Friday, 17 January 2020

Post me your Favourite Corset

Small ad seen in an old Women's Institute magazine from 1952:  "Post me your favourite garment - Corset, Brassiere, or Corselette, no matter how old fashioned you may think it is.  I will gladly send you a free estimate for copying it.  Satisfaction or money refunded."

I found this image on pinterest
though i have lost track of where it originated.
I bought the magazine from an ebay seller. 

I don't belong to the WI, but Miss Read was a very active member for much of her life, so I want to scan and greatly enlarge some items which I think may be of interest to her.    She may be losing her sight, but she is most definitely not losing her 'marbles'.   

I think she will enjoy doing a bit of 'time-travelling', she may even remember some of the events and discussions which are mentioned, though the only mention I can find of our village is that three members gave a demonstration on pastry-making and pastry fillings. 

Meanwhile, just five or six miles away, a Dr B gave a talk about his alpine adventures with Lincolnshire schoolgirls, which was probably much more fun than the talk given by Mr L on the care of the feet.   There was a  talk on electric cleaners, another on dress-making, though I think I would probably have enjoyed the talk which ex-Police Sergeant R gave on 'A Policeman must have nerves of iron', rather more.

During her reminiscences Miss Read has often made mention of the plays which were performed in the village hall and the magazine is full of advertisements for play scripts, comedies seeming to be the most abundant.     There is an item on theatrical makeup, another one about village drama and the coronation, drama reviews and, most helpfully, what to cook when funds are low.

It makes for an interesting read for me and, I hope, for Miss Read.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Embracing my Inner Thespian

I can think of no better way to describe the way I feel today.    The clips go on a bit, but they capture my lightness of spirit.

I still don't want anyone near my left-hand side,  but a high tide mark has been left there,  the pain has begun to recede!    I feel in control of it again, the rawness has passed.

I am so sorry that I was unable to answer all your lovely comments, but I do thank you for each and every one of them.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Felled, by a Feather-weight!

Day one of the new year was fun and laughter-packed as we had all three of our children, and their children, here.     By the end of the day I was happy, but worn out, and my back was protesting.   It was worth it.

Day two began well enough.   Increasing back pain soon had me on the floor doing my back exercises.      The feather-weight flower fairy, who lives next door, came bursting in, full of some little story which she wanted to share with me.    She skidded on the floor and landed 'smack' on my ribs, left side.

Her horrified face made me try to scrabble upright, to reassure her that I was alright - trouble was that I was winded - and I didn't know whether I was alright.   As soon as I could talk, I told her not to worry, I was fine. then I slowly took myself away to find out whether it was true!

I am relieved to say there are no bones broken, just severe bruising, which doesn't sound so bad, until I try to move.

My apologies for not having time to answer your lovely comments, I will get around to it, in a day or two, when things settle down a little.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

The End of the Old Year

Weather lore:
"If on New Year's Eve the wind blows south
It betokens warmth and growth
If west, much milk and fish in the sea
If North, much cold and storms will be
If East the trees will bear much fruit
If North-East flee (from) it man and brute"

No wind today in Owl Wood, so we can't tell what is to come.

"Dry January, plenty of wine
A wet January, a wet Spring"

Apparently this one dates from medieval times, when there were many more vineyards in England.

"A warm January, a cold May"

We shall see.

1 January - Weather Lore

"Morning red, foul weather and great need"

"The first three days of January rule the coming three months"

Time will tell.

I can't deny that I will be happy to wave farewell to this year.       I don't want to begin a pity party, the saga is not mine to share, so I won't go into details; it is enough to say that it has not been a good year. 

I don't stay up to celebrate, I did plenty of that when I was young, these days it is just another night - early to bed, early to rise.   The animals make sure of the early to rise bit.

If you do stay up then I hope you have a great time as you see the old year out and usher the new one in and I hope that the New Year is a good one for you, and those you hold dear. 

Thank you for taking the time to read, for all your comments, the blog friendships.   All truly appreciated!

Wishing you all "Health, Wealth, and Happiness throughout the New Year".

For anyone who plans to party hard:   "Hang a piece of ivy over the bed tonight, so that the first thing you see upon waking, is green.   Green ivy is symbolic of everlasting life and will guard against drunkeness."  

Good luck!

Monday, 30 December 2019

Gasping and Terrified

I caught sight of an orange blur streaking up the side of our property, at first I thought it was Millie the cat, then I realised that it was rather larger, and that it had a truly magnificent bushy tail. 

A beautiful fox, gasping, panting, terrified.

It paused at the corner, gasping for breath, s/he looked straight into my eyes.   Five to six seconds later the poor creature took off again, taking a diagonal line across the field, heading for the old school playing fields, and safety, I hope.

Foxy was not just out for a jog, he had been chased, hard.     I could hear dogs in the distance, but I didn't see the hunt at all, thank goodness.      They are not supposed to kill foxes these days, but of course they do.

The last time I saw the hunt around our village was quite a number of years ago.  A spectacular sight, but my sympathies are always with the foxes.

This post isn't about the rights and wrongs of hunting, it is about that incredible moment when you lock eyes with a wild creature and there is that breathtaking moment of connection.

Have you enjoyed such a moment?

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Love in the China Cupboard

An old photograph of the kitchen table

I suppose I should have written this post before Christmas, still, better late than never. 

The two 1970's dressers which are in the photograph hold lots of china, so does the pantry which is through the door between them.      I often think that I should send the lot to charity, enjoy the empty space, the uncluttered shelves.

However, Christmas is the time of year when I am glad that I haven't given into that particular temptation.    Cooking a celebratory meal for the family is enjoyable-ish, but dressing the table is enormous fun, especially when I start looking in those china cupboards, for they are filled with lovely  memories of people I loved, meals we shared, the celebrations and gatherings.

I always dress the table with a vast piece of sumptuous dark red and old gold curtain fabric - a bargain find in 'Boyes',  many years ago.     I've tried a plain white cloth, but that looks too starchy and formal for my hotchpotch collection of china and bits and pieces...pieces which link my life as a child with my life as a mother and grandma, along with everything between.

Throw on some brass candlesticks, a few pieces of silver, my late mother's dark red and gold china - bought by her, sixty years ago, when we lived in Hong Kong), plus quirky, individual pieces which make me smile, special glassware, whip up a dollop of magic, then serve the delicious (naturally!!) food to the fabulous family and away we go!

How about you - do you go for immaculate presentation, everything perfectly aligned and matched, or are you a messy and sentimental person?   As ever, no right, no wrong. 

Oh, no photograph of the finished table, because I was far too busy to even think about using a camera, instead there is this photo - fairy lights right around the perimeter of the kitchen and homemade 'snowflakes' hung from the kitchen beam, there are fresh holly sprigs on many of the paintings and lots of holly and greenery on the mantelpiece at the other end of the room.   No tree, with a very waggily-tailed Toby, plus two cats who like to shimmy up trees...