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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

It's a piece of cake

I won’t eat KitKats, Dairy Milk and Mars Bars I eschew,
Eclairs, cream puffs and profiteroles I’ll hand straight back to you,
I want to keep myself quite fit, I’m really not a fake,
Oh no someone’s handed me my favourite kind of cake.

I work so hard at staying slim it really is a chore,
I’ve even joined a gym and keep going back for more,
I guess the weight problem is down to sedentary jobs,
Oh no someone’s handed me a plate of chocolate Hob Nobs.

It appears the older you get the calorie maths goes quite wrong,
I seem to be eating much, much less but the weight just has not gone,
I run for miles, work on the abs and walk instead of drive,
Oh no it’s Red Nose day, large numbers of pastries have just arrived.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Air drier

There was a time, not so long ago, when a chap could come home from working at t'mill, ploughing the fields, defending the country from hoards of hostile foreigners, policing the riots and throw your dirty clothes into the washing machine, throw in a bucket of Daz, set at 'Whites boil', leave it for three hours and stuff the lot into the tumble dryer set at 'The moisture content of a stone left out in the Sahara for a month'. 

Then just 30 seconds each item with the steam iron set at '. . . . .'  and there you go ready for a night out on the town, as sophisticated as George Clooney or Fred Astaire.

But now I'm setting the washing machine at 30C, separating the completed washing into delicates, talking gently to them and smoothing them out over a collapsible dryer of the type my Mum used to use many years ago and setting the tumble dryer to different temperatures for the balance. And ironing, ironing has become an exercise in categorisation, one blob, two blobs, three blobs with steam and do on. I have to wait between categories for the iron to cool down between blobs. Yes I know I could do the cooler ones first and progressively move up the temperature range but you still have to wait for the optimum temperature. I bet we all have one item of a delicate nature where the iron was at the wrong temperature and there is a small patch of fused fabric that is forever shiny. And it's always where you can see it isn't it, never out of sight?

I suppose it's all that Lycra, modern fabrics that 'wick away' all the yukky stuff that came with polyester shirts and nylon sheets. And a good thing too. I remember the equivalent of Niagara pouring down my back on hot days when wearing polyester shirts as part of the uniform at one of the places I worked. The shirt would be stuck to your back by the end of the day and have to be peeled off when you got home. What a tremendous feeling it was to put your sweaty back against the car seat for the drive home. The world must have been a smellier place even then.

So the price of progress is more time spent washing, ironing, sorting and checking the care of every piece of fabric that comes into the house. Until that is, the item of clothing is so old you no longer really care and just stick it in the normal wash cycle just to see what happens. I have several older Austin Reed wool jumpers whose washing instructions say they need to be washed in the pure water of the Andes mountains high in the foothills by indigenous people using a unique lava stone found only in that locale then laid out flat in indirect sunlight coming only from the East. Nah, goes in the normal wash with the other stuff, 5 blobs steam iron.