Knits & paints

Hello. So I finally finished knitting my latest dress (and I really love this one!).. There are more dresses planned but I'm doing some Christmas knitting for my lovely (sort of) sister in law, or she would be if Rich and I were marrying types. Rich's brother's fiancée! I may have got the whole 'in law' thing wrong although I'm not sure any of it really matters these days now there's no shame in living together out of wedlock! Well there isn't in our family in any case, plus I like my name.
I get called Mrs pretty often and people hereabouts always refer to Rich as my husband and I can't ever be bothered to correct them because that would be a bit unnecessary and prickly and he's a husband in everything but the legal sense.
We have had lots of persuasion sorts of conversations from the family to get us to marry, there are all sorts of financial benefits, but we both got ourselves insured so the other would be ok if the worst happened.
By the way, I like weddings (some weddings), they're absolutely wonderful when I know and genuinely care about the couple and are thrilled that they're making that big statement of love and commitment.

Off the wedding topic here's a pretty piece I finished the other day, oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm - I love it. Named 'Dorothea' after a name I spied on a beautiful wooden 'Bequests' plaque I was looking at when I visited Congleton War Memorial Hospital last week. It's my favourite hospital, I love spotting pieces of old equipment that are still in use there, they have a gorgeous old wheeled trolley, tall & square with a drawer and a little rail round three of the sides of the glass top. The enamel is all worn and the whole thing is just so evocative, I love old 'things' with their patina of age, imagining all the life going on around said item, the years ticking on by.

Speaking of ticking, we found my Great Gran's clock in a blanket chest on Sunday, I thought it had been thrown away and was so surprised to see it. My initial response was 'let's chuck it' but as I carried it downstairs I knew that I couldn't - it was doing that thing to me, it being an old 'thing', a family thing, and then my Dad was telling me about it being his Gran's clock and my own memories of its chime came back to me. When I got home I tried to wind it with Rich's clock key, only one of the winding holes would work but it wound and it chimed and it made me so happy.
I don't have the clock any more because James, Oliver and I dropped it off with the 'clock man' in Macclesfiled earlier today. It needs some work... Did I mention that I did lots of unintentional damage to the clock as a child? Dad let me keep it in my room and gradually bits fell off and went missing because I messed with it. I was so glad the clock man, Mr. Benson, wasn't judgemental with me, I felt embarrassed that I'd treated the old clock so badly. James was enchanted with the chiming clock, we can't wait to get it back (in 10 weeks' time!).

One last thing, my Pa (Grandpa) was at the forefront of all of our minds this Sunday, Remembrance day funnily enough, as Sam, Jo and I each had a white envelope on the dinner table. Our Pa died some years ago but had been given compensation money in 2001 to recognise his time in a Japanese PoW camp during WW2. When he'd been given the money he said he wanted it to be split between his grandchildren eventually and it went into his and Granny's pot from which Granny moved house to a smaller place. It's all got so muddled in my mind, Pa was ill with a form of dementia and becoming lost to us yet remaining the kind and gentle man I always remember he was. Granny recently moved from the flat and suggested we split the money now. It was such a touching surprise, we all knew Pa suffered terribly from the whole experience although Dad says he had sympathy for the Japanese soldiers who he thought were treated very badly by their superiors. That's typical of my Pa, his ability to empathise with those who were causing such suffering.
Imagine having to endure war and having no psychological help afterwards. We still struggle with getting people to recognise mental illness in this day and age, I can't imagine how people coped post-war in the Forties and Fifties and beyond...

'Pop', 2005 - Painted for Pa (Dad called him Pop). I don't know what that black splodge is in the top corner, the painting doesn't actually have a black splodge.

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