One of the interesting thing about getting older is observing new things enter the world, rather than vaguely knowing that they weren’t always around, but not actually remembering them not existing (eg colour TV, M&S sandwiches, The Rolling Stones).
Sometimes these additions are epoch-changing: mobile phones, wikipedia, oyster cards, stretch denim or ikea. Other times, less significant things have a greater personal impact: for me, I would say takeaway sushi, the aqua mp3 player, muji pens, chocolate-covered pretzels and Bjork.
To my grandparents’ generation, duvets were something very exotic, indeed perhaps a bit racy. Whereas to my generation, duvets are a given in even the cheapest hotel, much to the relief of many a chamber maid, I’m sure.
The new concept is the duvet day. It recognises that there are times when, for whatever physical or emotional reason, staying under the duvet is the only option, and that it’s better for everyone to just to be honest about that, indeed it has been shown to reduce workforce absenteeism.
A more recent phrase that has filtered into my world is life hack – which is certainly the property of younger generations. In my day, “hack” had negative connotations: either related to violence, uninvited invasion, or at very least, a bad writer.
IMHO, life hacks have long existed in the pages of cheap women’s weekly magazines, where readers could send in their domestic hints and tips and receive a prize if published. These days there are whole blogs devoted to sharing those little things that make life easier, more efficient, or less frustrating (think number 9 is my favourite).
Sometimes you have ideas that seem so obvious you don’t know why they aren’t just standard: like white mirror plates, or universal mobile phone-chargers, or duvet toggles.
Let me explain.
Now I’m not aware that I wriggle around a lot in the night – indeed the wonderful Sleep Cycle app indicates that I am capable of barely moving at all. But nevertheless there are times when the duvet and duvet cover get out of sync and you’re left with all cover and no duvet or vice versa.
The obvious answer (obvious to my mother, anyway, who did this when I was a child – to the extent that I assumed they were as standard) is to fix the cover to all four corners of the duvet, which is easily done with toggles on the duvet and button holes in the cover. Doing this task also served as my second sewing lesson: moving on to zig-zag stitch!
Tools / special requirements: Toggles with holes drilled in. Duvet cover (mine comes from ikea, of course).
Time taken: 1 hour.
Things learned: Only a small percentage of elastane is required within denim (approximately 3 percent) to allow a significant stretch capacity of around 15 percent.
Satisfaction (1-10): 10. Already changed my life.