Life

WOMAN ON THE VERGE: In a spin over my tumble dryer

February 20th, 2022 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

I’m trying to bring down our household energy bills, while sabotaging my own energy evels by staying up half the night. A nap I planned during Sing 2 didn’t go to plan as it was too enjoyable to nod off!

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A pretty nasty electricity bill means I’m switching appliances off around the house like a mad thing … now if only I could do the same for myself I know I’d have a lot more energy

• FORGET about the immersion, the tumble dryer has become enemy number one in our house since we got our recent electricity bill which was unpleasantly high. Turns out all those experts talking about energy price hikes were on the ball alright. Anyway it’s been decided that the tumble dryer is the main culprit and must now by used sparingly, if at all, which is something I’m struggling with in a big way. I know exactly how bad the appliance is for the environment, the clothes and our finances but it’s just so flipping handy to toss everything in and for it to emerge all soft and fluffy 40 minutes later. We don’t have a single radiator in the house (modern build, never thought it through) so it’s back to the unsightly clothes horse in front of the stove (we’ll probably all get pleurisy but so long as the bill stays low that’s the main thing), or the clothes line (futile unless you can can outrun the showers). Someone told me to try the dehumidifier which, if you have one, actually does a great job and I was also reminded of my mum drying clothes in the car on warm days when we were growing up. I used to be appalled by our underwear scattered along the dash, or on back window, but I’ll definitely be taking our smalls for a spin of a different kind when temperatures go up.

• Of course, like the rest of the country, we’re also switching providers like mad things and for the first time ever I looked into the night-time rates for appliances. I’m sure everyone else already knows this, but it really is far cheaper to run them between midnight and 7am. As it happens that suits me fine as I’ve recently developed a serious sleep procrastination problem, where I’m prepared to do anything, including laundry, except go to bed at night.

•The problem starts when I’m putting the five-year-old to bed. If you’re a Judgy Judy look away now. Yes, I do lie down with her for a little chat until she nods off. I’m usually first to go to be honest and it means I have a nice 15 minute disco snooze around 8pm or so. Once I get over the shock of waking up, figuring out the day and the hour, I find I’m ready for round two or that glorious time of the day otherwise known as  ‘Me Time.’ That generally involves watching five back-to-back episodes of some rubbish on Netflix, and then maybe one more because I’m worth it; or several hours scrolling for the perfect jeans and going down various unrelated rabbit holes; lots of WhatsApping my sister to see what she thinks of the jeans; or just looking at photos of myself when I was  younger and weeping on the sofa. There’s usually wine and cheesy snacks involved. It’s actually a lot of fun – until the alarm goes off the next day.

• I used never be like this. In a former lifetime I worked in a newspaper where I was at the desk at 5.30am, so if I was in your company later than 9.30pm you knew you were very special to me. I was very good at going to bed and even better at getting up. It was my special talent, even if I was absolutely miserable for a good decade.

• I got a glimpse of the old me last week when our internet was on the blink. That meant no Netflix, or phone scrolling, only regular TV which was pretty … underwhelming. There was nothing else for it but to go bed and I was all tucked up for 10pm, and more importantly I was asleep (no final checks of Insta/Twitter/Facebook). When the alarm went off for once I didn’t feel like selling my soul for 10 more minutes in bed, I felt good. Well as good as anyone feels when they have to empty all their appliances first thing in the morning, and peel less than fluffy garments off the clothes horse. 

• Anyway, we went to the cinema last Saturday to see Sing 2 and I figured it would be the perfect chance for a little mid-afternoon snooze (I’ve slipped back to my old nocturnal ways). It didn’t quite go to plan. First I had to deal with the major shock of being so close to so many mainly unmasked people. Granted it is pretty hard to munch your popcorn with a mask on, but it was still very unnerving for me as I sat there in my medical grade mask, imagining the omicron molecules (or however it works) landing on us all and taking us out. There was also insane body heat generated by the massive crowd and not all that much ventilation in the place which was also a bit worrisome – and uncomfortable. Luckily it’s an amazing film because once it started I was totally engrossed in a way I hadn’t expected. It’s one hour and 50 minutes of absolute joy (even Bono, who voiceovers the Lion, doesn’t drag the mood down, well not that much anyway). There’s an amazing soundtrack too, and as I walked out of the cinema (pouring sanitiser over us all) I wondered if it was too late to be a rock star when I grow up? What? Sure, it’s all about making the switch right now!

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