Autumn and leafblowers


Sir, – A letter writer (October 19th) hopes for the invention of a silent leafblower. I am reminded of the time I visited a friend in the Czech Republic more than a quarter of a century ago. While there we called on her grandmother who, when we arrived, was vacuuming her apartment. As she was frail and elderly, and probably to ingratiate myself with her granddaughter, if truth be told, I offered to help. I noticed immediately that the machine provided absolutely no suction and I was merely pushing dust from one place to another. I gave voice to this observation and my friend, translating her relative’s response, said, “Ah yes, but it makes a great noise.” She later explained to me that it was of the utmost importance to her grandmother that residents of the neighbouring apartments were aware that she owned a vacuum cleaner and that the functionality of the appliance was of little concern.

As leafblowers merely move leaves, temporarily, from one spot to another, I can only conclude that it is the racket they produce, declaring ownership, that is the whole point of having one. – Yours, etc,




Co Wicklow.

Sir, – I’m looking forward to using my new electricity-guzzling but non-petrol leafblower. My increasingly creaky joints make sweeping up the abundance of leaves that gather in my garden from bordering magnificent trees (not mine unfortunately) every autumn, which present a fall hazard on the hard surfaces, difficult. I store the gathered leaves in bags to decompose for two years, which gives me lovely leaf mould to return to the soil. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.