Vax handheld vacuum – a kitchen revelation

Two cats, a toddler and a white kitchen floor was never a good idea – but then I’m not sure white floors ever are unless you’re planning to wear those crime investigation all-in-ones suits around the house.

My floors always seem to look messy, with crumbs, hair and unidentified ‘bits’ loitering around.  It’s such a pain lugging out a big vacuum cleaner every time I want to have a quick clean and, to be quite honest, I rarely did.

The Vax handheld Gator

The Vax handheld Gator

So, I’ve been reviewing the VAX H90-GA-B Gator.The Gator is a handheld vacuum, rechargeable and sits nicely on my worktop without the hassle of finding a cupboard for it. I’m genuinely impressed. In terms of making life easier it certainly ticks the box – it’s quick, easy to use and clean and my floors are very thankful!

I was also surprised how powerful it was – even if it is rather noisy!. It’s never going to replace a proper vacuum but when I need to have a quick whiz over the floor and get rid of the cat hair and crumbs it’s perfect. In fact it’s quite addictive because it makes a huge difference very quickly and with the pull-out nozzle it can get into corners a large vacuum never could.

It’s cordless and pretty lightweight which means you can get to grips with mess where ever it is – quickly. It’s also strangley satisfying to be able to pop open the filter in the flick of a thumb and see just how much crap you’ve managed to pick up!

A great addition to my kitchen and I have been using it everyday without much hassle. It’s easy to clean and the filter can even be put in the washhing machine. Like most Vax products it just makes life a bit easier and saves me sweeping the floor or doing a whole vacuum through.

Arthur is also quite keen on it, although I don’t think the cat he’s been trying to ‘clean’ is quite as keen!


I haven’t been paid for this review but I was sent the product to review

A bumbling buffoon of uncoolness

I ain’t cool – fact. Even squeezing the word ‘ain’t’ out leaves me painfully aware of my non-cool status. I’ve tried on many occasions but have to finally admit I can’t be arsed any more. I’m neither edgy or quirky, just a bit chubby and tired.

  • I’ve tried but I can’t do vintage – when I do it looks like my nan’s house
  • I find find talk of poo, lady parts and general bum humour hilarious, this simply isn’t cool
  • I like to think I’m a cool, working mum feminist. Truth is I secretly feel a little incensed if a man doesn’t hold a door open for me. I know, I know, deal with it – this is my moment.
  • I love John Lewis, it’s so convenient and everything there is lovely.
  • I have a huge head, I mean proper fuck-off massive and therefore can never wear a cool hat. Well I can but the poor hat’s street cred will immediately tumble.
  • I wear big pants more often than not because they are comfy and comfy comes before style- so not cool.
  • I hate text speak and can’t write it, even if it takes me an hour to finish a text.
  • I love pork pies and scotch eggs – just shop bought ones, nothing fancy from a deli needed here and I can’t be doing with sundried things and things in small pots.
  • I bought a jump suit and looked like my mum in the 80s.
  • I love Midsummer Murder and Miss Marple. I mean really love them, and Murder She Wrote.

This is me, uncool and proud. No longer searching for vintage pieces and flattering ‘on trend’ outfits. No longer marching to the tune of some unattainable cool that chills me to the bone. I’m a bumbling buffoon in a world of cool and that’s cool with me. So for all those big-headed weirdos who wear big pants, let’s reclaim cool and put it in something comfy from John Lewis. Ahh, that’s better.

Toddler-proofing your home – can you really?

I never realised how destructive toddlers can be. From the moment they enter toddlerdom they can physically outwit even the most spritely of parents. We are subdued by caution and fear where as they bound from room to room, adventure to adventure and only stop for regular refuelling – something else you have to be on hand to provide and pay for.

I recently read that the average cost of bringing up a child to the age of 18 is approx. £100,000. Hmmm, I suspect this doesn’t take into account the redecoration and furniture you have to bung out for during their wonderful rampage through your life.

Arthur, for example, currently loves jumping on the arm of our leather sofa and using it to play horsey and Fireman Sam – apparently it’s the best place ever for fire fighting. Since he joined the ranks of toddler terrors we’ve bought a new bed frame and mattress, although we probably needed one anyway. We’ve bought a new table because of his continuous attempts to create crayon masterpieces. Three tins of French Grey paint to redecorate the kitchen and get rid of sweet potato stains and yet more drawing and a new sitting room carpet.

As well as climbing on sofas he loves to bounce on them too, leaving huge Arthur shaped dents where once my cushions sat pristine and perfect. Even fresh flowers are a no no, unless I want a quick trip to A&E.

So what do you do if you want to keep your home looking great but you don’t have a massive budget?

Buy smart – beautiful art on the walls, out of reach of little hands can add a wow factor and is not in danger of being knocked over or smashed.

Invest in lots of pretty wipe-clean table cloths, these have been a godsend to me as they look nice on the table, are quick and easy to clean and mean he can paint and draw and I know a good wipe over will leave it as good as new.

Look out for bargains you can put away until they are a little older. I’ve found several gorgeous cushions and a lovely old oak desk. They give me hope that one day my home will be reclaimed by the adults. I’ll use the cushions sparingly and at least if they are trashed it’s not a huge expense.

Sometimes only a new sofa will do so make sure you shop around for bargains. Custom made sofas are a great choice because you can choose exactly what you want, even down to the filling. is a great starting point for this, very reasonably priced and with styles to suit all. You can also order from the comfort of your own, decrepit, bounced-out sofa!

Visit their online shop at to take a look at their full range – there’s loads to choose from.

So here’s hoping that by the time he’s 18, Arthur will have left me some home to cherish and I can get back to poofing cushions with pride – yeah right.

Time stands still for no man- except toddlers.

I was going to write a post about our wonderful holiday in France. A fantastic week to be rounded off with a trip to London. It was planned and organised – and then Arthur was poorly. Luckily nothing serious and just after we got home from hols. But made me think about how these small people come along and from the moment they decide to make their entrance planning and organisation as we know it is defunct.

Labour descends on you whether you feel ready or not. A tiny little bundle screams through the night and there’s often little you can do. Time is heavy  with anticipation, hope, fear and very little planning.

I never realised how easily I would hand over control, how quickly life becomes consumed with someone else’s welfare. They are wiley canny little creatures, illness comes on in minutes, tantrums engulf like thunder and recede as quickly.

I am no longer a woman who knows, truly what will happen next week, I just think I do. I’m sitting drinking another cup of tea. Waiting for Arthur to wake up, waiting to see what he will do next and what he needs me to do -it’s boring.

Time no longer falls into the months ahead, it sits on my lap and wonders what we’ll make for tea. It means I will think about dinner for every one soon. It’s the play date we might have Saturday if he’s better.

Paradoxically I think about his future a lot. but I’m torn away when he needs a poo or decides something needs ‘mending’. A good thing perhaps.

Get well soon Arthur, I’ve got tea to plan. Xx

Saving Daniel.

I watched the news yesterday and listened to Daniel’s story.He was four and he was betrayed by those who were supposed to keep him safe.

I’ve cried lots because one one saved him. No one noticed a little body weighing just over a stone, a starving child rooting through bins at school and stealing food.

What I found most disturbing was not the horrific excuse of a mother and step father who abused him. It was the fact no  one did anything. These people are the monsters in our dreams, the nightmares we know as children. As adults we know they are real but they are not you and me – usually.

Daniel went to school, lived in a street. He was present in our world, alone, but here in our streets. Teachers saw him, mums and dads at the school gate, neighbours, acquaintances.

Last night the family next door had a blazing row and their little girl was screaming and calling ” mamma!” I couldn’t sleep and it got louder and more aggressive. They are an Eastern European family so I did not understand what they were saying – perhaps that’s an excuse.

But shame on me for not having the courage to call the police. Shame on us all for letting Daniel down. I know it may have made no difference but just may be if a neighbour had made a call things would have been better for this tiny little boy

We shut our doors every day, lock ourselves in our little boxes and everyday a little more community is lost. We are a little further from everyone and the human condition. Veneered by a virtual world of blogs and tweets and updates.

The irony of me writing this has not escaped me but in all honesty I don’t know what else to do. Quite simply, if Arthur needed someone to make that call for him, I would give my life to make it happen and this is what I will try to remember.

I am so sorry Daniel.