Friday, 15 November, 1940

26 Mar 2008

" Tonight Miss Mac brought me some little nighties I'd once cut out and given her, and they will go in a parcel: and Margaret Atkinson came in with her knitting.
The dining-room looked as if it had been stirred with a stick.
My dolls and nighties seemed to spread about, and also my husband had offered to put wire on fir-cones and there were two big bags of cones on newspapers by his chair.
The Atkinsons' house is always so beautifully tidy - never a thing out of place - and we all laughed at Margaret's remark.
She is a leggish, childish girl of fifteen, and a wonderful knitter.
She drew her chair up and said, " I love coming here - it's always so nice and untidy!"
I said, "That's rather a mixed compliment, my dear, isn't it?"
She said, "Well, I mean I always feel there is something lovely just going to happen - something I'll like to see - a cake in the oven, or I see you putting messy bones and vegetables in a pan and I know it will into a lovely soup. FAR nicer than Mom buys at the store."
Her eager little hands cut vegetables or make wax flowers, and tonight she was not content until her fingers had got the knack of twisting wire on the fir-cones."

NELLA LAST'S WAR The Second World War Diaries of Housewife, 49

10 Responses to “Friday, 15 November, 1940”

  1. Lovely!

    I remember reading an article (I think in the old Victoria) about the author's two favorite houses she had visited. Even though she was a designer, neither house was one of the fancy or expensive type.

    Both had families who were always "in the process" of being creative. She said you could tell live was being lived there.

    This excerpt reminds me of that article... and to let our creative projects be viewed as a good thing rather than clutter. :)

  2. I finally received my inter-library loan copy of _Few Eggs and No Oranges_. It looks similar to this post you have today.

    I'm enjoying Few Eggs so far.

  3. Oh my, that's good! I will have to put that book on my Wish List. I taped "Housewife, 49" when it came on PBS. Loved every minute of it!

  4. Lovely ! makes me wish to read the book. THANKS ! :>)

  5. That is wonderful, and so descriptive. I know I would rather go to the house where my friends mom, and my after school baby sitter. Taught me to sew, make bread,& cook in general .She took me to the church to make Layettes for the disadvantaged, made me a skirt out of flour sacks. She taught me to Crochet. My mom took me to museums, corrected my english,taught me to make killer potatoe salad, and indulged my hidious sewing projects. All in all I think it all turned out pretty well. I'm also going ot look for that book. It sounds interesting. My mom, had borders during the war, she cooked and cleaned for I think four or five young men, plus my dad. She said the pooled ration coupons and always had enough sugar, gas, and other rationed items. She said she worked to hard, but that was becasue she was young and didn't know any better. She said they had black out curtins, my dad walked the neighborhood making sure no light shone through. She said they sang songs, and ate popcorn and listened to the radio for news of the war. I wasn't born for quite a while after. I bet my mom would like to read this too.

  6. That sounds like something an Uncle said to his wife, referring to my mother.

    He had popped in unexpectedly to find my mother reading a book in the midst of a rather untidy house. We children were playing happily and I have a vague recollection that she may not have made it out of her pj's yet. He went home to his wife and said "I wish you could be more like M".

    My mother was mortified when he arrived, and slightly perplexed when she heard about the comment to his wife later. LOL

  7. i've added Few Eggs and Nella's biography to my mum's list to look for when she's hunting around in 2nd hand shops...who knows? maybe it'll show up under the tree in December?

  8. This sounds like a very interesting read. Will have to see if I can get it through the library. Thanks very much for the wonderful blog it is so inspirational. Hope you have a good day.
    Bev C

  9. What a lovely compliment about you and your home. I especially like what she said about feeling something lovely is about to happen.

    Warmly Mrs MacKenzie


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