Saturday, 24 January 2009

In a fix

When I was growing up, my family used the same Electrolux vacuum cleaner that had belonged to my grandparents. When it needed to be resuscitated, it would be carried in the family ambulance/minivan to the repair shop. My parents now own a Panasonic upright vacuum cleaner (with a headlight - like a car!). But to my knowledge my father still shuns it, preferring to use the old one.

Last week I walked down the street and not one but two of my neighbours had left their tired Hoovers to be collected by the bin men. It's evidence that these days it's not possible to get a lot of stuff fixed. Stuff gets bought, stuff breaks, stuff gets thrown away. The fact is it's hard to find someone who can fix your Hoover when it stops breathing, and because parts are no longer easy to source, repair is often more expensive than buying a replacement.

I'm always on the lookout for people that can and will fix things. My friend Pendle was given this amazing clock/lamp/music box for Christmas. Her brother found it at a car-boot sale, then sent it to friends who were clock repairers. He rewired the lamp and made the shade. Sometimes, it's not about recycling or upcycling; it's about finding the skills to make your googly-eyed owl clock play "Swan Lake" just like it did when it was new.

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