Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Good old fashioned methods

Have you ever tried to steam open an envelope?

I've only done this a couple of times in my life, and I really can't think when I did it the first time, but the thing was, in those days, I put the kettle on and it stayed on and I put the edges of the licked part of the envelope over the steam and it peeled back. No problem.

Today I remembered to send our great-niece, who was born on Wednesday 6th February, a card... a gift was on it's way through separate means. The card had already been put in an envelope, closed and stamped. The only thing I hadn't done was post it. It had lain on the table waiting for a phone call from my sister-in-law to tell me the wee tot was home, and then after I had that phone call I'm afraid I had a senior moment and forgot to take it to the post box.

Today also happened to be the day when I had a thorough read of Saturday's Scotsman Magazine and I happened to come across a very good article for new mums about how to get their babies to settle and thought this might be just the thing for Mountain Man's niece. But... I'd already sealed the envelope. No problem, I thought, I'll steam it open and pop the article into the envelope.

Modern kettles that switch off at the point of boiling are not the thing to steam envelopes I discovered, and a good 15 minutes and a completely botched envelope, stuck down with cellotape later, I was ready to take it to the post.

How do people manage these things? After the kettle incident, with it's health and safety you-can't-switch-me-on-again-straight-after-I've-boiled facility kicked in, I had to go for the unsafe option and almost managed to burn my hand on a pot of boiling water.

Another time I think I'll just put the bloody whatever into another envelope and be damned. Far less costly, I feel, to spend money on another stamp than spend time jumping around the kitchen swearing, blowing on my almost burned fingers, whilst trying to prise open an envelope that definitely doesn't want to be prised.

Steaming open envelopes is not something modern technology can deal with I feel. There are just somethings that need good old fashioned methods and this is definitely one of them.


  1. If only you'd called. If your kettle is anything like mine the lid has to be fully closed for the automatic switch off to work. So leaving the lid off or ajar allows it to boil merrily away. I discovered this by inadvertently ruining a kettle rather than searching diligently for a way to steam open envelopes. But it's handy for suede shoes.

    1. Ahh... I'd never thought of that! Thank you!