Monday, 25 February 2008

Ironing, wishing, and a new team member


I enjoy ironing, alway have. Particularly as I have a certain penchant for starch, which means everything irons up to a wonderful crisp finish. And it's a leisurely job, or at least it is when I do it. I normally do my ironing over the weekend, it means I can listen to the sport on the wireless.

So this weekend was particularly good as there was the rugby on Saturday evening, and then the Carling cup final on the Sunday. All accompanied by that lovely smell that starch gives off when it's ironed. And both were later in the day, so I could get out beforehand; the weather here was very sunny although it was still quite sharp.

I have to admit that I have a hankering for a new iron. My Tefal is about twenty years old now, and on that basis alone I could just about justify replacing it. But not quite. Because it has been well cared for, and still works perfectly. I'm afraid that like most men I am very seduced by buttons and dials though, and although it was as well equipped as they came when it was new, it pales by comparison with today's high-tech products. So I've got my eye on this iron, which looks like a stealth bomber, and probably has more controls than that plane does. If only I'd make use of all those features. It's rare for me to use the steam function on the Tefal, and I don't think I've ever used the 'shot of steam' function. The Philips is considerably heavier though, and I would get the benefit of that at least.

I'm well aware that we shouldn't buy consumer goods we don't really need, and so I haven't. But I've put it on my Amazon wishlist, just in case someone wants to treat me. I doubt if they will though; I'm not sure I know anyone who'd spend that much on a present, not for me anyway.

If you've scrolled down the page, you may have noticed that I now have a 'team' who will be writing for this blog. Kathleen has sent me a couple of long and interesting emails since I started, so I've signed her up and hope that she'll start posting soon. So welcome! And if you're reading this and think you'd like to join the team too, just email me. Maybe I'll have to change that header...

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Housework is good for the soul

Mindless, boring, repetitive, unrewarding, that's the lot of 'women's work'.

Well, mindless is as mindless does; it's what you make of it. It's the mindless part of housework that is it's greatest strength. It gives you time and clear space to think, to reflect, to plan, and all the other important components of a balanced and fulfilled existence that get shoved aside amid the pressures of life in the 21st century.

Boring? We're not children are we? Moaning 'I'm bored' and lacking self-motivation, needing others to give us stimulation throughout the day?

Repetitive? Yes, it's repetitive, but less so than most 9 to 5 jobs in my experience. Life is based on repetition, the cycle of the days, the weeks, the months, the seasons, our summer holidays, Christmas, birthdays, and so many pleasurable events that mark our passage through this world. And it's 'never done' but few things are in life.

Unrewarding? Only in the sense that it won't bring monetary reward, unlike that 9 to 5 job you would give up tomorrow if only you had the money. It's sad that so many people these days are only able to ascribe value in financial terms, the products of the Thatcher years where greed was all. But it has other rewards; the opportunity to bring order where there would otherwise be chaos; and to provide an environment where family life is nurtured rather than fragmented. Most major religions set great store by the willing undertaking of humble tasks without remuneration, and they are right to do so.

Women's work. That's the one, isn't it? Men don't want to do it because they think it undermines their masculinity. Women don't want to do it because it was women's work for previous generations, that is 'unliberated' women's work.

But it's there, and it needs to be done; it won't do itself. Do it willingly, and think yourself lucky that you have the opportunity to do so. And think about all those other things that your soul needs more than a healthy bank balance.