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30 Apr 2005: A Sky Clearing

A picture

Duke of York's Column

The flat is cleaned every weekend but, in preparation for Aki's grand return from Japan on a Saturday, I cleaned a day early. I used the small Goblin vacuum that was part of the flat's inventory. I hated using it because its suction was painfully weak meaning that every square inch of carpet needed to be revisited several times before it could be officially declared a safe zone.

I was surprised when the vacuum made a deep growling noise while cleaning around the long wooden coffee table in the lounge. For an instant I wasn't sure what to do but the cloud of dust being blown out of the air exhaust of the vacuum cleaner convinced me to jab the power button pretty quickly. The noise stopped but I was even more alarmed by a thick, white plume of smoke drifting out of the exhaust. Holy crap, I thought, I'm going to be burned to death by a faulty vacuum cleaner.

Disturbed that my epitaph could be "Another man killed by cleaning," I yanked the power cord out of the wall and hurled the vacuum cleaner out onto the balcony. I then noticed a layer of smoke obscuring the ceiling spotlights and I thought of only one thing: smoke alarm. Fortunately by throwing open the windows to the cold night air I managed to avert a crisis involving the smoke alarm.

Please understand, this is not what typically happens when I clean the flat.

The unreliable and deceased Goblin has now been replaced by a super-efficient Dyson.