Tales of walking, eating, watching and playing. Vintage treasures and simple pleasures ... the things that make her happy.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Ironing Fatigue

This week I have ironed like a woman possessed.  I'm all ironed out.  I never want to see that iron again, but it haunts me.  I know it will beckon me again next week ... 


The sun has been casting it's rays on my laundry leaving it crisp and fresh.  School uniform, shirts for Mr, jeans and more.  For the next vintage fair there have been lengths of fabric, lace edged tablecloths, doillies, trimmings, vintage clothing and a huge, stiff, linen cloth with creases like a world map, that nearly drove me over the edge.  The old tiles on the kitchen floor are sticky with starch (note to self #1: add scrub floor to list of tasks) and the bicep in my right arm is considerably larger than in my left (note to self #2: only use dumbell in left hand tonight!)

But, I give thanks to the spirit of Howard Seeley, inventor of the electric iron, patented in 1882.

...In like manner the electric flat-iron will smoothen her linen without fatiguing her. But not only the lady of the house will rejoice; also the poor, hen-pecked husband will be in transports of delight, as it will make his path easier in many ways. The constant complaints he was hitherto obliged to endure, will grow mute for ever...Johanna S. Wisthaler, By Water to the Columbian Exposition, 1894

Prior to that I would have been toiling with a fire heated flat iron (or sad iron).  Sometimes pressing garments on a hot day with a raging fire burning.  The heavy irons would be sitting in a line in front of the intense flames, ready to be used in rotation as the one in use cooled down.  I would have cheered when the charcoal iron superceded the tiresome row of flat irons ...

Now with a removable plate into which I can shovel burning embers.  No need to replace the hot coals as they cool - I can simply insert bellows into the hole by the handle and re-ignite the embers!

Must dash, the sun is shining and I have washing to hang out ...

14 comments:

Fading Grace said...

You is a Nutter!!! I never Iron unless it's absolutely necessary! Especially when the sun is beckoning.... hopefully see you at some point on Sat, Good luck, xx
Sophie

Vintage Tea Time said...

Ha, ha, love the quote - the poor hen-pecked husband - pah! Well done you on all that ironing - I hate it! Good luck at the Fair. Abby x

Alix said...

Hen-pecked husband, my foot! What Howard meant, I think, is that instead of spending quite so much time ironing, his wife would now have more time to wait on him hand and foot! I have to confess to quite liking ironing, but only since I got a steam-generating iron which is fabulous!
x

Vintage Sunday said...

I must confess to being in "transports of delight" in reading this wonderful post! Poor you having to tackle all that ironing though ~ as tiresome a task as it is, your stand at the fair would just not look the same if all your lovelies were displayed un-ironed! Well done! (Loved your 'notes to self' and the lacey lovelies hanging from those sweet colourful pegs!) Love Brenda

Ava said...

I hate ironing but love your blog. Great quote ( Lovely lace to boot )

Liz said...

Oh dear, you have just reminded me of the huge pile of ironing waiting for me. But its a great feeling when you've finished!
Liz

Gretel said...

Dear Jane, thanks so much for the sweet comment - I wish I could return the compliment as enthusiasticly about the ironing, but it is banned in our house! At least, the only thing which gets ironed are Andy's shirts and he does them himself. The thought of doing all those trimmings and things makes my eyes water -it does look very pretty though, all hung out on the line.

My Spotty Pony said...

I have an old Victorian iron that I use as a door stop. When I have lots of ironing to do, I always look at it and think how lucky I am to have my Philips excel plus! Hope you have a good fair on Saturday. Abby x

Aunty Bee said...

Call me nuts, but I love ironing and I love having the washing machine on. My favourite job is putting on the washing machine when we have been away on a holiday or on a weekend break. My name is Bee and I'm a ironing/washingaholic.

Fading Grace said...

Hi,I have passed on my Versatile Blogger award to you if you'd like it????!!!!
Love Sophie xx

Bee said...

On Bank Holiday Monday, the weather was so foul that I spent hours watching Cranford and catching up with my ironing. The picture of your lace reminds me of a very funny scene in which the cat swallowed a prized bit of lace that had been soaking in buttermilk. (Have you seen it? Highly recommended for the next marathon ironing session.)

Thanks so much for your input on my 11 year old Book Club. I've got Stig of the Dump on my to-read list.

BusyLizzie said...

Well done on all that ironing! Thank you for your bloggie comment too. The washerwoman xxxx

Fran said...

Absolutely love that picture of Ladybird books on your blog page. Fabulous.

Anonymous said...

Hi just discovered your great blog and will follow it. I have just bought loads of linens, first load in the washing machine now, hope its a good drying day tomorrow !
Best wishes
Sue (Vintage from the Village)