This afternoon Andy and I had to dash into town. It was an emergency. We needed a new iron. The old one suddenly went on strike, halfway through unwrinkling a mountain of clothes. I guess we overworked it. Usually the iron has a very quiet life doing nothing much at all. It must have had a nervous breakdown when it saw the huge pile of clothes. Well, that iron is no more. It’s had its day. We now have a newer and better model.
And we can continue ironing our summer clothes.
Yes, it’s changeover time. Out with the winter clothes and in with the summer ones. I just hope now I’ve swapped long sleeved tee shirts for short sleeved ones, the warm weather continues.
The cats are preparing for summer too. They’re shedding hair everywhere. Three long-haired cats produce an awful lot of hair. I don’t suppose they’re looking forward to summer. I always feel so sorry for them on a hot day. I‘m sure they’d like to unzip their long furry coats and crawl out of them. But all they can do is spread themselves out on the cool floor tiles, hoping to let off some heat. Three cat splats.
It’s a very uncomfortable feeling being too hot and not being able to do anything about it. I know. When I was a child we lived in Brisbane for a few years. Brisbane is up the coast, further north, closer to the equator, much hotter than here. We never really had a winter. We didn’t have to do a seasonal changeover of clothes. I’m sure we wore practically the same clothes the whole year round.
One year my grandmother in England sent me a pair of real wool, hand-knitted, long socks. I was so excited. I’d never had such a pair of socks before. I insisted on wearing them to school. That was a big mistake. By the time the bell rang at the end of the day, my poor legs were itchy with heat rash. I never wore those socks again.
Most kids never wore socks at all. In fact they didn’t even wear shoes. They were tough. At least their feet were. I wanted to be tough too. I yearned to set my toes free and feel the dirt beneath my feet. But my mother objected. She had her standards. Bare dirty feet weren’t part of them.
It rains most summer afternoons in Brisbane. One minute it’s dry. The next minute it’s wet. Very wet. It’s a bit like turning on the shower full force. Drivers pull over on the side of the road, because they're unable to see where they’re going. People run for shelter. Then just as suddenly, it’s all over. The sun reappears and steam starts to rise as everything dries off.
One afternoon I was walking home from school when the rain began. I smiled. I saw my opportunity. I quickly whipped off my sandals and shoved them into my school bag. I intended to walk home barefoot. I had a wonderful time splashing in puddles and squeezing mud between my toes. But my delight was soon forgotten when I saw my mother’s face.
“Where’s your sandals?”
“In my bag,” I stammered. “I couldn’t wear them in the rain. The colour would have run and made my feet red.” I was good at thinking up excuses. Unfortunately my mother didn’t agree. A few days later though, I came home with red feet. I’d worn my red sandals in the rain.
These days I never wear sandals. For some reason I don’t like them. I don’t know why. I never go barefoot either. Except if I’m inside or on the grass. My feet just aren’t tough enough. And red? I stay right away from that colour.
I suppose I'd better get back to the ironing. I hope this iron is prepared to work harder than the last one. You see, it’s going to get lots of use. I have decided to wear ironed clothes this summer. I’ve been getting rather lazy. I’d rather write than iron. I'd rather do a lot of things than iron. But I’m turning over a new leaf, changing my habits, or at least my clothes. Well, I'm going to try.
What do you think: Is ironing that important? Do you wear ironed clothes? Or perhaps there are things far more important than unrumpled clothes.
And I wonder how long-haired cats survive in Brisbane. Can you imagine wearing a coat like this in the heat of summer?