Monday, 2 May 2016

Eiderdown Love

Hello, thank you for dropping in. Today is a bank holiday so, typically, the weather is cold and wet!  Grrr.  Proposed outings have been dropped in favour of staying indoors and lighting the fire.  IN MAY!  Ridiculous.
 
Our clan gathered on Saturday to celebrate a young man's coming of age, a wonderful day full of family, music, chatter, cake, puddings and love (obviously there was other food as well as pudding, but the puddings were plentiful and exceedingly good).  There was also a great deal of weather: blue skies, sunshine, rain, sleet, wind and hail.  After all, this was England in April. Cardigans were in abundance.  As she greeted me, one of my sisters said, "I am really enjoying your blog but you are not doing it often enough."  I agreed.  I would like to do it more often but I haven't found the right rhythm yet.  So, this post is inspired by her.
 
When we were very young we shared a bedroom.  There were two beds - not twin beds, they didn't match, I am sure of that because when we were both confined to bed with chicken pox, my mother placed a piece of wood across both beds to create a makeshift table and I distinctly remember my bowl of cereal sliding down towards my sister, so her bed must have been lower than mine.  One day, our parents took us out shopping to choose new eiderdowns for those beds and as we didn't have new things very often, this was Very Exciting.  Oh, how we loved those eiderdowns.  The fabric showed rows of Napoleonic soldiers on a white background, their bright jackets red and blue and their tall hats adorned with plumes, their moustaches perfectly waxed and swords hanging from their waists.  They didn't match anything else in our bedroom but that didn't matter in those days and anyway, they matched each other.   
 
When we grew older, we had separate bedrooms but the eiderdowns stayed with me because I had twin beds in my room.  Eventually, I graduated to a double bed, sheets and blankets were replaced with a duvet - and I can't tell you how glamorous that seemed in 1976 - and the eiderdowns were relegated to the airing cupboard.  They came out if any of us was ill enough to need a day off school and a bed on the sofa, snuggly and cosy as they were, and as we grew up they moved airing cupboard twice.  When my elder daughter, The Teacher, was old enough to move out of her cot and into a bed my mother gave me one of the eiderdowns as I like old-fashioned sheets and blankets for tiny tots because you can tuck them in so that they don't fall out of bed.  So our eiderdown was back on a bed, snuggled under every night by a child, doing its job. 
 
Eventually, both The Teacher and The Mathematician graduated to duvets and the eiderdown, by this time very tattered and worn, was again relegated to nursing duties.  It is now more than forty years old and, having snuggled six girls, absolutely falling apart.  It has been retired but my children insist that we must keep it and yes, we all know how ridiculous that is.
 
Recently, The Teacher presented me with a pair of identical cushion covers she had made.  Here's one -



 The clever girl had found the fabric on ebay and recognised it immediately.  Would you like to see the back? -

 



Do you see those lovely button loops?  And the buttons themselves are special too: when the Best Beloved's grandmother died, The Teacher inherited her button tin and she chose these buttons from the tin for my new cushions.  So the cushions are new and old, they are my memories and the Best Beloved's memories, they are our children's memories and our family memories, they are comfort and love and they are brand, spanking new!  I still don't have new things very often, so they are also Very Exciting. 
 
See you soon.
 
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x


22 comments:

  1. That is wonderful, such treasured memories recreated into such a beautiful cushion. Enchanting.

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    1. She is a very thoughtful girl, isn't she? x

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  2. Oh how lovely, what a good story. Clever old Teacher, so thoughtful x

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    1. Thanks, Karen. She's a good girl. x

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  3. What a wonderful story and I love the pillows. How thoughtful of your daughter.

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  4. Awww, this is just such a nice ending to a life-long tale of the eiderdown. Loved it. Your daughter is a sweetheart to surprise you with this beautiful cushion. I have kind of the same story but with Hudson's Bay blankets!
    I have to agree with your sister though, as it would be so nice to hear from you just a teeny bit more often ;) You tell such good stories.
    Keep 'em coming Mrs. T-W!!
    Wendy

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    1. Oh thank you for your encouragement, Wendy. I intend to try harder. Have you posted about your blankets? x

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  5. So.....a post like this one is why I continue to look for new blogs to read .... sorting through the dross until I find something with that 'spark'. Lovely post - sweet memories - a very nice way with words.

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    1. Thank you! Just when I am in the doldrums an encouraging comment like yours picks me up. I shall keep trying. x

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  6. Such a lovely tale of an eiderdown's life - still providing comfort after many years. The pillow is a great reminder of what the eiderdown means in The Teacher's life.

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    1. Thanks, Lorrie. I really hadn't thought about it from The Teacher's perspective, but you are absolutely right. x

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  7. What a wonderful post. I love the childhood eiderdown story and the thoughtful present of the cushion in the same fabric. I remember that transition from sheets and blankets to duvet in the early 70s. I was thrilled with my purple flowery cover and pillow cases:)

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    1. Mine had brown and yellow flowers! Thanks, Rosie. x

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  8. Oh what a sweet story. How I remember those days of childhood sharing a room with younger sisters and snuggling up under eiderdowns on sick days from school. Thanks for the memories.

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    1. Thank you. It's a universal experience, I think. x

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  9. What a lovely story. How amazing to still be able to get the same fabric. I can imagine your delight when you received your present :)

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    1. Thanks, Barbara. It is amazing, isn't it? The internet has really opened up the world, I think. x

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  10. What wonderful memories and what an incredible gift!!! How great that your old memories are now alive in this new cushion!

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    1. Thanks, Amy. And it was a complete surprise! x

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  11. What a great story, Mrs T. The eiderdown lives on! Teacher did a fab job on the cushions, didn't she? Each of my children have a special bedspread that lives on their beds in the winter and for when they are poorly. Only today have they been washed and dried in the sunshine before going in the airing cupboard! xx

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  12. Loved this post. I'm your newest follower. Though I live in Texas USA, my family originated in Europe and love seeing your photos.

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