Someone’s description of a granny was “an old lady who sits by the fire and stops your mother from smacking you”.

I had a granny (maternal) and a grandma (paternal) so it was easy to differentiate between them. Grandma, sadly had suffered several strokes and was bedridden so I didn’t really get to spend much time with her as a grandma.

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My granny would never have been seen with make-up, nor would she drink alcohol or smoke. She wore front buttoned dresses covered by a cross-over apron. She always pinned a lace handkerchief behind the ‘V’ neck of the dress for modesty. Her stockings were thick, often lacy patterned and she wore gillie shoes. She probably would be a modern miss today with the fashion coming round yet again. Playing cards belonged to the Devil and wearing trousers was strictly men’s apparel but she was a warm, comfortable granny to cuddle into, she set the world to rights if you were upset and mended wounded knees. She had principles and standards to live by and she was the best.

No other person was quite the same for me, my granny wdoily-cas a wonderful person, typical of her day. She was the granny who sat by the fire and knitted, actually she crocheted. Wherever she went, out came her crochet. She crocheted dressing table mats, fashionable at the time, one large and two smaller mats, usually with pansies or roses and sold them locally. She taught me to crochet, that was not part of the school curriculum, it was knitting and sewing, however all of these crafts have come in very useful over the years.

Her sister-in-law, made handbags and purses. I have no idea what material she used, it was thick and strong like imitation leather with a snakeskin pattern. It was what people did in the small mining village where they lived, they used their skills to create sellable crafts to stretch out the miner’s meagre wages.

It’s quite sad now that pupils are not encouraged so much in homemaking skills, in a modern day and age, not so many people have time to spend on such craftwork, besides why waste time and money on a handcrafted garment when you can probably buy a manufactured one much cheaper. That’s it though, it’s manufactured and sold in the shops by the hundreds. Make it yourself, it’s unique, even if you bought a printed pattern, you still customised it to your own design.

I appreciate hand made goods, I admire skills in others which I don’t have, I appreciate the past and the lessons we can learn from it but I also appreciate living with the comforts of a modern era. I don’t want to be stuck in the past, just be glad there were so many good things about it, good enough to want to keep.

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