Whilst the art was beautiful, thought provoking and visually stunning, there was a completely different highlight of the evening which was associated with a different sort of transformation.
I was introduced to a Mr Hoover who is a descendent of THE Hoover chappie, the one who whilst he didn’t actually invent possibly the most life altering pieces of equipment for women world-wide, he certainly produced and promoted it to the world at large. And yes I say women because we all know that mainly it is women who do the hoovering. Although my Mother did have a wonderful cleaner who was a chap, took it up after retirement, which I thought was a brilliant idea! Plus my Mother loved him, because he was tall enough to reach all the ceiling cobwebs easily and she prevailed upon his good nature frequently to carry out various other odd repair jobs around the house. He was clearly a more enlightened member of the male race, only kidding gentlemen. It seems as though this is quite the thing these days to take up another career post retirement. My sister has a bona fide rocket scientist, who now has his own electrical firm and he and his one employee are in high demand for all things electrical all over the Surrey Hills.
However I digress (ways to combat retirement jitters will be a future post). So you may be thinking what a heathen all that fabulous exhibition has to offer and you’re rattling on about a chap you met who happens to be a member of the Hoover family. And yes put like that it does seem a tad shallow, maybe even a little sad.
But I immediately thought how absolutely brilliant to be in the presence of admittedly not the inventor himself, but a family member of someone who really did change millions of lives dramatically and transformed a boring and tiresome task into a quicker boring and tiresome task. No he didn’t discover a lost species or create a disease curing medicine. But I argue he did transform lives, mostly women’s, significantly reducing the amount of sweeping, saving on the back breaking work of keeping a home clean and I think that is inspiring.
I didn’t view it as inventing a household gadget, I viewed it as dramatic change in our lives ….. After all no one says oh a Hoover’s very nice, but I’ll use my broom instead, thanks awfully.
Sadly I didn’t have the opportunity to quiz him thoroughly about his ancestor, what he felt about his product, what sort of chap was he, did he get fan-mail etc etc but it did make me take a second glance at all the things in our lives we take for granted and how we forget or sometimes not even consider the time, effort, skill and imagination, not to mention determination, it takes to invent a life-changing anything.
And whether you have the good fortune or not to have someone else do the cleaning for you, if you think about the time saved and grubbiness erased from our homes, you may well understand my excitement. In my defense when I recounted my meeting to my best friend, she too exclaimed “how exciting” so she understood or maybe she was just being kind, as she added “I hope you didn’t tell him, your best friend has no idea how to use one!?!”
Look Gorgeous, Feel Fabulous - Sophie