Tuesday 27 September 2022

A Little Box of Seaside Bunting

Hello, and thank you for welcoming me back last week.  I really wasn't sure whether any of you would still be here.  I am still feeling quite wobbly (new monarch, new prime minister, new budget, uncertain future) but the security I found in being back in this place is reassuring.

Today I'd like to share a bit of crochet with you.  A couple of Christmases ago my sister gave me a Little Box of Crochet and on the gift tag she wrote that she had chosen it for me because of my love of crochet, my love of the seaside and my love of my summerhouse.  Wasn't she thoughtful?  Now, I am a sucker for a good box and this Box was very good indeed; to be honest, she could have given me this empty box and I would have been delighted.  However, when I opened it up it was even better.  Here is what I found:

Inside was everything I needed to make a little string of seaside bunting: five balls of cotton yarn, a pattern book, a crochet hook, a needle and a sweet little handmade stitch marker.  However, this wasn't all, as I carefully unpacked the tissue-wrapped contents, savouring the moment, I found some lovely treats, a postcard and a pair of earrings.  Inside, I did a little happy dance.

I was itching to get started but it was winter and I realised that I wanted to crochet this bunting not for the summer but in the summer and specifically, on a beach, so I set the Box aside.  Actually, that's not strictly true because I kept opening it up to look at the contents and every time I did that I smiled and got a little bit excited.  In August I packed the Box into my suitcase, donned a mask and (tentatively) took a half-hour flight from Southampton to Guernsey with the Best Beloved.  The weather was glorious and on our first day there, while the Best Beloved and The Mathematician swam in the blue sea, I sat on the beach under a blue sky and crocheted.  I couldn't have been happier.

There were seven little flags to make, three with jolly stripes and others with sun, sky, sea, sand, beach huts, seagulls, shells and starfish.  The pattern is easy to follow and I learned new techniques and I loved making my bunting.  

However, one of the flags confused me, it was a plain white triangle adorned with flowers and I just couldn't work out how why it was there and if I couldn't understand it's place in the string, I couldn't happily make it.  I turned to the internet and found the designer's website here, she is Eleanora at Coastal Crochet and she lives on the south east coast of England.  She explained that this flag represented white chalk cliffs with springtime flowers and there was a photo of said cliffs.  At last it made sense!  I realised that this was a very personal project and that gave me the confidence to design my own flag because my favourite cliffs are not white, they are golden, with grass above them and sand at their feet, in which lie shells and, if I am lucky, fossils.  Here is my flag:

I didn't finish my bunting while we were in Guernsey as our visit was only a few days long so it was completed while I sat in my summerhouse on sunny afternoons as the summer faded into autumn.  I had decided not to rush this project but to mindfully enjoy every minute of it, and I did just that.  However, when we visited our daughter last month I took it back with me for its final photo shoot because it felt like the right place for it and as The Mathematician is better at this sort of thing than I am, I let her crack on with it.  The wind tried to thwart her but couldn't get the better of her.

Amanda Bloom has closed down her Little Box of Crochet but the company is being revived soon by somebody else under the same name and is already active on Instagram if you fancy a Little Box for yourself or somebody else (that C thing is coming!).  Amanda is there too,and on Facebook, now running Cosy Life Boxes which is similar but different, if that makes any sense!  

Every time I look at this bunting I think of my sister, my daughter and those two holidays in Guernsey; it really was a very thoughtful gift.  The rain is pouring down outside my window as I write this post but I am dreaming of blue sea and sandy beaches bathed in sunshine.

See you soon.

Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x

Tuesday 20 September 2022

God Save The King

Hello.  If you've been waiting patiently, thank you for sticking with me.  If you have just found me, you are welcome here, too.

The last time I was here I told you how my mother told her parents about the death of King George VI and now here we are, seven months later, having just laid his daughter to rest.  I was hovering around the television on 8th September, watching the news unfold, and when Queen Elizabeth  II's death was finally announced I immediately rang my mother.  "I know that you will already know," I said, "but I wanted to tell you that the Queen has died because you told your parents that the King had died."  It simply felt the right thing to do.  As I was speaking to her the television played the National Anthem and, hearing it, my mother told me to stand up.  "My father would have done and your Auntie Peggie would have done, and your father-in-law as well," she said.  So the Best Beloved and I stood up, just the two of us, unobserved, in our living room, while the National Anthem played, and I didn't feel silly. 

I heard a journalist say on television that he's not a monarchist but he is a Queenist and I have discovered over these last twelve days that I am a Queenist too.  I have been far more upset than I expected to be and I don't really understand why.  I never met The Queen and only saw her once, when I was a child and stood on a pavement waving a flag as her open carriage drove past.  Even my republican husband's views have changed during these days and he can newly see advantages in having a constitutional monarchy.  Yesterday we put the television on early, lit a candle and watched Her Late Majesty's last journey all day, standing up every time the National Anthem was played.  By the evening I felt wiped out.  All rather odd.

Today is a new day.

See you soon.

Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x