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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Random thoughts on clothes

When I was younger I linked the green for Trinity with Summer dresses as the two seasons coincided.  At that time is was dresses or frocks, no woman would be allowed past the church door in trousers, to be balanced nor would an adult bloke in shorts. Sunday best was not a misnomer, we had outfits that would be worn just on Sundays, then relegated to Saturdays and then in the week in school holidays. I remember buying a green skirt and sleeveless waistcoat for work, along with a new beige jumper and feeling it was wrong to be wearing it to work straight away without saving it for Sundays first, I would have been about 19 then!

As a member of the church youth club in the early 60's we were going on a hike/ramble in Windsor Great Park on a Bank Holiday Monday. Attendance at church beforehand was compulsory, the girls were given dispensation to wear trousers to the service as they were going on the hike.  Nothing else of that day remains in my memory.

Not surprising - I have always been interested in clothes and in what I wear, I still worry about wearing the right outfit, whether for work, play or a big occasion. Going on holiday causes worry, there was one holiday where we felt we were right in our choice of attire. In Egypt on a Nile cruise, when we went to see the tombs and monuments even in the heat I would wear long skirts, long sleeved blouses and red leather Ecco lace up shoes.  Ian would wear stout shoes, trousers and long sleeves hence we appeared to be the only travellers not bitten, sunburnt or overheated when we returned to the ship. Given religious sensitivities we felt vest tops, tight shorts and flip flops were not a sensible choice, yet these were the garments worn by most of our group, we sensed they thought our choice of clothes a bit odd. Yes, around the pool on the boat I did sunbathe in my tankini.

In documentaries from 1930s to mid-60's it is noticeable how formal by today's standard everyone is and how individual to each nation, today clothes are ubiquitous in the western world due to globalisation. A far cry from going to a dressmaker, one Mrs Hill and having dresses made, even after I started work she made clothes for me, one was an adaption of a Mary Quant pattern. I recall the circular pink skirt with petersham ribbon inside the waist band and the two blouses made from cream silk fabric my mother had. Another length of that silk was used to line the skirt of a suit I knitted in cream wool whilst I was at college.  One time my sister and I had dresses made in the same nylon fabric but in different styles, I recall dresses in coloured seersucker with square necks edged in boderie anglais for both of us. Even children's clothes were more formal in the 50's, and I am sure a lot more work for my mother.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Gardens seem to have figured in our lives this month, our own refurbishment, visit to Hampton Court Flower Show and last Sunday we went to a local garden open through the Natinal Gardens Scheme. 

Our own refurbishment has included some colourful plants to complement the green

The NGS garden was at Petersham House, it wasn't an enormous garden, many years ago part of the garden was used for a local nursery and cafe/restaurant. Many of the plants were just the same as in any suburban garden, just in greater quantities. There were bees, some outside their hives and I managed to photograph a butterfly. 

Not easy, my camera is a Ixus70, about 7 years old and I have never understood all the controls so I stick with auto. 

There were lovely views of Richmond Hill from the garden:-

We chose to travel by bus to this garden knowing that parking is dire in this area. So glad we did as we squeezed past the big 4WD jammed up and having to back out onto a very narrow A-road. Both buses were full, why is the frequency of buses and trains and the number of carriages cut back at the weekend? In the touristy parts of London parking restrictions apply seven days a week, why not public transport at full strength. One of our local bus routes leading to Kingston is a single decker running an hourly service, it is always crowded and doesn't run on a Sunday. 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Flower show

Yesterday  Ian and I went to the Hampton Court flower show, we have been a few times before, this year's journey there and back was the best ever. On the advice of a neighbour who spoke to us just as we were about to leave, we parked in Bushy Park using the usual car park within sight of the Palace. Even though it was less than half an hour to opening time there were plenty of places, we ambled towards the gate, joined the long queue before finding cousins. 

For once didn't meet anyone we knew, surprising as the show is really just down the road from us, well about three miles, recognised Carol Klein who was in a hot greenhouse preparing to be filmed and later Toby Buckland in discussion but little sign of filming. 

Didn't take many pictures, this next one was to identify a plant Ian liked:-

And the last one shows a garden full of flowers, maybe a bit old fashioned, rather than the symbolism of severe hard surfaces, sculpture and water. 

As I have written this using a new app will post it to see what happens, even though no knitting news. 

Friday, 4 July 2014

Last few weeks.

Well I have not managed to add the photos of the yarn shop in Palermo so will put the pictures on the other blog and the words here. It was more like a haberdashers as there were sewing notions, patterns.  Certainly I wasn't impressed with the wool on sale nor the manner of display.

Our only purchase in Palermo  apart from refreshments were an alarm clock , we found we couldn't rely on the wake up calls from reception nor did we wish to switch on our mobile phones as this was before the roaming charges were reduced. Some days we had very early morning starts, cases had to be outside rooms by 7am with get away at 8am on a couple of occasions.

If this sounds complaining it isn't , we had never been on this kind of holiday before, unlike most of our fellow travellers so we were learning the ropes on a fast paced tour.  We learnt a lot about ancient history, Ian said he thought we might have an exam at the end, little odd gems of knowledge stand out such as learning that the Normans went to Sicily, an Island that is one third bigger than Wales. There were 39 other travellers, rather a big group, compensated by the fact that we all gelled very well.

I managed some knitting on the holiday, started a pair of socks for daughter whilst on a long coach drive from one centre to another, only knitted where the scenery was unvarying. Knitted on the plane coming home, we travelled on a scheduled flight, both departures were at civilised times, in addition we were transported to and from our homes as part of the package.

Back in England life has been busy again, we went to Dorset last Friday to see Ian's brother as well as linking up with Martha. Whilst Ian and his brother chatted Martha and I went off to view some of the villages in that beautiful part of the world. In Sicily the local guides kept on emphasising the beauty of their country but for me nothing can beat England for beauty. We drove through a village, because we were going slowly I was able to recognise a guy hedge cutting who had lived locally, he and his wife, Caroline attended the same church as we had, his elder son was in Martha's class at primary school. We were invited in for tea and catching  up on the ten years sine they had moved away.

Next day we attended church in another village, Caroline, a NSM covering an interregnum, took the service whilst another Caroline played the organ, second Caroline and her husband moved from here to Dorset a couple of years ago. Six attendees formerly from one London suburban church in a congregation of about 20 plus choir seems a coincidence. The service emphasised my feelings that even in ecclesiastical matters London is another country, so different in many ways from the rest of the country.

We returned home to face two days of upheaval as our boiler was replaced, not quite as bad as it could have been but new boiler is no longer hidden in a cupboard. Ian has painted pipes and walls so it blends in as much as white metal boxes and copper pipes can.