One or two serious-minded people have been silly enough to suggest that there ought to be more archaeology in this blog. So this post is for them – with my love.
When she isn’t working with prehistoric wood, cooking me delicious meals, slaving away in the garden or acting the midwife in the lambing pens, Maisie likes to knit and sew. She was taught by her mother and at Dorking Grammar School in those post-War days before people became self-conscious about ‘gender stereotyping’ and suchlike. Anyhow, give her a needle, thread and yarn and she can make anything.
This year Christmas was a little hectic. Maisie was working on a major excavation and was, as they say, up to her eyes in wood. So the doll she had decided to knit for her great-niece didn’t get finished on time. In fact it was only finished yesterday (March 3rd). And already it’s had some ripping adventures, which I’ll tell you about shortly.
Maisie has boxfuls of old (the correct term is ‘vintage’) knitting and sewing patterns, many torn out of magazines by her mother, who is sadly no longer with us. The doll in question was featured in Woman’s Own for November 7th, 1981 – which cost 19p (!). So that’s the archaeological content out of the way (phew!!).
The doll is wearing a smart green dress and is also equipped with a yellow cardigan, plus a warm woolly hat, scarf and gloves, for outdoors. And it was when she was taking a stroll in the garden, wearing her warm clothes that she met a rather unpleasant gnome who lived in a hole somewhere in the long border. We don’t like him very much, but we can’t bring ourselves to evict him, because he offends the good taste of our smart London friends – and that gives us both HUGE amounts of pleasure. Anyhow, the gnome had just made a rather unpleasant, slighting remark about the doll’s hat. A passing cat heard what had been said and was about to give the rude gnome a severe biting, when he pulled himself up onto the edge of the jardinière and made a rapid exit. Gosh, that was a near escape!
Back indoors the doll (who we are going to allow our great-niece to name) took off her outdoor clothes and sauntered into the sitting room for a cup of tea (I almost said gin-and-tonic). There she came across the head of Minnie Mouse. At first it gave her a bit of a turn, but soon she realised it wasn’t real. Just a cushion. (To be quite honest I couldn’t face writing another adventure. Sorry about that.)