Thursday, 18 December 2014

It's All Happening Now!

Now that my brief foray back into soap-making and the world of Christmas Fairs is over for another year, my focus has returned once more to the work at La Petite Maison.

The reclaimed wooden floor

that I purchased back in May has now at long last been laid. The episode of the floor has been a saga of woe for over a year, but finally it is reaching a conclusion, and I hope that it will have been worth the emotional trauma, not to mention the considerable expense. (More on the floor saga to follow soon).

Mr Long Suffering is out of steam, and this coupled with the fact that he is a perfectionist has only served to prolong the agony of finishing the Petite Maison project. (I had thought that if there were ever to be a next time, I would hand it all over to a builder, but given the recent experiences I have had with tradesmen that would be a major trauma in itself!) 

My energy too has been completely sapped by the protracted length of time it has taken to get La Petite Maison to completion and I have begun to feel so fatigued and drained that every small task has become a major effort and I despair of being able enough to commence the work still required on the back garden.

Thankfully I found out that my tiredness is not due solely to stress and exertion, (never mind my getting older) - a low iron count has indicated that I am suffering from Anaemia. It is unfortunately not the season for Nettle Soup, otherwise I would have headed straight to the allotment, to the area beneath the Hawthorn Hedge, where nettles grow in abundance. However as a non-meat eater, I have been told that the body does not absorb iron as easily from plants as it does from meat and so a course of iron tablets has been prescribed.

Winter has begun to spread icy fingers across the country

and a four letter word has been whispered ...... SNOW!!

Social festivities have not really been at the forefront of my mind - I am just soooooooooo tired, physically, mentally and emotionally that even talking is too much of an effort. However I found some pictures that lifted my spirits and mood;

These fabulous head-dresses are from Worn with Love

If I narrow my eyes at the picture above, my mind is cast back nostalgically to another photo, taken several decades ago, when we gathered together as a family at a little house in Dulwich. The photo is  slightly blurry and tinged with brown; flares and winged collars were the style; Dad and my Aunt playing the guitar; paper hats adorned the heads of my Mum and Aunts; sherry glasses were raised in a toast to my Nan.

There was laughter and a sense of togetherness - I can almost smell the rich aroma of Christmas dinner cooking and the pungent scent of Popsie's tobacco hanging in the air. My cousin Laura and I, side by side - our attention diverted from the rest of the family by Laura's "Girl's World" Christmas present, that I secretly preferred over the Spirograph that I had received.

Time has moved on and Nanny and Popsie left us a long time ago. I am sad that I did not know them better. Popsie would have swopped allotment stories and shared his gardening knowledge with me, presenting me with his little brown paper packets of seeds, labelled in beautiful script with the names of the cottage garden plants that I love, 

 such as Hollyhocks, Foxgloves, Campanula and perhaps even letting me into the secret of his amazing tomatoes.

As I have gotten older, I feel that I have come to understand my Nan, and I have a feeling that her indomitable and independent spirit, 

undaunted despite living through two World Wars and the London Blitz, lives on inside me; (just as it does my Dad and my aunts). I know that she and I would have had a lot in common were she alive today.

So I will raise my glass - just as we all did so many years ago, and say.......

"To my Nanny and Popsie!"