Saturday, 29 June 2013
Another this and that day . . .
The other night at our book club we were talking about how different life is today than it was way back when, in some ways for the better and of course some ways for the worse. If you were poor back then, or disabled in any way . . . you really didn't have a lot of help, which is a lot different from today, thank goodness.
It got me to thinking about things a bit and about skills I learned as a girl and I wondered if they were skills that were still taught today . . .
Things like darning socks. I remember painstakingly darning socks, my needle going in and out of the heel or toe of a sock . . . fixing and filling in what was missing with wool thread. Mind . . . socks back then were well worth darning. Today's socks are not near as good the quality. I think you could say that about most clothing.
(You'll love this page!)
Back then people used to re-enforce their clothing . . . even their underwear . . . by patching on the inside. I can remember my brother's trousers having double knees, which meant that they would last longer. I remember dresses being cut down and altered to fit my sister, or being let out and lengthened to adapt to a growing child's needs. There was no shame in it either . . . it's what everyone did.
People used to wear slippers in the house and not expensive fancy ones either. They would, in most cases, be homemade. Either knitted or crocheted, or cut down from old bits of clothing that weren't of any use anymore, such as a felt hat, and re-sewn into slippers.
People really used to use what they had back then . . . and not waste a thing. We are really wasteful today and it's sad really, because it doesn't need to be.
Do you remember Skate exchanges? Once a year we used to have a Skate Exchange. One classroom in the local school would be given over to this purpose on a Saturday morning. Everyone would bring in their old skates and shoes that your children had outgrown, and you could exchange them for someone else's that had been outgrown also, but that were the right size for yours. Perhaps you didn't have a pair to exchange, but you could buy a good used set for next to nothing as well. I loved these sales and exchanges. You always found something useful.
I expect the car boot sale is much the same these days . . . without the sense of community which went along with the other way of doing it . . .
A sense of community. That's missing today as well. (I have never been to a car boot sale. They always have them on Sundays and I have something much better to do on a Sunday!)
(That's a whole directory of "how to" skills!)
In Brownies and Girl Guides I was taught many useful things such as how to polish shoes and make a bed. How to clean a house and wash dishes properly. I could tell direction by looking up at the night sky and seeing the stars. I could tell you all the names of the constellations! Simple hand sewing skills were taught as well as simple cookery skills. I knew how to make a sauce, or a soup or stew . . . how to boil an egg . . . how to cook with nothing but a candle and a flipped over clay flower pot. How to do laundry properly, and how to iron . . . stain removal.
The skills I was taught in those girls groups were truly innumerable, and I'm ever so grateful for them. I don't think many girls go to Brownies and Girl Guides any more which is kind of sad. They are really missing out on something which was pretty wonderful. I remember area jamborees which were just the best. We looked forward to attending them as a group. You would see girls there every year that you hadn't seen since the year before, and renew old acquaintances. There was a wonderful sense of camaraderie and belonging. It wasn't deemed corny, or old fashioned . . . it was just special.
I know that there are some things today which are a lot better . . . but I wonder at times if in the cause of progress we haven't lost much more than we have gained . . . what do you think???
I really want to know!
A little something which I did yesterday afternoon.
A sweet grandson (Luke) enjoying the lemonade stand at nursery.
A thought to carry with you through today . . .
"Men are all alike in their promises. It is only in their deeds that they differ."
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . Candy Crush Cookies. Deliciously decadent!
Have a great Saturday! (Boy this week has just flown by!)