words and a Philips screwdriver. Max started going around on skateboard and managed to wack three tennis balls over the fence.. So, all came good at the end.
I remember during my school holidays being flat out stealing lead flashings from windows or going around with a magnifying glass burning shoe laces that would slowly creep towards a box full of match-heads which we had laid on the local tram-rail. We would collect a bucket full of thistle heads which we would throw on fashionably dressed ladies’ coats. How fortunate no Internet tablets were around to corrupt and spoil us.
We were so lucky!