Two more Teds of the Hug, just 'test driving' the quilt top.... which is still not backed or quilted... slinks guiltily off into the chair by the computer.I did actually make a start on a table runner, but Murphy or Sod or someone who is charge of stuff-ups, came for a visit. So it is on the back burner.
We had some friends to visit yesterday, which was very enjoyable, so who cares about sewing mistakes!
I have always been very interested in 'crafty' activities. I once won a Highly Commended for a Peg Doll competition with a Radio Station, when I was about 10. When I heard my name read out, over the radio, I was so embarrassed, I blushed & felt 'naked', & I decided never to enter competitions again. And I have largely kept to that decision.
But I lead a fairly 'sheltered' childhood compared to some others. I can remember seeing into other lives, & being stunned & amazed.
No one ever got really 'drunk' in our family life. At Christmas our Grandmother would have her one sherry & get giggly. Our Uncles would drink beer & get very merry. Our mother went occasionally to the races for a day out, & she would come home smelling odd, & seemingly happy, but we didnt have to witness drunken behaviour, in a real sense.
A new family came to our little town, & moved into a house near where we lived. A new Primary School had opened just down the road from where we lived, & the parents in this family were the Headmaster, & a Mistress in the new school.
The family was a blended one, with the mother having 2 daughters, from her previous marriage, & the father having one son, who lived with the family, & 2 daughters, who lived with their mother.
I became firm friends with the eldest girl, who was R. An odd thing about the family was the fact that the father's name was L, his son's name was L, & the younger sister of R, was also L. So it made for confusing times, & so they decided to call the children Big L & Little L, with the father being the shortened version of the name.
The mother was C, & she was a very artistic woman, who was skilled at many crafts, & loved to paint.... & drink alcoholic beverages. L the senior also loved to drink alcohol. The children lived in chaos, & tried to absent themselves when they could to avoid the drunken brawls which were apparently part of their daily life.
C offered to teach R & I how to paint on silk, & so I took myself along with fabric, for the lessons. It was lovely, & I felt a great sense of achievement when I finished. But I was a bit stunned at the state of the house, on my first visit. There seemed to be washing lying all over the house, empty beer bottles, & dirty dishes. And the two faces of C were very disconcerting! She was so charming, & delightful when she taught R & I how to use the paints. She had a pretty face, & a tinkly laugh.
Then she left the room, & we heard this 'devilish' voice from hell, screeching from the next room! Shrieking at Big L, to get the dishes done, get the washing on, do this, do that! Along with rounds of cursing, & swearing, the like of which I had never heard before! I was so shocked at first I started to laugh, nervously thinking it was a joke.
But then I saw the faces of my friend & her sister, & realised it was no joke. It was almost impossible to believe it was the same woman, when C returned to the room, all charm & smiles again. And each time I went to the house, I would witness the same sort of thing.
And that was my introduction to the home life of R. She told me at school, that life was like that all the time at home, & of course the alcohol accelerated it all every evening, when both parents got blind drunk! Who would have ever thought. They presented such a happy public face. I never told my mother, for fear of not being allowed to go back.
R had suffered Osteomyelitis, in her hip, & so she caught a bus to & from school, but the brother, Big L, used to ride his bike, as I did. And he used to infuriate me by insisting on riding beside me on the way home from school. I dont really remember why I hated him riding along side me, but I dont remember talking to him much, so it cant have been the conversation. I was never keen on physical exertion, as my face always went beet red, in Summer, & it would stay that way for hours afterwards. Perhaps I was embarrassed at my beet red face.
I had another very good friend from early childhood, & I often stayed at her house, but nothing like that ever went on there. The worst things that happened there were usually caused by us, playing music too loudly. Or when we got older, sneaking her father's car, to go to the beach or down to the local Coffee Bar, to sit in the gloom, & perhaps sneak cigarettes, feeling 'sophisticated'.
I remember my first 'real' boyfriend's house, where I used to stay at the weekends. He had 3 brothers, & they lived in a very small house, so I got to sleep with his mother, because they didnt have a room without a male in it. Luckily I really liked his mother, & she liked me, so we didnt have a problem. I went out with that boy for almost a year, until he went to work in another town. I remained friends with his mother for years.
Looking back, I suppose we did have quite a sheltered childhood, & a 'safe' one, even though we always felt the lack of our father so hard.
It really opened my eyes when I met the School Teacher family.