A Bit of History

Auntie (my sister) and I were sorting through stuff at our Dad’s house today (long story) and came across the pink Playtex girdle tube that my mum used for storing her knitting needles. I could barely contain my excitement and failed miserably at pretending to put it in the recycling pile. Auntie thinks I’m a bit mad, but she did anyway so nothing lost there.

There’s something that tickles me about the whole thing. It was even retro for my mum. And although she got it from my nan, I’m not even sure it belonged to her. In those days, it didn’t matter that packaging was not environmentally-friendly because no one threw anything away. I can imagine the conversation now: ‘Do you need a long tube for anything love?’, ‘No thanks, it’s not quite wide enough for my spanners. Does little Elsie need one for her crochet hooks?’, ‘No, but Betty down the road is always losing her number 7’s …’

It also brings to mind the sort of shop from which it would originally have been bought. Every High Street would have had one, with a charming window display, lovely wooden drawers containing all the merchandise and an elegant lady or two to serve. They’d have sold a bit of clothing, stockings and suspenders (not like the ones you can get now – we’re talking underwear here – ‘ladies’ who wore ‘lingerie’ shopped elsewhere!), knickers, nylon nighties and nothing bigger than a size 12 (hence the girdles!) My mum took me to just such a shop for my first bra. I was a respectable age too. Oh how times have changed.

I must hide my treasure from Mr. Invisible, as it’s just the sort of thing he would whip into the recycling bin before you could say ‘bit of history!’


Bear Time

Whoever said time is linear hasn’t spent much of it in my life. There are lots of types of time. Holiday time runs too fast, so it’s over before we’re ready. Negative time is where I somehow get to school to pick up Bear, even though I was just hanging up that last bit of washing five minutes before the bell. Secret time is when I arrive ten minutes early and grab a chai latte at the Larder (café just over the road to school) to stop it from becoming slow time. But in our house there is mainly ‘Bear Time’. It started when Bear was born. Before that he was in my tummy. Before that was nothing.

Yesterday, he told a friend that my mummy died while he was in my tummy. My friend started to condole with me, but Mum actually died two years before I became pregnant. So she didn’t know a bit about Bear, even for a bit. My missing mum has always been a hole in my own experience as a mother. Then my friend pointed out that all of a woman’s eggs are already  there when she is born, so in the dim (and very) distant past my mum carried Bear in her womb too. Cheers Mum!!!