Saturday, April 9, 2011


What a great feeling to sell clothes that you made yourself..........
StellaMay was my grandmothers name she was the first person to introduce me to vintage she was quite large so her handmedowns hung on me but I loved them anyway! She gave  me a pair of lemon french knickers which I altered to fit.. I miss them now.. thrown away in a fit of minimalism fever..  lovely 40's suits  I wore just the jackets cinched in at the waist with belts.  She also had a fox stole which lived with me for a while but I was a bit creeped out so returned it to her huge ornate, musty wardrobe.  I loved her bedroom.  I had a key to her house as they spent a long time away each year. The smell of the house is the thing I can recall most, I guess its the first imprint you get when stepping it stays..I used to beeline for her room.  They had three bedrooms two of which they (grandad) had shifting sleep routines between, a plain functional room and then the more ornate version.  I loved the latter this is where she kept her treasures an ottoman full of textile treasures! and jewelry boxes with spooky chimes that revealed endless brooches mostly purchased from Woolco.  Her bed was giant sized, difficult to climb onto and scarily high when on.
I loved the illuminous nylon bedspread...still do!  In that room my senses were on edge maybe I felt I shouldn't have been in there prying but I was too fascinated to respect any privacy issues, or maybe it was the fox in the cupboard!..I knew it was there..lurking!
There was a small room with a single bed which I slept in only once, and once too often! it did not engender feelings of comfort.  It was a room that by daylight was to be avoided as far as I was concerned and when I went upstairs I always grabbed the door of it quickly and closed of the emanations from within.. swiftly!
I did eventually inherit my grandmothers bedroom furniture a piece of which I still have..which I shabby chiced (is that a word).
I wasn't particularly close to my grandmother.  She was a staunch Yorkshire woman.  She had a fierce look. heavy eyebrows (sometimes I see her in dreams and this look has become more accentuated in them than I remember her being) She always wore oversized home knitted cardigans and would sit crocheting intricate  table clothes for hours..this was her passion..(the one that she revealed to the outside world anyway).. My mother adores her crochet left behinds.  Meals at her house were fried eggs with chips and pickled red cabbage followed by a fairy cake.(we call them buns in yorkshire) always. She wore an apron in the kitchen..nylon of course with buttons up the front the full dress kind...She didn't say much to me unless I asked about past times and then she would tell me the same stories of her youth over and over.  The time she escaped out of her bedroom window after being grounded, the time she ran away to the mills, and the time she was a stowaway..embellished maybe..fascinating absolutely!
I think she might have kept people at a distance, although she was popular in a way because of her reliability, her steadfastness, and perhaps because of her commanding size a sort of protective aura hung around her.  I never witnessed her anger but I heard tales of it.
She never opened the presents I gave her at christmas she would just put them in a draw..unopened...which was always sad, I didn't get to see any faked surprise and happiness which you kind of expect as a child (although you don't know it's faked)
Her emotions were tightly clamped down, perhaps not even felt that keenly to her.  She was a complicated, uncomplicated woman..I threw a red rose into her coffin which she has reminded me of since.

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