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Any Old Iron

Living back in the matriarchal abode has many challenges, one of which the regression back nearly half a century to experiencing admonishment for actions my mother finds irritating. This includes the incessant tapping of my fingers on the kitchen table, bad table manners and the increasing use of curse words, which in recent months have habitually entered my conversation.

Maggie (the family matriarch) is of the opinion that use of the ‘f’ word shows a distinct lacking in ones vocabulary. Something I’d submit that isn’t the case for yours truly; I’d like to think my essays highlighting the wide breadth of written language I possess.

The escalation in GJ Strachan’s utilisation of profanity not consequential of him bearing an inept word glossary. Moreover, increasing disenchantment at the existential millstones that render him unable progress to a lifestyle he yearns.

These aspirations not the far fetched pipe dreams he possesses of one day receiving accolades for his penmanship. No, his desires merely those of reaching a juncture where he can attain an existence where he can thrive without shackles.


Despite challenges existing within the same abode, along with our occasionally fraught relationship, there’s many elements of living at Mrs S senior’s gaff which are beneficial.

Firstly, the simple fact she’s kindly putting a roof over my head during this transitional period following my departure from the marital home. The fact I’m still paying the mortgage/bills at my marital home meaning without her I’d be struggling to afford to live anywhere decent.

Another boon with living at my mums is the incredibly swift turnaround of laundry basket items. From putting washing in the linen basket to its return, washed and immaculately ironed, to the wardrobe is ordinarily around 24 hours.

Maggie’s ironing is a work of art. The lack of creases in laundered clothing following her steam iron labours making you feel almost guilty about rewearing the items. My old lady even irons underpants and socks – My boxers so thoroughly pressed they become two dimensional.

A few years back my mum washed and ironed a pair of my son Jonny’s jeans. On returning them to him she apologised for being unable to remove the creases on the legs of the denim trousers. Telling her grandson “I’m sorry, love. I ironed them for twenty minutes but couldn’t get those bleeding creases out!!”

Jonny smiled, responding to his grandma with a grin “Don’t worry grandma, those creases are part of the style of the jeans!”

Leading to Maggie informing him “Well thanks for telling me, you little bleeder!!….. I’ve ended up with a repetitive stress injury trying to get rid of the bloody things!!”

As an aside, earlier I was in Sainsburys supermarket in the White Rose Shopping Centre, Leeds. to collect a few bits for the ironing ninja and my tea…… In return for for having two dimensional clothing, I cook all the meals, act as chauffeur, gardener, washing upper, odd-job man and TV aerial adjuster!

Thankfully, the TV aerial adjuster is an internal antennae for the dining room television, not the external appliance on the roof supporting the larger living room telly. Maggie’s penchant for moving the internal aerial and losing TV pictures adding the re-adjuster role to my repertoire…… After what happened to Emu’s handler, Rod Hull, when he attempted to adjust his rooftop antennae I’d be less inclined to take on the outdoor role.

At the Sainsburys checkout the cost of my food basket came to a total of £16.66….. On hearing that price, while contactlessly paying for the goods, I told the checkout operator “1666, that’s the year of the Great Fire of London.”….. She called security!!


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