Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Extreme ironing...

As part of the prep for Our Big Day - that's what I have decided to call it as I don't like the word 'wedding' when applied to our very rapidly approaching nuptials, see earlier post about pretty young things and meringues - I bought copious amounts of hessian (aka burlap), 25 metres of the stuff in fact!  It will be gracing the tables as runners, the chairs as covers, and whatever else I can think of for it to do.  Useful stuff hessian.

Last week I sat with the measuring tape, and spent a couple of days measuring and cutting 6 double width table runners and 48 chair covers.  Now, this do (Aussie slang for an event or party) is not by any means a posh affair, it's actually going to be very laid back and casual, but that doesn't mean it has to look ugly.  And trust me, the chairs at this place are UGLY.  Think 70's, plastic, stackable and ORANGE.  I hate orange.  Orange is my favourite  colour to hate.  Hence the need for 48 hessian chair covers.

Anyway...  So tonight, I decided that the covers, and tomorrow the runners, need to be ironed so that I can sew around the edge to stop them from unraveling.

It is at this point, that anyone AT ALL who knows me and is reading this, is choking with laughter and is in absolute disbelief, because they know I think of irons as quirky little knick knacks to be used in home decor.  BFF actually offered to lend me her ironing press, she said it was to make the chore easier for me, but I reckon she doesn't think I know how to work an iron.  I am a little rusty...

Proper use of an ironing board.
To me ironing is a pointless exercise.  People, apparently otherwise intelligent people, spend hours each week on this completely pointless chore, and to what end?  To have to re-iron clothes that have already been ironed before they can step out of the house, all because their previously beautifully crinkle free and freshly ironed clothes have been folded up and stuffed in drawers, or hung in wardrobes, to be crinkled and wrinkled all over again!  No thanks, I iron it when I need it, nice and fresh.

I digress...

So there I am, at the ironing board, mounds of perfectly-clean-but-still-smelling-like-potato-sacks-and-dirt hessian piled up in front of me and a steaming hot iron in my sweaty little hand.  Let me at it!

It all started well enough, I was going great guns, then all of the sudden, about 3 pieces into the bundle, I started getting aches in my back, and in between my shoulder blades.  Standing in the one place, in the same position, was straining my back muscles.  Bugger.  Can't stop.  Must soldier on.  For the sake of aesthetically pleasing chairs...

Well by the time I had finished over an hour later, I had discovered that sadly and very much to my dismay, ironing is actually a great exercise for strengthening your core!  Who'd have thunk it eh?  I actually developed quite a nice technique too, just sayin'.

Having measured myself and discovering that I am almost 20 inches thick from front to back, and my reach being about the same, you can imagine what sort of picture I present when trying to iron.

  • Ironing board up and ready to go? Check.
  • Iron plugged in, filled up and hot? Check.
  • Mounds of hessian ready for ironing? Check.
  • Assumed the position? Che--- wait, WHAT?
Being so thick from front to back makes it difficult to get up close and personal with a lot of things, ironing boards being one of them, especially if you don't want large burns on your belly, or if you actually want to see what you're doing...  so you have to develop a 'stance'.

Let me walk you through it.  Stand at your imaginary ironing board, now move back so you are about an arms length away, now lean forward so your bum sticks out the back - don't move your feet though, and let your boobs dangle in the front.  Now grab your imaginary iron, and proceed to fake iron your pretend clothes, whilst avoiding your boobs...

You'll find that you're standing in a quite awkward position which tends to put strain on your lower back, and when you add the 100kg+ extra that I'm carrying, the strain becomes almost intolerable.  But what I found tonight is that by pulling in your belly button, working your core Madam Lash taught me that, it takes a lot of the strain off your back. By the time I had finished I was sweating up a storm, and it wasn't even hot!

Do the thousands of calories I must  have burnt count at all?   I mean, it's pretty much a work out, and I'm certain that Michelle can slot it right in to our exercise plans.  In fact, ironing is a sport.  I saw it once on ESPN - it was the world championship of Extreme Ironing...

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