All posts by rtkxh

Object 16: Winter: Keeping Warm: Bedtime

I visited the Museum with a grown-up son. Perhaps that was why the exhibits kept pushing the thought of the bright young men in the years just before WWI into my mind – just out of childhood – just about to die. That poignant sense of looking back and knowing what was coming, when they…

Read more

Object 15: Winter: Keeping Warm: Jumper and vest

Sestudes demand you focus fast and tightly on what matters. The results sometimes surprise even their writer. For me, the hand-knitted sweater soon stirred memories of my 1960s childhood. I was always inordinately fond of my pullovers’ sheepiness, the Scottish origin of their knit, and the lovely sweet reek of my father’s St Bruno Flake…

Read more

Object 14: Winter: Keeping Warm: Headwear

I cringed. My object was not a magical, enchanting Christmas decoration or well-loved child’s toy. It was a functional knitted hat. Insult to injury: I cannot knit, it drudges up frustrated memories as a six year old, disappointing my Grandmother. The project’s spark extinguished. I had voluntarily signed up for another trial and tribulation, at…

Read more

Object 13: Winter: Keeping Warm: Hands (muff)

I write about working class lives, so being allocated a swan feather muff challenged me. Weren’t swans the preserve of royalty? Museum curator Lyn Wall described the muff as made from swan down with a satin lining. It’s padded, and surprisingly heavy. It dates from 1860 – a beautifully crafted luxury item from a time…

Read more

Object 12: Winter: Keeping Warm: Footwear

Six months ago, as an interim measure, my wife’s elderly parents, who have reached a stage in life where they are no longer able to fully care for themselves, came to live with us. In what seems a gratuitous twist, as my mother-in-law settled in and began to thrive in her new surroundings, my father-in-law’s…

Read more

Object 11: Winter: Sledging

I was chuffed to bits to be assigned a beautiful antique wooden sledge. I love scouring salvage yards and charity shops for vintage bric a brac and my collection has everything from a carpet beater to a chamber pot. But my interest in items with a past isn’t because I grew up surrounded by antiques.…

Read more