Tea-towels and dish cloths !

The thatched cottage which sits on the weighing scales

The blessings of Civilised Living

Lakeland tea cosy with matching egg cosies (which Caroline gave me before we fell out !)

A good day cleaning the kitchen and re-organising stuff ~ only switched on up here at 5pm ~ I must work out a better schedule with maybe an hour's housework once the daily chores are done, then a session up here before lunch and flop.  Most afternoons I can sleep for a full two hours, then make a pot of tea and read the paper, and unless there is some rivetting telly (which isn't often), up here again after supper and Jon Snow's News ~ then make a hot drink and see what's on News Night ~ but this means I never get to bed before midnight which is fairly stupid of me, especially as I'm always up at 7.03 after the news Bulletin on Radio 3 !   

The Lakeland catalogue came today full of Spring Cleaning equipment ~ although I simply love Lakeland, their kitchen gadgets and stuff, it does strike me that the variety of cleaning cloths on offer is quite mind boggling ~ window cloths, bathroom cloths, kitchen cloths ~ oh and here's the Lakeland miracle cloth, 3 classic Lancashire dusters, antibacterial dishcloths, their marvellous wash-up WIZ (as in wizard) which lasts and lasts and does indeed scour pots and pans without scractching !   But who needs so much choice ?   When we were married (mournful violin music, off), and you may not believe this, Mother sent me a bag of rags : "You'll be needing these, I think."   Certainly at home the only dusters, dish cloths, floor cloths were rags : a ragged vest, ragged pants cleverly dismantled to disquise their provenance, torn up sheets, RAGS !   Imagine today, the bride receiving a bag of rags to use as cleaning cloths.   But that's how it was ~ not in the Dark Ages, but in the 1950s !!   I can remember the thrill after we moved to Winchester, buying a proper yellow duster !   My very first real duster !!

Come to think of it, Daddy had a proper duster, a pink one, to keep his big pedestal desk spotless and which he clung onto jealously.   Once foolishly I washed it out and hung it on the line for him, which he saw as interfering and a threat to his cherished ownership.   Poor old, Dad ~ neither of them had much in the way of luxuries.  Apart from his pink duster, each Christmas Mum bought him a silk handkerchief.   I seem to have inherited one of them and I see it has been finely and neatly darned !   For heaven's sake ~ how many of us use proper hankies today, never mind silk ones.  Darned silk ones.

I think I already mentioned that among the things that came to me when Mother went into Castle House Home and my sisters cleared her bungalow, were a few t-towels ~ threadbare and all of them neatly darned !!   Many of them I recognised from years ago before I left home ~ people would bring her a t-towel back from their holidays ~ from Germany, France, Israel, New Zealand, Canada . . . everywhere.  Mostly brightly decorated with local scenes.   And here they are, today in my kitchen !   No, actually, in a box in my attic !   They are really too worn to be much use.  But it fills me with shame that even in my straightened circumstances, I have two drawers full of checked towelling t-towels in blue, red. green and yellow.

As for dusters, thanks to those early years of duster privation, I now have dozens ~ of various types, and mostly from Lakeland too.  Though here's a handy tip for you all ~ the very best thing for window polishing is net curtain ~ yes, a piece of an old net curtain ~ try it !

Sometimes I wonder whether all our desires spring from forgotten deprivation.  Take tea cosies, right.   While I was married, we never had a tea cosy apart from a rather stained and battered knitted one, you know what I mean ~ in two colours, with a pompom on top, rather like a woolly hat.   Somehow my kitchen is now full of tea cosies ~ one covers the iron, another one the kitchen scales, I've two or three wacky ones with cottages embroidered or printed on them, and two cottage egg cosies (Lakeland again !) ~ I simply love them, though the one I use every day is a faded frequently-washed apology for a tea cosy ~ I don't want to spoil any of the others, get them tea-stained.  

Tomorrow I shall download tea-cosies pictures to warm your hearts ~ but right now it's time for another of these strange and generally macarbre stories on BBC2 "No 9" . . . with a mug of Horlicks !

A thatched bothy that sits on the iron

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Latest comments

14.03 | 05:51

Hi Joy, came across your blog while researching the Sanders, thanks for the interesting read about them and your lovely house.

27.10 | 11:43

Michael ~ happily ~ and good luck ~ I'd like to know the outcome ~ joy peach

26.10 | 14:33

I am in the same position. Amazingly, your case R(IS)1/93 - CIS/270/1991 is being used against me. Clearly, it got more complicated. Can I quote your blog? Mike

28.05 | 15:41

Hello Joy. We have a new Merrywood Grammar group on Facebook if you would like to take a look - https://www.facebook.com/groups/509432799238158/

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