Schnittlinie

Yesterday’s steady rain changed to showery weather today. One rainfall soaked us as we ran from the car to Molly’s Den; another kept us in the car when, after the Den shopping trip Jackie and I drove down to Barton on Sea.

The return visit to Molly’s was in search of some Victorian glasses for Shelly’s birthday. We found them and also the bonus of present for someone else which cannot yet be mentioned.

Having read the post of our previous visit to this emporium, Barrie Haynes regretted that I had not photographed the play bus. I had not done so because it was swarming with unaccompanied children and I was therefore afraid to do so. This time parents were there supervising their offspring. When I explained that our friend, who has an interest in such things, would like me to photograph the vehicle, they were only too pleased to assist by ushering their infants out of the way to give me a clear view of Bessie’s Play Bus. I ruefully reflected that it would have been much nicer had the ‘ess’ in the title read ‘arr’. So, here you are Barrie:Bessie's Play Bus

The ‘Bronco’ toilet paper of the 1940s was made of a single layer of tissue paper, rough on one side, and shiny on the other. It wasn’t very comfortable, and if you used the wrong side you could get yourself into trouble. Mum’s dress patterns, being rather flimsy, were not much better, but in post-war Britain you used what you could get hold of. Again on our last trip to the cubicles (in Molly’s Den), I had found some framed pattern covers, roughly contemporary with those Mum cut up for us to use when closeted. Today’s find was even better. Dressmaking patternThere were two actual patterns from the 1940s in their covers. I eagerly opened one of them so I could once again feast my eyes on our loo reading material from that decade. These examples were American and only printed in English so I was denied the pleasure of once more seeing the word that had creased us up when we were early learners. When I had shown Elizabeth the pattern covers, and mentioned them on the phone to Mum, each of them had the same initial response to make: ‘Schnittlinie’. Probably aided by the symbol of a pair of scissors at the edge of the line, I was quite proud, all of seven or eight years old, to be able to translate ‘cutting line’. Elizabeth, incidentally, twelve years younger than me, never had the joys of reading the word, but it was already firmly embedded in family culture. Hence her immediate association with it. As a matter of interest, on account, no doubt, of the number of visitors we had recently, Jackie first of all had shopped at Lidl for a replacement stock of toilet rolls, on which we had experienced a run.

I have now taken so many photographs of the Isle of Wight, that I amuse myself by varying Isle of Wight through wet windscreenthe weather, the light, and the viewing angle. The heavy rain on the windscreen gave me a Chrysanthsdifferent option today. It is in the picture, just above the bar of the car park barrier.

The rain eased off enough this afternoon for us to begin to populate the flower bed cleared by Elizabeth over the last couple of days. I dug a space, which involved moving an acanthus further back, and Jackie planted half a dozen chrysanthemums she had bought in Lidl. They don’t look much at the moment, but next year they should be up to two feet tall.

Late this afternoon we drove over to Shelly’s birthday tea party. She had produced a splendid array of canapes, well-filled tasty sandwiches, pork pie, warm quiche, and homemade cakes accompanied by cups of tea and glasses of Cava. She was very pleased with our present. She had in fact told us about Molly’s Den, which added a pleasing touch to our purchase. Jackie and Malcolm were there, as was Pete, and daughter Katie who is about to open her own stall at a similar outlet in Wimborne, so the conversation naturally led to stories of antiques and auctions. It was particularly nice to meet Ron and Jackie’s parents, Ray and Daphne.

 

Her Very Own Seaside

Molly’s Den is the name of a company that runs vast Vintage Antiques emporia in Hampshire and Dorset. We chose to visit the one in New Milton this morning. It offers several hours entertainment and the opportunity to pick up interesting bargains. There is a tea room, a very large play area, including an old bus, for children to amuse themselves for hours. The refreshments and the children’s facility provide welcome respite from wandering up and down the aisles examining the fascinating wares on display in units varying in size from a cabinet to a twelve foot square room-sized cubicle.

Elizabeth pointed out a ‘monstrosity‘, the family term for which is explained in my post of A 'monstrosity'that title. In fact the Molly’s Den one is far more tasteful than the telephone table described in that story.

Birdshit on deskAn unexpected embellishment to a desk caused me to look up to the ceiling in search of an open skylight. There wasn’t one.

As always, exploring outlets for items which for some are history and for me reminiscent of my own lifetime, I was taken back to childhood by some exhibits.The Beano The several copies of the Dandy and Beano on offer dated mostly from the 1990s. We enjoyed them at home in the 1940s and ’50s, but we had to wait for Mum to read them first. In my photograph can be seen two painter’s footprints and Elizabeth and my sandalled toes. That seemed quite a happy coincidence.

I have already featured the practical use Mum made of dressmaking patterns. Dress designsToday I noticed a rack of possible covers which were guaranteed to be contemporary with the tissue paper we sat and contemplated in our early years.Elizabeth reflectedDerrick reflected

There was plenty of opportunity for Elizabeth and me to appear in a reflective mood. I even managed a selfie.Rug

I bought an apparently unused 6 foot by 4 foot pure wool rug with hand-knotted fringes for the incredible price of £18. Jackie capped it with nine Victorian etched glasses for half that price.

For some reason Jackie and Elizabeth were amused at my efforts at photographing the glasses. I was oblivious of this as I concentrated on the subjects and got my lady to hold up a towel in an effort to reduce glare from the window. That particular device was soon abandoned because it produced a coloration that suggested that the receptacles already contained wine.Jackie assisting Derrick photographingWine glasses

Reminiscing about our respective childhoods over lunch led to discussion of those rare trips to the seaside. Jackie’s grandfather, a motor factor, always had a car; but when Elizabeth was very small our Dad didn’t, and we relied on those of uncles. I have entirely forgotten one of our outings, but my younger sister has not. She was too young to remember the venue, but the story, from about 1959, has stood the test of time. Apparently Dad, Chris and I had sneaked a small suitcase onto the beach, unbeknown to our little sister. When we got home she was presented with the container. When she opened it, there before her very eyes was a heap of sand and shells enclosed in a secure space. She had her very own ‘seaside’ with which to play in her London garden.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Woodgreen near Fordingbridge where nineteen artists feature in Hampshire Open Studios. First stop for us was to Pete and Nicky Gilbert’s idyllically sited beautifully restored home where Pete showed his paintings along with work by Hugh Lohan, Frances Barker, and Yukari. All the paintings, pastel portraits, photographs, jewellery, and woodwork were impressive. Pete’s landscapes and his life’s journey were truly inspirational. Further information can be found on his website at http://www.pgilbert.me.ukPete Gilbert

Elizabeth bought a print of one of Pete’s pieces, more of which are seen behind him in my photograph. She then dashed back for a chopping board.

We proceeded to Coach House Studio to see the work of Andrea Finn, Dawn Gear, Sarah Orchard, Sarah Waters and Wendy de Salis. These included jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, and paintings.I had a long conversation with Sarah Waters who is developing the creation of fabrics using the combination of yeast and bacteria in a glucose solution. Sarah Waters processSarah Waters textilesSarah Waters fabricsThis produces a mat of cellulose fibres which form a vegetable ‘leather’. One table displayed Kombucha, the process; and another the product, more of which was suspended against the light. Sarah’s website is http://www.sarahwaterstextiles.com

We bought three of Wendy de Salis’s ceramic birds to hang in our trees. Smokebush treeThe sun, playing in the smokebush tree in Wendy’s garden, seemed to know it was part of the group of artists.

Hordle Chinese Take Away provided their usual splendid meal for our dinner. Elizabeth and I drank more of the Cuvee St Jaine. Drank open, and enjoyed, the dry white version.

Fair Isle

Chris, Derrick & Jacqueline 1948Feeling rather muzzy, worn, and out of focus with lingering sinus pain this morning, I decided not to retouch picture number 35 in the ‘through the ages’ series.  It seemed appropriately to reflect my current condition. If you look at this image in its reduced state, it doesn’t look too bad, but give it a closer look (i.e. click on it) and the blemishes are all revealed.  I don’t really look myself in the photo either.

It depicts the first trio of our parents’ offspring, namely me, Chris, and Jacqueline, taken, I imagine, in the summer of 1948, probably in Durham, and if so by our grandfather.  We were very proud of those Fair Isle jumpers which were all the rage then, and continue to be made today.  I don’t think they were available at that time from outlets such as Laura Ashley.  They were, and still are, hand-knitted in the island in northern Scotland from which they take their name.  The genuine article is no longer generally available for sale, the market having been swallowed by mass production.  Their geometric patterns remain popular.

Ours were not from the Fair Isle.  They were, like all our other clothes, made by our mother.  A couple of years later, my grandmother taught me to knit.  I made endless scarves.  When I say endless, this is a literal statement.  They had no endings because I didn’t know how to cast off and had to wait for Grandma Hunter to be in the mood to do it for me.  They had usually got a bit straggly by then, and it wasn’t good for her temper.images-3images-4  I was, however, fascinated by the making of the patterns and progressed to designing, on squared paper, images for Mum to knit.  images-8This, as far as I remember, involved different symbols for different stitches, with the use of appropriate colours.  Joseph was to follow me in this, and I believe a Goofy design that Mum reproduced on a jumper for several family members was drawn on graph paper by him not so very long ago.  He obviously shared his brother’s interest in going beyond the geometric.

My own early masterpieces, long before anyone thought of recycling, have most likely wound up in some landfill somewhere.  Alternatively, if, like Mum’s dressmaking patterns, cut into squares and threaded on a string, the material was thin enough to be used for toilet paper, they could have come in handy in the loo.  I therefore found these images on the internet, in order to give you an idea of the creative process.

This afternoon and evening on TV I watched three of the autumn rugby internationals.   Wales beat Argentina 40-6.  Next up was three quarters of the match in which Ireland were struggling unconvincingly against Australia.  Because of a scheduling overlap, in order to watch the highlights of New Zealand beating England 30-22, I had to forgo the end of this second match, and change channels.  This last game was the most intriguing and exciting of them all.

After this Jackie fed me on fiery pork and beef curry and wild rice, whilst she enjoyed sausage casserole with slightly agitated rice.  I drank a little more of the Isla Negra.  The chef’s choice was Hoegaarden.  Her lively pumpkin pie that followed was flavoured with nutmeg, cinnamon and mixed spices.  Cream was poured over it.  Then we ate it.