TACKLING MOUNT EIGER

I make no apologies for writing about the mundane here on my page. Most of the time, that’s how life in general and my life in particular seems to be. And so here you are. Some thoughts on the ironing.

Now, before you accuse me of being a slattern, can I just point out that my ironing basket was empty with all laundry neatly ironed, folded and put away just four days ago. This not inconsiderable pile has accumulated since then with bedding drying on the line and the washing basket contents beginning to creep up again.

 So, it would be fair to say that ironing takes up a fair proportion of my life. But it’s dull. No matter how much satisfaction there is to be gained from a neat sleeve crease or a job well done it’s still not a task that entertains you. I need distractions to stop it being a monumental drag.

Number one is the Sky + box where I merrily record things that look interesting but clash with something else that looks interesting or are on past my bedtime. Ironing would seem to be the perfect time to catch up. And it would be but for the fact that I have one of those new fangled steam irons. The plan was to get through the ironing in the blink of an eye with the vast quantities of steam that it generates. And this is indeed the case. However what it doesn’t say on the box is how it is impossible to hear anything but the generation of steam when it is in full flow. This coupled with the fact that the room fogs up like an industrial laundry means that TV watching for anything but the smallest of sessions is problematical. By the time the volume is loud enough to hear over the hiss, I am a one woman noise pollution hazard and risk a visit from Environmental Health.

When I first gave up work, I harboured what turned out to be misguided ambitions of learning a language whilst ironing. I have a selection of courses for various modern European tongues around my house. My language skills remain unimproved however. Again there is the noise issue but even when I moved to my ipod, I found that I needed to see the words written down to follow what was going on and so was constantly breaking off to check a spelling or two. Hopeless.

So then I tried audio books which I listen to with great success whilst carrying out other household tasks. But my children will keep talking to me. First I can’t hear them over the noise of the steam generator. Then I have to put the iron down huffily, retrieve my ipod from wherever it’s hidden and turn it off. By this point, I am so irritated that the answer to whatever they have interrupted me for is invariably ‘No’. Then I have to rewind the story a couple of sentences which I always misjudge and end up listening to the last few minutes worth all over again. One step forward , two steps back.

Now that the weather is warmer I may take the whole cha-bang outside where the sunshine and the birds seem to provide the requisite level of distraction. Or I could, as today, distract myself in other ways and just not iron it at all. But for now I must go and make a start. I may be some time.

What do you think? I'd love to know...