Monday, 16 July 2012

My invention, brought to life

This is not my invention.  Read on.

This morning as I contemplated the stain on the carpet, from a cup of tea I knocked over last Thursday because my back was sore and I couldn't be bothered to turn around and put it on a table...

Spilt tea had been quickly sponged up, then bicarbonate of soda and water applied, as I didn't have any  carpet shampoo.  It wasn't too bad, but something more was needed.

..I came up with a BRILLIANT idea.  What would be just fabulous would be a small, hand-held steam cleaner, like the one my Mum has that is vacuum-cleaner sized, but in miniature?  

Maybe this is the idea that will make me millions, I thought.
The 'Dragon's Den' was beckoning. I had my 'pitch' half-written...

But I would have to put off the actual designing of my most marvellous invention until I came back from going over to the central sorting depot of the charity for which I volunteer.  When I did my stint last week, I said to one of the more experienced hands that I felt it would be useful to see what goes on there, (ie. how they prepare the donations to go out to the shops) to check my sorting standards were up to par.  She very kindly contacted the depot and arranged for me to go over today.

Upon arrival, I was introduced to everybody, then began helping one lovely lady with the sorting.  The very first bag she picked up disappointed her.  

'What a shame - we can't sell electricals!' And she showed me this...

brought to life, spookily quickly!

So I told chief-sorter about the stain on my carpet and how I'd 'invented' the hand-held steamer earlier that morning, at which point she clearly thought 'This woman is mad - better humour her before she takes me hostage, brandishing the steam-cleaner like a weapon!'

She insisted I put it with my handbag, ready to take home and wouldn't let me pay for it as she said it might not work. 

So late this afternoon (after a fun and enlightening day at the sorting depot - I am going to help out there again next week!) I took it out of the box, filled it up, steeled myself for possible electrocution and plugged it in.

In spite of the potential danger, it seemed quite glamorous (in a retro sort of way) what with its Italian name that brought to mind Vespas, Lambrettas and Venetian waterbuses.    I was almost compelled to dress for the occasion - you know, capri pants and a little neckerchief perhaps, like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, but in the end, I just armed myself and got on with the job.

In action, it actually was a bit like a Venetian waterbus (not that I have ever been on one, mind), as there was a lot of 'Pffft! Pffft!' ing and quite a lot of spurting of water.  Eventually it got into its stride and I was able to improve the look of the stained area.  It is still a bit damp, so there's no point doing an 'after' shot just yet, but believe you me, if it has worked I will show you.  Then you can always invest in your own version of 'my' invention.  Maybe if you actually buy from a shop you get an Italian hunk thrown in too...

Riccardo Scamarcio - he's an Italian actor apparently .
Not being much of a movie go-er, and even less of a foreign language movie go-er, I had not come across him before somewhat unwisely typing in 'Italian hunk' into dear old Google, in a bid to find an attractive picture with which to enliven this post, which is basically about domestics.  Having found such a prime example of the Italian male, I am now going to put this photo at the beginning of this post too.  That way, it's going to look a darn sight more like a post to read from the thumbnail!

Okay, now an appeal.  Anyone out there know what type of beetle this is...

...and able to suggest how we get the little blighters (about seven or eight in the last three days, mostly near the sink) to stay out of our kitchen? They are giving Miss U-t-B and I the heeby-geebies!

Yippee!  'University Challenge' is back tonight.  I can watch and pretend to be intellectual by answering a question or two!

Thank you for reading my ramblings and thanks for all the lovely comments.   I really do appreciate them!


  1. You obviously need a man about the house!

    Might I suggest Black andl Yellowonghorn beetle-

    Like other longhorn beetles, their larvae bore into decaying wood, although I don’t think this particular species has been studied enough to know their wood preferences. Their relatives seem to like rotting pine, though.

    Do you perchance have an idiotic husband who stores logs near your kitchen window.

  2. And P.S.

    Never mind the beetle, what's al this about hankering after Italian Hunks??

  3. the photo worked...I wanted to read the whole post and found it all very easy to read and easy on the eye....thanks!

  4. I disagree with Anonymous - they are Sexton beetles, and do let us know if the stain is removed please.

  5. Actually I wish to correct my previous Identification, looks more like a sexton beetle

    carrion/sexton beetle - Nicrophorus tomentosus

    Come to think of it the neighbours haven't seen your husband around for a while, followed by this infestation, and an interest in Italian Hunks....
    Time to call Scotland yard......

  6. Riccardo is really rather beautiful, **sigh**

    You are clearly a genius in the style of Mr 'Vacuum' Dyson, Mr 'Apple' Jobs and Mr 'Everything ever invented' Da Vinci. I am glad you did not get electrocuted.

  7. I'm ignoring the Italian hunk and beetles and marvelling at the synchronicity of your steam cleaning find. An awful lot of these coincidences have been happening to me lately...!

  8. What a lucky find! Hope it did the job ... xxx