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The same goes for my partners clothes, except for his work shirts. As far as ironing towels, tea towels, knickers, underpants ( I know some people do) sheets and duvet covers, forget it. My exception to the rule is table cloths and I do love a nicely ironed pillow case.
This morning was my ironing moment, as I turned BBC 6 music on, the first song to hit my ears was Kate Bush’s, Mrs Bartolozzi! A track from her Aerial album released in 2005. BBC 6 music are celebrating 10 years of being on the radio by the way, how did that happen???
I thought the lyrics to the song were hysterical because it was all about cleaning, scrubbing and mainly washing clothes in the ‘washing machine, washing machine, washing machine’. Very relevant to that particular moment in my day as I stood, iron in hand, with a shirt hanging limply over the side. I remember as a teenager watching mum slave over a hot iron and massive pile of clothes, and saying to her ‘you’ll never catch me ironing a man’s shirts’. Ahem!
Any kind of housework – ironing, child rearing cleaning etc. seemed like sexist slavery to me then and I wanted to do my living best to avoid all of it.
It was late 1960′s- 70′s and the timely arrival of Women’s Liberation and Feminism. Unfortunately it had not yet permeated the education system as one of the subjects girls did was Domestic Science. No boys allowed! Girls on the other hand were not allowed to do physics, woodwork, metalwork or technical drawing because they were ‘boy’s subjects. Had there been a choice in the matter I think I would have really enjoyed D.S. Not having a choice in these subjects I quite rightly felt angry and did everything I could to rebel in my own little way. I even wrote a bit of a swear word in one of my essays about how to clean ‘terry nappies’ referring to excrement as s***. My teacher nearly blew a gasket!
All this lovely domestic education for girls was about grooming them towards being a perfect housewife. which of course then was the women’s role. The reward would be some hi-flying chap enabling said housewife to stay at home and turn the it into a domestic haven, which in turn enabled her husband to trot off to the office for 7 hours to do naff all.
The funny thing now after years of trying not to tie myself to house and home, I actually love being in the home and making it nice and clean, tidy comfortable, with nice colours, fabrics and furnishings. I also know how to iron shirts, very well I might add, thanks to my Domestic Science teacher Miss Bullows.
If you don’t like it very much, buy as many stretchy and crease-less clothes as possible
Hang as many clothes as possible on hangers to let the creases fall out
Fold ironing carefully smoothing out creases
If using a tumble dryer take them out before they become bone dry
Put some music on that you like. Try Mrs. Bartolozzi! Or i love listening to Radio 4, especially Woman’s Hour
Use some nice smelling ironing water in your iron (stops it becoming scaled and smells nice)
Useful and very cheap hooks for over the door to put your coat hangers on
Wooden coat hangers. Look lovely all uniformed in your wardrobe
Till next time, happy ironing!