DROPPING LOOPS, MAKING HOLES AND STUFFING THINGS

A feature on yet another revival of homely hand knitting reminded me……. At primary school, the girls’ craft classes were the bain of my life. Could I knit as a six year old? Much as I tried, sitting at an old wooden desk, with oversized knitting needles and a well re-used ball of wool, made the whole experience a clumsy affair with little to show for it. There were some loops on the needle and maybe I managed to put some wool through a loop or two, I don’t really remember.

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I do know, that there were some stitches on the needle that did not seem to be very productive.  I was glad when the tortuous efforts came to an end and another lesson began.

Then there was the class where the better little hand-stitchers made bunnies with lovely fluffy cloth already cut to shape, probably by the teacher, a grandmother figure, who taught that girls’ class. Once stitched to the required point, busy little hands had lots of fun stuffing the bodies, arms, legs, hands and ears of their creations, (through a small opening left in the seam) with what I believe was Kapok. Polyester fibres were not in use all those years ago to stuff things. The opening was then closed up by each young  ‘creator’ with even and neat little running stitches.

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We, the ones relegated to the ‘untalented’ corner, (the majority of the class) had a bit of rag each plus a needle and thread to practice with. I cannot say what others may have thought, but it seemed to me, the three or four bunny-makers looked more than a teensy bit smug.  Just a bit of me would have liked to have been with them bathed in their success.

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A couple of years later, I discovered the Grandmother figure really was granny to two of the girls in her ‘better’ group.  Also, another teacher in the school, who was French, was her daughter-in-law.  By then, I was old enough to understand that a big war ended not so many years before, so, it was likely that the girls had no dad.  Mum and granny were supporting each other and the two girls on prescribed lower women’s salaries, much lower than their working male teaching counterparts.

From the amount of time we spent in church and on religious education, I wonder if there wasn’t some hope of recruiting future nuns and priests.

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This primary school was certainly schooling the girls, for at best, domesticity, sweat shops, or, subservient jobs, and the boys, likewise, to be unskilled. We weren’t seen as having much potential.

Poppy Memorial Scott Monument

Scott Monument Princes St Edinburgh+ Poppy Memorial

When we all divided up to move on to our next secondary stage school experience, it was really surprising how many children started to thrive in a different educational environment, even though the development of domestic/service/cooking skills, was still a theme for girls.  Many of us as schoolchildren, were undervalued. Notwithstanding, many of my school friends, both genders, broke the expected mould.

YaY !!

EXCUSES

I am fed up with the excuses made in the names of;

Computers – “There’s nothing we can do, it’s the computer that does it”.

Data Protection Act. Can’t deal with this or talk about *&*&* because of the Data Protection Act.

The Human Rights Act. Difficult one this, as it spawns a range of ‘exclusive’ interpretations, (not necessarily correct ones) enabling all sorts of excuses individuals and organisations can hide behind.

What a lot of ignorance, incompetence and poor judgement is lurking and hiding behind these excuses. :yes:

LET IT ALL HANG OUT

I’m sitting here, just having ‘penned’ replies to friends’ posts. I was quite clear in my own mind what I was going to blog about. Now I am not so sure. Let’s see what comes. 💡

I thought about how much easier it was to get on with my day without other half mooching about; he’d gone to help a friend this morning. I got lots of jobs done and was still doing them mid afternoon, when I got a phone call that put an end to all that; “that was a marathon call you had” said hubby, who was back by then, and yes… it was. That meant the evening meal was late but he still got out for his meeting on time.

There was the gorgeous smell of home made bread when I went back to the kitchen. The bread came out of the machine looking great and yummy. It’s on the rack cooling ready to be sawn into at the earliest opportunity. Oh yum! 😀

Meanwhile, the washing on the whirlygig in the garden, was still whirling come rain or shine, but by this time it was more rain than shine. It wasn’t worth trying to rescue the washing. When the weather first started throwing down wet gobs it would have been worth a try, but hubby was having an eighty winks in the armchair and I was in the throes of my important marathon call.

Tonight, again with some space of my own, the interrupted flow of jobs was completed and I got the very damp (nearly wet) washing in. No point in leaving it out any longer. After all, I don’t know what tomorrow’s weather will bring. I haven’t checked the forecast; in any case that’s no guarantee the forecast will be spot on for this bit of the world. :-/

This was nothing like what I thought of blogging about, however, it’s what has emerged and what there is. So be it.

SHADOWS IN MY LIFE

It is now late July 2007. I have been steadily working through my ‘things to be done’ list all year. I could have made the title snappier and called it a ‘to do’ list but somehow that does not convey the significance of what I have been slowly working through. There are more immediate daily living things that always need regular attention but there are other jobs that are of a major nature. There’s clearing out, reducing dross, dealing with emotional hoarding, major reorganising, administrative requirements and house maintenance.

I wondered at the beginning of the year what would be left rolling over by the end of it. Even at this half way stage, I am surprised at some of the really big items on the list I have been able to cross off and some of the small-ish ones still to deal with. There remain other major jobs still to work on.

There is a half a job outstanding and another that is by the side of me, started but not stirred (to misquote a quote) while I procrastinate by writing this blog. The job has to be done, but it does feel to me like discarding, a lifetime of people I have known, or memories of particular circumstances I have tangibly held on to by keeping certain objects. Yes, it is rampant sentimentality, wrapped up in stuff I have not looked at much for years. I am surprised how difficult I am finding it is, to relinquish shadows in my life.

THREE GOOD THINGS HAPPENED TODAY

Today, apart from being rained and hailed upon, waiting in the wind and cold for someone who had already arrived but I hadn’t seen, I had three bits of really good news.

1. I received a tiny windfall – very nice, every little helps and is gratefully accepted.

2. A friend I had encouraged to return to her degree studies when she had notified her tutor she had given up, let it drop in conversation that she had been awarded her degree and will graduate in July.

3. At tea time my daughter phoned to have a ‘wow’ conversation, as she’d got top marks for a university assignment.

…and tonight it’s sunny. 😀