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.
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 !