As a person who both has kids and occasionally indulges in a bit of Tinder swiping, I find it hard to know when to reveal I’m a mother. I’m not an idiot, I know that ‘Single Mum’ as a statement on my profile isn’t exactly going to get app-based hearts racing. In fact, there probably aren’t any less erotic sentences than “once I gave birth!”.
So I’m always trying to figure out ways I can make the fact I have kids more relatable. Thinking about your typical man in his early thirties, he won’t know many people with kids, and will never think to ask the question of whether or not they exist for a girl on Tinder.
And so once or twice I’ve ended up blurting out my children’s existence at the weirdest times. It can happen when they ask me if I have housemates: Yes, I say, but they’re smaller than your average roomie and they came out of my uterus, haha!
Or it happens when they start to discuss pets. I have kids, say I, which is basically the same thing – apart from they’re house trained, hoho!
Incidentally, I take the same perspective with my vacuum cleaners. No, I don’t have pets, but I have two little people who make about the amount of mess that I’d imagine a very mucky pet does, and so I look for the heavy duty cleaning power you find in the ‘pet’ or ‘animal’ versions of the cleaners. I also look for the heavy duty something else when it comes to Tinder, but that’s a whole other blog post.
Which is, in a completely roundabout way, how I want to introduce the new Dyson Animal V8 from John Lewis (£449.99) to you.
Now, I’ve never had a handheld vacuum cleaner before, beyond a rubbish one that I used to use to clean the car. And so I was intrigued to see if this could perform as well as my current cylinder vacuum, a Miele I bought on my cleaner’s recommendation about a year ago (the Animal version, natch).
I loved my Miele cleaner. It did everything you’d need a vacuum cleaner to do and its suction was so insane I could never use it on full-power: but the thing was HEAVY. Worse than heavy. Heavy AND bulky. It was the biggest pain in the arse to drag around the house, so I only did so about once a week. Which was bad news for the crumbs that collected underneath the kitchen table daily thanks to my two pets, I mean children.
I COULD have got the Miele out more often than once a week to hoover them up, but in all honesty I just couldn’t really be bothered. It was so big that always had to store it at the most awkward spot in the back of my ironing cupboard and I couldn’t face the struggle to heave it in and out more than that frequency.
Which is why you’d find me, day to day, sweeping up those crumbs with kitchen towels and a look of disgust on my face.
The Dyson V8 though? That’s a whole different ballgame. This vacuum cleaner is so light and portable that I have it out not once, but twice a day sometimes, after dinner crumbs and breakfast as well. Any time I spot something on the rug or the sofa, a touch of fluff, a speck of mud, it gets swept up into the powerful V8 cylinder. It’s SO easy, SO effective. It’s effortless, brilliant.
Another place the V8 totally comes into its own is when vacuuming the stairs. I’ve never liked hoovering the stairs and have been known to put it off for months but now – boom. Done. Easy. Never have my stairs been this clean!
The Dyson V8 is highly effective and you won’t find better on the market for the size and portability. It’s easy to use as both a handheld and longer-nozzled cleaner so it feels like more of a traditional hoover, and the different heads mean you can use it to clean just about everything that might get dusty in your home (I’m a particular fan of zapping the cobwebs with it). It’s light enough that the kids can have a go – and they feel super ‘helpful’ when they do so – and though some reviews I’ve read say it’s heavy to use while holding down the button I say BOOHOOH, are your diamond shoes too tight?!
It charges at the mains in a quick couple of hours, and one of these is more than enough for two whole-house cleans (including stairs) plus a week of swift zooms around the kitchen table (which equates to approx. 40 minutes of vacuum time – 25 if you’re using the motorised head).
In summary, this vacuum cleaner is the dog’s bollocks. I love it and haven’t felt the need to heft my heavy Miele out of the ironing cupboard since it arrived. It’s literally everything you could want in a vacuum cleaner, but more because it’s so teeny and light and fun to use. If you’re king (or queen) of a dusty Grade 1 registered seven bedroomed mansion then the appliance will probably be a little too light-duty for all your Persian rugs and re-claimed wood flooring, but for serfs and plebs like me with the average number of bedrooms and flooring from IKEA and the Milton Keynes carpet shop you could not find a better hoover than this.
Huge thank-yous to John Lewis for changing my life and my staircase with the Dyson V8 Animal.