Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Escape to the Country - how to conquer the ironing pile

Picture Source
Now my life may look rather rock 'n' roll to an outsider. And don't get me wrong, it's pretty bloody good. But even I have to do the ironing sometimes! Admittedly it only gets done once it becomes a topple hazard to toddlers - but ironed it gets.

Luckily I am married to a man who thinks that ironing is illegal, so he and the ironing board have yet to be introduced - and he doesn't expect me to do it either. He belongs to the school that believes hanging a shirt up fresh from the machine will break the back of any creases.

So, yesterday while peering over the top of an ironing pile which by rights should have had a trig point on the top, I decided to take on the challenge. How to make doing the ironing sound interesting.

It didn't start very well!

However, I battled on and flicked through the TV channels to see what was on the box. Without some form of entertainment, I was likely to crumble. Manchester airport is only 15 minutes down the road so I fight a constant battle not to jump in a taxi and take off on a standby. But with BMI now flying from Manchester to Beirut - my travel addiction just got a whole lot more dangerous.

I shouldn't have worried - flicking through the channels I came across an old favourite - 'Escape to the Country'. House programmes - how I have missed you.

When I was poorly, I spent many, many hours flaked out on the sofa watching house programmes. From 'Location, Location, Location' with Kirsty (apparently my looky likey - well one of them, but I'll save that for a different blog) and Phil, 'Wanted Down Under', 'Homes Under the Hammer' and 'Property Ladder', I became a bit obsessed. It was only when I realised that I'd watched the same edition of 'Grand Designs' four times, that I decided it had to stop.

But I couldn't quite bear to give up 'Escape to the Country'.

It's like pulling on an old comfortable cardigan. The format is always the same - a couple who feel that moving to somewhere with a farmhouse kitchen / diner (preferably with an aga and island), with five bedrooms (all en suite), space for an office, business potential for a holistic healing centre, out buildings, double garage, a large but low maintenance garden with enough room for a veggie patch and a few chickens, with period character but all mod cons ....... oh yes, and a stream, will somehow make their lives complete.

And all for a budget of no more than £700,000.

Who are these people?

Why do they need so much space? Do they really dislike each other so much that they need a house where the likelihood of them ever being in the same room at the same time is minimal? I often wonder whether all the original features, inglenook fireplaces and family bathrooms on the edge of a village with a shop and a pub so that they can feel part of a community, really do make them that happy? I hope so.

Yesterday it was Huey and Lewis (or that's what it sounded like) in Powys, Wales, who were looking for a place with enough room for 'craft', bee keeping and wax extraction!

Thankfully they found somewhere that was perfect - and more. And while they imagined themselves sitting in the conservatory on a sunning morning on the French wicker furniture with a cup of coffee and the morning paper - the lovely Jules wished them well for their new life in the country.

I wish them well too - especially when they get snowed in and can't get down the drive in their Peugeot 207 convertible, the oil central heating breaks and the fox eats all their chickens.

Of course I say this with love (he, he, he) - honestly - would this face lie to you?

All too soon it was over - as was my ironing pile - as if by magic.

See you again Mr Iron - in another three months!


  1. I'm glad to know it's not just me who waits for the EU ironing pile to fall over before it gets tackled! I did mine last weekend and can honestly say i came across clothes i had not seen for 6 months. I now have a whole new wardrobe hehe ;) xx

  2. I know it isn't very 'Domestic Goddess' to admit to it. You came across stuff from 6 months ago - I'm back in leg warmers with a 'Choose Life' t-shirt! Glad you enjoyed :-)