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My parents both worked full-time during my childhood, so I spent a lot of time at Grandma & Grandpa’s house. My home was only a hop, step and a jump from there, so I often saw them and stayed at home every weekend…unless I pretended to feel ill and my Mum sent me up there because Grandma had been a nurse! One weekend though, my Mum put her foot down and wouldn’t let me go…she just sent me to bed! I was always happy with arrangements after that!
We had no bathroom at my home, we used to wash in the kitchen sink and we had a toilet just off the kitchen. We bathed in a zinc bath in the kitchen that was kept in an old pantry until needed! Fortunately, my parents had had the toilet moved from outside in the yard and electricity installed before they moved into the house! My Grandparent’s house had all ‘mod cons’ because it had been built by the Council, so we used to go up there for a ‘luxury’ bath. One of my earliest memories is my Mum sitting on the edge of the bath with me on her lap, drying me in a big, fluffy towel!
Do you love looking at and sorting through buttons? I do! The jars of buttons in the photo were part of my Grandma’s stash which I was given after my mum died. There were a lot more but they’ve been re-used over the years and she even gave me a boxful when I was teaching, to help the children sort buttons in set theory!
Grandma made quite a few dresses for me when I was little and I know she used to sew for my mum and herself. The clothing wasn’t discarded or given away when it was finished with but buttons and even sections of beaded material were removed and saved for another creation. I can also remember her unravelling cardigans and jumpers, washing the wool and then I used to hold the wool on my hands while she wound it into balls. Real make do and mend!
One day, when I happened to have my collection of family photos and the buttons out at the same time, I noticed that the buttons I was sorting through looked the same as the ones on the dress she is wearing in the photo. It was really exciting to think that, when the dress was finished with, she had saved the buttons and they had passed on to me. The photo was taken in the 1930s…I think she and Grandpa were on holiday. They are beautiful, cone-shaped, concave buttons and they feel like mother of pearl…wouldn’t it be exciting to make something and use these buttons! I wonder what I should make? Whatever it is, it will be very special and remind me of my Grandma!