The return of Moata

00:30, Jun 05 2014

Yesterday I set myself on fire.

And I don't mean that figuratively in a "I got wildly excited about something*". I literally set myself on fire.

This happened in the course of me making soup. I was heating the beginnings of said soup on the stove and noticed a bit of smoke, presumably from something that had spilled under the element. I was fairly keen that the smoke detector not go off as the Silver Fox was taking a much needed nap at the time. Nobody wants to be woken from a nap by the sound of a piercing fire alarm.

Much better to be woken from a nap by the sound of your best beloved screeching obscenities as she attempts to put herself out, but we'll get to that bit presently.

So, quick thinker that I am, I decided to flick the kitchen's extractor fan on, but then feeling that that wasn't really doing the job, I made to open the nearest window. The one just behind the oven. I leaned across, opened  the window and then became aware that there seemed to be extra smokiness and indeed - sweet Mother of Dragons - flames, actually. And holy crap, they seemed to be attached to me. Well that's not what you want.


Yes, the pocket of my hoody had made contact with the very hot element and was burning quite merrily, thank you.

Oh, and did I mention that I was holding the baby at the time? And that the pocket that was now aflame had my iPhone in it?

I should probably have been more terrified than I was. I am pretty sure I've shrieked more loudly upon finding a harmless spider crawling up my side that I did the potentially life-threatening fire. Having said that I was plenty rattled enough to completely forget any emergency preparedness I'd acquired from safety videos we were all forced to watch at school. I managed to put the baby safely into his bouncinette before proceeding to flap around uselessly in a circle like a dog trying to catch its own tail. Suddenly the previously quite simple task of shrugging off an unzipped hoody became as complicated as extricating myself from a straightjacket. After what seemed like far too long I managed to fling it off onto the floor, wrenching my arm and shoulder in the process.

By this stage the SF had woken up and made his way into the kitchen to see what all the fuss was about and found himself having to point out to me that the excitement wasn't over, the fire had burnt through my hoody to my dress and actually I WAS STILL ON FIRE.

Being a gentleman and rather more practical than me, he patted out my flaming hip** with his bare hands, getting a little bit of plasticky burn to his fingers in the process.

The baby seemed not to notice any of this particularly having become desensitised, I assume, to this kind of thing by being a regular viewer to my ungainly kitchen-dancing. Also, he's kind of exclusively obsessed with his feet at the moment so even something as noteworthy as his mother being on fire isn't enough to distract him.

This was a bit of an unusual experience for me and a learning one at that.


-          At no point did I feel any heat in the area that was on fire. I'm sure I would have eventually if things had continued but I was surprised that it didn't actually feel hot straight away.

-          I still know a surprising number of lyrics to Mareko's 2003 hit "Stop, drop and roll".

-          In the case of holding a baby whilst on fire the motto should be "Stop, put the baby down, drop and roll", not "Stop, put the baby down, and dance a jig".

-          I wish I'd done this at someone else's house because my kitchen still stinks of burnt synthetics.

As ridiculous an episode as this is, I'd like to make a couple of points in my defense. None of this would have happened if a) the element hadn't been turned all the way up to 11, b) the  window had been a bit less prone to sticking and therefore needed prolonged effort to get open, and c) my pocket hadn't been weighed down by my phone (as an aside my iPhone has now been dropped in the toilet and set alight and continues to work perfectly. Does its robustness know no limits?)

Naturally I took all this as a sign that my 6 month hiatus from blogging needed to come to an end.

For there are two sorts of people in the world, those who seek to keep their idiotic actions hidden, and those who feel compelled to share their idiocy with the world. I am very much of the latter sort, and by the by if anyone's come up with a better definition of the word "blogger", I've yet to hear it.

So any safety tips for when making soup? Been in any life-threatening adventures lately? Do tell.

And the soup turned out quite well, actually.

*My money's on Michael Fassbender

**Should I ever start a Flaming Lips tribute band it will be called The Flaming Hips