I distinctly remember the day that my Dad brought his first car home. It was a cold wet evening and he sat with his head in his hands over his tea. He had had a dreadful journey, as in his excitement he had omitted to put petrol in it and had run out part way home. He scraped the car on the gatepost on the way into the driveway, but thankfully it transpired later that the huge pink gash along the side of the beautiful new Apple Green Hillman Minx was just the under paint from the gate.
He took to motoring on a grand scale - I am sure I am not making this up - one summer, the car was loaded onto a plane and off we went on our "Grand Tour" taking in the sights of the Swiss Mountains. I know we got there somehow, there is a photo of my sister posing by the car next a mountain cafe, dressed in a tight waisted gathered skirt with copious net underskirts, Mum in a neat two piece,trying to disguise her shock at having traveled all that way only to hear "Telstar" blasting out of a juke box, my brother in short trousers(he would have been thirteen)and me, gangly legs and unruly curls in a "made to grow into" cotton frock. Well that is my memory. The facts could be different!
It had not always been like this, Mum left home at 14. Her Mum had died in childbirth when my Mum was ten and her Dad could not afford to send her to Grammar school even though she had won a place there, as he had her siblings and two step children to look after. She says it was the best thing he did for her - she could have had to stay home and look after the family for a lifetime. So even a salary of £4 a year plus board was a good deal. There was the six years of their life that was put on hold because of the war and of course, rationing.
That car did us proud, weekends often meant jaunts off to Stratford - for Anne Hathaway's garden, Coventry - for the Cathedral, Alton Towers- before the amusements were there and picnics, braving the cold on Beeley Moor sheltered behind the open doors with the patchwork blanket made with swatches of suit fabric - my Great Grandfather (Dad's Grandad )was a trouser maker - so they were able to use old swatch books - and a roughly made crazy patchwork blanket made by Grandfather (Mum's Dad) when his eyes and hands no longer allowed him to sew the Irish linen table cloths which he had done in his retirement. I cannot believe it, of all the things that Mum and Dad keep, I know that these two items were thrown away!
I say all this as a preamble to the question - "In the light of many years experience, why oh why are we surprised when Easter weekend is cold and wet?"
I am old enough to view time as a non-renewable commodity, so used the opportunity of enforced indoor time and finished off the projects that were started as a result of the November workshop.
I am leaving you with the thought that like it or not, the products of our labours are a culmination not only of our own actions, but somehow have a link to everything that has gone before.
I had a tiny skein of wool, which I painted sort of mushy green, 100 gram skein of wool, which I kettled dyed with yellow, hyacinth and lavender, a little bit of hand spun yarn and a handful of painted unspun wool.
In a family tradition of wasting NOTHING, here are the fruits of my labours, finally finished on a wet and dreary bank holiday weekend. ( Though the sun is now out!) Look carefully- you may see one of my Grandad's table cloths and the last bit of yarn which I am going to ceremoniously drape in the hedge for bird to line it's nest with.