‘WHAT’S that?,” asked our son in wide-eyed wonder at the age of three, as his aunt assembled her ironing board while he was visiting for some babysitting.

So sealed our reputation as domestic slobs.

Last week, goddess of all things homely and wholesome Kirstie Allsopp sent the twittersphere into meltdown by posting an image of herself ironing tea towels to great satisfaction.

The TV presenter proclaimed to all who cared: “I have ironing to do”, followed by another of the completed piles of towels with the caption “Done!”.

Those who cared – or were beyond lockdown boredom – tweeted back…

One person commented: “Life is waaaay too short to be ironing towels!”

Another traumatised soul posted: “The only thing worth ironing are smart shirts ... all else a complete waste of time!”

After the reaction poured in, Allsopp responded saying: “I am absolutely LOVING ironing Twitter. I think I may become a single issue campaigner. Those who iron tea towels are not wasting their lives, they are creating order and providing themselves with a lot of free therapy. Join our ranks, you’ll never look back.”

BBC Radio Scotland’s Morning show picked up the story for some in-depth analysis.

General consensus was that, actually, it’s good to iron tea towels to remove them of any bacteria remaining after washing. Are they all still using twin-tubs and carbolic soap? Even in these bug-ridden times, surely a hot wash with Persil does the trick. (Other detergents are available.)

Apologies for sounding a little washed-out over this hot topic. Perhaps I’m just being a little shirty – crumpled, obviously – because I’ve always been so inadequate in the laundry department.

So you might not be surprised to learn that the Quarter Master is in charge of the laundering of garments at our billet, despite the trauma of growing up with his mother insisting on ironing his underpants.

We have an old flat iron dating back to my student days that does a splendid job when required.

We were delighted to be gifted with a state-of-the-art steam affair as a wedding present. Alas, it was beyond our ken … and requirements. My mother’s iron packed in one day and it was supplied as an emergency. We never found the need to repossess it.

For the best part of 30 years – since that well deployed red sock in the white wash – I have been stood down from all chores laundry related. But even for the QM, the iron is reserved for special occasions – parades and the like. Or the Trooping Of The Colour To Tesco Click And Collect.

“Shake, Shake, flatten, smooth, shake, shake, flatten and smooth again,” is the mantra. And repeat.

Maybe ironing is easier, come to think of it.

In the meantime, as this new wave of enthusiasm for smooth laundry sweeps society, I will stand easy.

On Zoom, no-one can see the creases in your clothes.