x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

How starch saved my skin

Mu obsession with spray-on starch has more than once saved my clothes from damage and my body from harm.

This week I'm considering investing heavily in Merito - the company that makes starch spray. I will forever be indebted to the creators of this marvellous product not just for it stiffening my linen skirts, but more importantly for saving me from third-degree burns. Not once, but twice has this miracle mist come to my rescue, to which end I'm considering starching all my clothes regardless of whether they need it or not.

The most recent occurrence happened last weekend as I ventured out for a meal at a beach-front venue in Dubai. As I sauntered through the open-air restaurant, tip-toeing in between the low tables and navigating my way around scattered bean bags, I finally came across my friends. However, no sooner had I stooped down to greet them than the back of my legs came into contact with the previously unseen hot coals of a shisha pipe behind me.

As the glowing embers made contact with my dress I shot upright, expecting the searing pain and smell of burning flesh to swiftly follow. Yet, to my surprise, nothing of the sort occurred. Then the penny dropped - I had starched my cotton outfit within an inch of its life and it had somehow given me a protective Teflon-like shield.

Another heated moment occurred when I ventured to Nasimi Beach at Atlantis earlier this month. Shisha once again featured prominently that night - which ironically, although I never smoke it, seems to make its presence felt everywhere I go.

With the sun having set and only the floodlights of the hotel illuminating clusters of people reclining on beach bags, I once again traversed the soft sand, eventually taking my seat among my friends.

A couple of hours or so later, as a famous tune by some overly cool DJ blared through the speakers, the table behind us leapt up enthusiastically to cut some shapes.

A shisha pipe brimming with hot coals was accidentally knocked over in the excitement and tipped in the direction of my exposed back. As I was sitting forward at the time it took me a while to notice the two briquettes that were slowly burning a hole in my skirt and I'm sure, once again, I have Mr Mireto to thank for this. Though the garment had a brown tinge from the hot contact, surprisingly its clever coating had prevented a hole from developing. Much relieved and with my outfit now doused in water, it was time to head for home, safe in the knowledge that my obsession with crinkle-free clothes had indeed averted a disco inferno.