Did I switch the iron off?

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 17th November 2013

Have I switched the iron off

We’ve all done it. Slammed the front door, driven off in a mad rush, then panicked ten miles down the road.

In my case it’s: “Did I switch the iron off?” In poet Pam Ayres’s case it’s: “Did I switch the tongs off?”

Funnily enough, I was driving to Carluccio’s in Covent Garden to meet my daughter for lunch when I heard Pam Ayres talking about moments like this on Radio 2.

My heart sank. I could have sworn I’d left the house with the iron on full blast, then had to give myself a stern talking-to because I haven’t actually ironed anything for weeks.

Pam Ayres was being interviewed by Graham Norton to mark the publication of her witty new book, You Made Me Late Again! The collection includes the brilliantly insightful Did I Turn Off My Tongs?, which in turn contains the lines:

“We are off for a treat, it’s my birthday today,

To London. We’re seeing a musical play!

Though I love all the dancing and know all the songs,

All I can think is: ‘Did I turn off my tongs?””

But as the conversation continued Pam Ayres passed on the cleverest (and slightly crazy) tip for panickers I’ve heard in a long time. I think it came from one of her editors but here goes – before you leave the house, get out your phone and take a picture of the empty electrical socket. How reassuring is that?

PS. When I told my daughter the story she made me panic even more. Her generation doesn’t bother with irons, it turns out. Once they’ve used their straighteners on their hair they use them for a quick whizz over their clothes…

3 comments so far

  • I don’t worry when I go out but last thing at night I’ve been known to go back downstairs several times, checking that I locked the doors and switched off the tv/pc/mobile phone. I’m sort of hoping that with age, I’ll forget that I might have forgotten – if that makes any sense!

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