Tuesday, 1 March 2016

A Little Bit Of This And A Little Bit OF That

So I started to write a poem for you.  If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll have been 'lucky' enough to have had some of my atrocious poetry inflicted on you before.

The thing about poetry is that it has to inspire you, it has to FLOW ...

But this wasn't so I've given up on it for now and I might go back to it later.

Anyhow, this is as far as I got ...

I should have left it well alone
(I'm talking about the ceiling)
Instead I went at it like a dog with a bone
'cause that bit of paint was peeling

I pulled a bit, exposed some plaster
and then it became an obsession
I was on fire - I was the master
releasing my aggression

Before I knew it the damage was done
Id buggered half the ceiling
Suddenly I was having less fun 
As I saw what It was revealing

Perhaps no one would notice the mess
If I started to paint the wall

It's a miserable day here.  FB reminded me that this time last year we were basking in sunshine with temperatures almost like Summer but today, although it a few degrees warmer than of late, is grey and wet and just a little depressing.

I've read a few blog posts this morning.

This one from Polly who has been documenting her trek to Everest Base Camp last year in a series of posts with some spectacular photos - pop over and take a look!

And this one from Val who dreamt about her Mother and Grandmother.

It doesn't take much to start me thinking about my own Grandmother.  She was such a huge part of my life until she died when I was 13.

I always felt like she was the one person who loved me totally, unconditionally and with every part of her heart.

That's possibly unfair on others who loved me too but I had a very special bond with my Grandmother.

She was a tiny lady, not much over 5ft tall.  Fairly bossy it probably fair to say with an ingrained sense of rightness.  That's not that she always thought she was right, more that there was a right way of doing things.

She wore a housecoat when she was at home.  I don't think I've seen anyone wear one since.  It was lightweight and made of nylon in a kingfisher blue colour.  She wore it to protect her clothes as she cleaned and cooked.

I remember her always being busy.

Monday was wash day and she would pull the old twin tub out from it's place to the left of the sink and fill it up from a hose attached to the tap.

The kitchen filled with a soapy steam and, on a warm day, the windows were flung open to allow it to escape.

Outside the window was a huge pink Hydrangea with glossy green leaves.

The ones flanking the front of the house were a silvery blue, something to do with the acidity of the soil which determines the colour of the flowers but the ones a the back were a pale pink.

There was also a sweet smelling Daphne, my very favourite shrub with tiny pink flowers that wafted their fragrance through the open window.  I keep meaning to buy a Daphne for my own garden, maybe this year ...

Once the washing had been churned in the tub to my Grandmothers satisfaction she would transfer it with the aid of a pair of long wooden tongs to the spinner side of the twin tub.  This part used to frighten me a little as it revved up and then slowly shuddered it way across the kitchen floor making every dish in the cupboard rattle expelling piping hot water from another hose that hooked over the sink.

My favourite part was helping her hang the washing on the long line that ran the length of Grandads vegetable plot almost as far as the chicken run at the very end of the garden.

The washing line was held up by two vast telegraph pole.  I can't imagine how they got them there or how they were erected.  They must have been 15ft high.

There was a lower line and a top line that reached almost to the top of the poles lowered by a pulley system. 

I would unwind the line from its figure of eight fixing and lower it enough for us to reach retying it to hold it in place while we pegged the sheets to it.  Then together we would pull the line back up way above our heads where the sheets billowed in the always present breeze that blew up the valley from the sea.

To this day if I close my eyes I can hear the flap of wet cotton, smell the salt in the air and hear seagulls calling as they wheel overhead.


Brighton Pensioner said...

Heavens, I remember clothes lines like that. The washing seemed to dry much better - or quicker - than on the rotary things we have now.

Di said...

Oh Sarah, what vivid memories this brought back! On a wet wash day I used to dread ducking underneath damp washing drying indoors on one of those airing pulley efforts that were suspended from the ceiling. And there would usually be cold meats left over from Sunday with chips and pickles for dinner!


Di xx

joeh said...

The poem needs work...

Memories of your Grandma...excellent!! Felt like I was there with you.

Sarah said...

I think my Grandmother would have been totally nonplussed with a rotary drier BP - she liked to see her washing spread out.

You've brought back memories for me too Di - Monday was cold meat and pickles day - I may have to write another post! xx

The poem is terrible Joe ;-) - I have so many good memories of her, it's nice to share them.

Val said...

It's tough to follow a trek to Everest Base Camp!

Ooh! The housecoat! Both my grandmas wore them. You made me hear the flap of wet cotton, and the call of the seagulls, and see your little grandma toiling over the wash. Well done.

Sarah said...

Thank you Val - I'm glad I brought back some memories for you too.

Holly Hollyson said...

Well am off to read that Everest post - I so very want to do it myself! Just to base camp. Can't wait to hear your finished poem! I am a picker too ;P