Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Ironing Queen

She can glide, she can cree-ease,
No more frustrated house wi-i-ife (oo ooo),
See her fold, watch that steam
She is the Ironing Queen...

I remember lovingly ironing the Husband's fatigues in those heady days of newly-wedded bliss (well, the days after he'd got back from Bosnia, where he spent the first 6 months of our married life). Apparently his staff sergeant openly mocked his appearance, suggesting that his wife might have ironed his uniform (a great insult - I was duly wounded). Not only that, I had ironed the creases into the wrong places so he had to re-wash his uniform to put the creases back where they should have been. A lesson well learned.

I suppose I just feel that life is a little too short to worry about creases. Of course, I don't practise what I preach. Coward that I am, once a week or so (usually when there is more than one epsiode of NCIS running back to back on 5 USA - well, we all have a guilty secret or two, don't we) I will stand in front of the TV, shackled to the ironing board, a prisoner of convention, longingly secretly to break out. I mean, I'm sure no one would notice what I look like (I rarely do), but in a society where some people seem to consider sending your children to school with creased clothes as a form of abuse, I bow to the pressure and iron. The Husband irons too, being well trained, and far more enthusiastic about it than I, but due to differing work pressures and the fact that he is often not here, I do far more ironing than I would like. 

Perversely, I do enjoy ironing 2 items. Tea towels and pillow cases. Note that both are flat and rectangular, usually without complicated pleats or a likelihood of scorching (I am a sucker of 100% cotton). Ironing these items gives me an enormous amount of satisfaction - I love sleeping with my head on a pillow encased in a freshly ironed pillow case (note that I do not iron any other item of bed clothing) - and I have a tea towel fetish (did I really say that?). Nothing pleases me more than a drawer of freshly ironed tea towels. Er actually, plenty of things please me more than that, but you know, it does make me feel a little bit like I am in control of my life - that the tea towels are ironed. Sad but true.

"But what is this?" I hear you cry. "Why is she talking about the ironing? Where is the cake?"

Well, my friends, this is not some new dimension to my weight loss programme, oh no - this is far more exciting.

I am on a panel. An 'innovation panel' no less. She who can barely drive her new iPhone. Yes indeed.

So how did this come about? Well through Mumsnet, as it happens. And now I am a member of the Tefal Innovation Panel. I have a badge too :

Last week, I spent a hugely enjoyable and informative day at the home of Tefal and Groupe SEB, in Windsor, being introduced to some of their products and meeting the other lovely blogger members of the panel. 

The very next day, I received an iron and a whizzy kitchen gadget about which I shall be blogging separately (you'll have to wait).

So the iron. Rather ironic as a food blogger that it is the iron that has caught my imagination. Not just any old iron. Oh no. I am in possession of a Tefal Pro-Express Turbo no less.

The Husband is in his element. I swear I caught him rubbing his thighs when he saw it ready for action. This is kind of like the iron equivalent of the all terrain off road buggy - I mean, I know his miltary background makes him more likely than most men to appreciate a good iron, but in the same way that Phil & Teds made it cool for the Dad to push the buggy (and opened up a whole opportunity for conversations about handling and tyre depth with other Dads), this steam iron is more than just a device to get your clothes flat. There is pressure to discuss, there are hoses, there is patented anti-calc technology. Blinded by science yet?

Despite the fact that it has been glorious this weekend, I have had need to iron. Blue is off on a residential trip soon and I had to get some name tapes into some of his clothes (the ones I'd like him to bring home, at least). I used to sew name tapes in but now I get the iron in ones. And seeing as how the iron was all steamed up and ready for use, and I had some tea towels and pillow cases fresh from the line, I thought I'd give it a go. 

Not being a true connoisseur of irons, I don't have a huge amount to compare this to, apart from the previous iron:

Bearing that in mind, this is what I can report so far:

- the Tefal Pro-Express Iron is an iron (!!) and it works well (you'd hope so) 
- the unit as a whole is not as heavy as it looks and the iron itself is pretty light (but not lightweight if you know what I mean)
- it is easy to fill the water unit (no sloshing around trying to pour it into a hole that is clearly too small)
- it heats up very quickly
- there is a very groovy lock which secures the iron to the unit
- there is an automatic off function which means no more panics about whether I left the iron on after a last minute "we can't go out looking like we've been dragged through a hedge backwards" ironing frenzy followed by hasty exit
- the cord is stored inside the unit and there is a little button to press which retracts the cord once it's unplugged
- there are lots of functions and lights to keep the menfolk happy
- it steams very effectively and my teatowels and pillow cases are beautifully crisp having been line dried in the sunshine and steam ironed
- it doesn't spit bits of limescale randomly out all over your clothes - but may be this is because it is a new iron and the old one was knackered
- the steam is really good - there is a button for constant steam and a button just for the odd blast of it. It does make some rather disconcerting (and I think unintended) noises, especially for the blast function - we're not talking space invader type bleeps here, but this adds a certain thrill to the whole process
- The Husband thinks it is a marvel

So there you have it. I will no doubt at some point update you as to my ironing endeavours - I think I need the thrill of the new to wear off, but you know, for now, it's all good. 

May be, you never know, the Ironing Queen in me is about to break into song... 

I was provided with a Tefal Pro-Express Turbo as part of my particpation in the Tefal Innovation Panel for which I was selected after applying via a Mumsnet request. I was not required to provide a positive review and all the views expressed here are my own - apart from those of the Husband


  1. Im also guilty of ironing creases in wrong parts of clothes and apparently can't do collars according to my husband. ...not that he has EVER held an iron!

  2. Never been so entertained by ironing before-still grinning. :O) Looking forward to the next installment

  3. Trousers can be a pain to iron so I wouldn't worry about getting the creases in the wrong place. Great review

  4. Hmm, looks like an interesting new gadget.

  5. I love this post! I find that ironing tea towels can be so therapeutic but then I feel like that about ironing in general. It's nice to have some ME time even if it does involve the iron.

  6. My ironing took half the time it normally does last night!

  7. I'm pretty impressed, I have to say!

  8. do feel a bit out of my depth commenting on ironing, seeing as the standing joke here is I don't know where ours is kept..but did enjoy your post! OH is a ninja ironer so clothes tend to be less wrinkly at weekends! Think he might have serious iron envy if he saw that Tefal :)

    1. :-) it's definitely one for the men, this iron- the MoD could take note - I think standard issue of these could seriously improve morale (I jest, of course, but you know...)

  9. That is a serious looking piece of kit!! And I'm exactly the same - love love love ironing teatowels and pillow cases. It's good to know it's not just me RJ!


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