In which I'd rather Cheryl Baker had my bed.

Printed 08/10/09 (that's right... you're getting this before Worthing does. Score.) 

I realise that in pop culture terms this story is deader than Danni Minogue’s facial muscles, but I’m still reeling from Keisha leaving the Sugababes. Or rather, being callously forced out of the Sugababes (booo hiss Amelle! You were always too slender-of-thigh to truly do justice to the good Suga name). How do they think it will work with Heidi as the ‘strong voice’ – is every track going to be comprised wholly of those speak-singing middle eights? And how dare they think they can carry on using name without any of the original members? It will be like when authors try to write sequels to Jane Austen, or those Top of the Pops cover albums in the 70s. It will be bad.

For a moment it looked like it might be ok, that Mutya and the edgy ginger one would come back, reform, and force the others to call themselves the Canderelbabes or something equally derogatory. But no. It’s also put the kybosh on my new favourite tradition, watching the babes turn on city centre Christmas lights. Without Keisha, the irony of doing Push the Button before actually pushing the button just won’t have the same triumphant wit.

If it seems I’m taking this a bit irrationally hard, and I am, it’s because the event also has some personal resonance. You see, in our domestic world, I am the metaphorical Keisha. As the only original member of our household, I have stayed put for two and a half years, while 15 other flatmates have traipsed in and out of our doors. I have been the lynchpin, holding the brand together and sorting out the gas bills, while more capricious members come and go, leaving nothing but happy memories and half-full jars of economy pasta sauce. If our student home were a science experiment (and the fridge definitely is), I would be the constant factor. And until Keisha’s ousting, I thought my seat was safe.

But now, logically, I’m living in fear of coming home from work one day todiscover my stuff thrown out in the street and a former Eurovision contestant in my bedroom. I’m not ready to go solo, I’m not ready! I’d have to buy my own washing liquid and learn how to programme the heating timer. They couldn’t get rid of me – just as Keisha is the only one who can sing Freak Like Me, I’m the only one who actually knows what day the bin men come. They would be lost without me.

So this I shall plead: housemates, have mercy. And if you must evict me, please don’t give my room to Gina G. She just won’t appreciate it enough.

* * * * * * * * * *

The Highgate house has moved into a new era. Heralding the transition are two new male flatmates, and, more crucially, one new hoover. Not any new hoover. A hoover to make mothers up and down the country coo with gender-throwback envy. A Dyson.

He’s slick, he’s powerful, and he has blown poor old Henry Hoover out of the water. He’s even worked his magic on my bedroom carpet, a feat so incredible I’m thinking of sending the photos to New Scientist. My bedroom carpet is like the marines assault course for hoovers. It is like a layer cake of thread, hair grips, pennies, more thread, and enough moulted blonde hair to see a small wig factory through the recession. But no longer! Now it is clean and hair-free, and it all thanks to Mr Dyson. We’ve even discovered what colour our grime-grey carpets were really meant to be all along - lighter grey!

Now that he’s in our life, I don’t know why we went so long without him. After all, I’ve always been a keen supporter of Dyson technology. My undisputed favourite hand dryer of all time is the Dyson Airblade – to the extent that I will regularly engineer my outings around public toilets with the ’blade to ensure my hands don’t have to suffer substandard drying. Now that the hoover can be added to my list of Dyson fanlove, I’m wondering what other technological marvels they could bring into my life. Hairdryers? Hover boots? A teasmaid for the 21st century, that judges your mood and makes a bloody mary instead, if appropriate? It’s truly an exciting time to be a geek.