As mentioned before I love rainy days. The rain brings back such sweet memories for me. I was really lucky to have a really wonderful childhood. I lived in a small town where my mother owned a drapery, the place that cultivated my passion for design. A short walk from the main street of town lived my Grandmother, who was the ultimate Granny. She was an ex Home Economics teacher and always had some sort of craft on the go, and when she wasn’t doing that she was cooking delicious traditional food – anzac biscuits, trifle, roast dinners, home made custard, rice pudding, the list goes on. Actually my most fond memory of her cooking was quiche and pizza, there was something in both of those dishes that made it taste so welcoming. I haven’t worked out what is was to this day but every time I put corn in my quiche it gives me a snippet of that flavour.
So, on the holidays I would spend my days at the Drapery helping mum out and when I was bored with that, I would wander up to Grans. In both placed my love of material, sewing, cooking (although that has certainly dwindle now I am a short order cook every night), and learning new ways to create was encouraged. Even when my ideas were are bit mad, both Gran and Mum gave me full rein to give it a go, but when I look back, I was always gently steered in the direction away from disaster. One of the great parts about creating something new was the discussions the three of us had trying to come up with solutions on how to make my wild idea come to reality.
My Grandmother passed away last year at 104. Unfortunately she spent the last 6 years of her life in a home (a wonderful nursing home I must add) with no quality of life. She had lost her sight, hearing and the ability to move by herself and it was very sad to see this once very independent woman be completely reliant on others. My last really fond memory of Grandma was when she first entered the home. The whole family was feeling guilty but we had no choice as she could no longer look after herself and that was the only option. So for the first 6 months she had visitors almost constantly and that never really changed. I travelled to visit her and my mum, aunt and myself spent a week sitting with her all day just chatting and doing handwork. Mum was then an avid patch working, so she spent the days embroidery what every quilt she was working on. I found a tapestry that I thought would be fun to attempt and it was although I still haven’t finished it (7 years down the track). I did get a little despondent about it when all the elderly ladies that came to visit Gran would study my Tapestry and every single one of them told me that a good Tapestry looks the same on the back as it does on the front. They did not appreciate my bulky knots at the back. Anyway I did better than my Aunt who, no matter how often she tries, is no craft person. I think she gave cross stitch a go and it is probably sitting half finished somewhere as well.
It is a very cherished memory, a quite week in a nursing home with my Grandmother, but the four of us had some of the greatest chats we have ever had in that week and rainy days always make me think of that week.
Jen & Row