Saturday 28th May
For quite a few years, way back when – and then again not so way back either – women kept leaving me; not that I am complaining, in some ways this was a wonderful thing – as there is nothing quite like starting over again with someone new. Thankfully, or rather hopefully, those days are over. But along the way I learnt to love ironing. At first it wasn’t so much a love affair as a rather necessary chore (I had my sons clothes and mine to iron), which over the years has developed into something deeper. In fact during one relationship I was deprived of my true love by a woman who insisted on dashing away with the smoothing iron herself; I could only sit and watch and jealously plot to retrieve the ironing board from her grasp when she was out shopping. No such problem with my lovely wife now – she wouldn’t know which end of the iron to use if one fell from the sky into her lap. Not that I would let that happen, for goodness sake – I might damage the iron, that would never do….
Over the years I have learnt to love ironing. And from my mother has also come the important corollary that one must never allow an ironing pile to form (once a pile starts it becomes impossible to completely eliminate it), as soon as clothes are retrieved from the clothes line or tumble dryer they must be ironed. Now while enjoying ironing almost anything (I draw the line but not the crease at underwear) I do have my favourites; shirts, as there are so many bits to think about and the buttons present a particular challenge; t-shirts are nice as are tea-towels but trousers can be a bore; pillow cases are a particular joy and duvet covers, though a long job are relatively easy on the ironing arm. I do dislike fitted sheets as the gathering at the corners is never really satisfactorily ironed. Ironing is a bit like painting walls, both boring and interesting at the same time; edges and folds breaking up the monotony of the smooth expanses. And you can let your mind drift away while doing both. All too soon the wall is painted and the pile of clothes transformed into neatly folded ‘his’ and ‘hers’ and ‘theirs’ piles, time to put away the brushes, fold the board, tip the water out of the iron, rinse the brushes and feel particular contented with another job well done. And you thought my life was boring???