Friday, 2 May 2008

Love the irony



The other week when our computer died I had a few days when life seemed a little more insular. Cut off from work emails, friends, and most importantly blogging (!), I took to doing some odd jobs around the place. It's amazing how much time is freed up when the computer's not on.



In our long kitchen table is a drawer stuffed to bursting with tea towels and napkins. One of those drawers that you open quickly, plunge your hand in and grab anything that comes to hand. Well in I went, eyes wide open, took out the whole caboodle and sorted. How many tea towels does a family need? Some are years old, some more recent and, now's the bad bit, some were just too pretty to use. Can you believe, yes I know you can, that I buy tea towels because they're pretty but then can't bear to use them. Now the kitchen seems to be harbouring an alternative fabric stash of its own. All were washed and I made a pledge to use them all (ha we'll see).



The floral ones (of which there are unsurprisingly many) looked so pretty on the airer in the garden that if the weather doesn't come up trumps this year and the snails refuse to surrender I might just have to install them permanently as a flower border. Much easier to care for than the herbaceous kind and they will have at last served a purpose.



Now if I was my mother, the tea towels would have come in freshly aired and promptly ironed. These were not. I loathe ironing (actually tea towel ironing wouldn't be too bad) nearly as much as I hate badly creased clothes. My mother on the other hand, seemed to relish it, I can't remember a day when the ironing board wasn't out and a pile of clothes was waiting to be put away (which was always my job). That's the thing, it's not just the ironing it's the putting away, in the same way as it's not just the supermarket shopping but as your standing at the checkout feeling mildy relieved, you know all of it needs to be put away when it gets home.



The irony of living in what was once a former laundry has not been lost on me. When I saw this delightful frame over at Cowboys and Custard, I knew I had to have it.



Michele makes the most beautiful frames and I know that many of you are familiar with her work - gorgeous. So now, when the Radio 4 play and the scent of my lavender linen water do little to alleviate the tedium of ironing, I have this little beauty to look upon and make me smile.



Mummy, you were a very good teacher but I wasn't a good pupil! If it's any consolation, I love washing. The smell of clean clothes that have spent the day on a washing line, mmmm ...



I got two bunches of flowers this week. M bought me some tulips to cheer me up. There is big tulip love going on around blogland at the moment and I'm adding to it. Love, love, love tulips and so do the squirrels, especially Sir Squigs who has dug most of mine up but will post some photos next week of the ones he left behind.



The lovely Louise presented me with this bunch the other day - thank you. As I mentioned to you Louise, they brought a big smile to my very pale face! Thanks too to everybody for your well wishes, I am starting to feel better and looking forward to being able to enjoy some food very soon.



Have a great weekend and can anyone tell me what happened to April, where did it go?

43 comments:

Simone said...

My tea towels look very dull compared to yours. I think I will have to 'treat' myself to some new ones! I quite enjoy ironing but I hate putting the ironing away as it gets creased as I cram it in the drawers!

Elizabethd said...

I would love to find tea towels like yours! I wonder if you had them specially made, they are so pretty!
Hope you feel really well soon.

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy said...

I am a tea towel lover as well. But I use all mine on a regular basis. Nothing looks prettier than charming roses hanging over the oven handle.

Now if you are looking for someone to unload them to...

Have a great weekend and thanks for the lovely photo.

Lisa xo
Knitty, Vintage and Rosy

Samantha said...

HI Kim,
lovely tea towels. I only have a few old ones as Stephen insists on using them for everything: hands, floors - you name it!

Heidijayhawk said...

oh what a fabulous stash of tea towels. can't wait to see what you do with them! other than dry dishes!

Mrs.Kwitty said...

Oh, all your towels look so pretty sitting out in your garden like that! Sigh, I so long for spring!

I love that shadowbox! I am another one, like your Mum, who loves to iron! I really do, I find it relaxing and I love the smell.

When I was a little girl I used to beg to be able to iron, so my Mom would let me iron my Dad's hankies.

Hope you feel better and can get some good healthy food in you today.
Smiles, Karen

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

Heather, your yard is absolutely delightful with all those colorful towels! Lucky girl you are... if I were ever to do that, the towels would become targets for footballs and squirtguns! lol And the tulips you received are gorgeous - what a lovely shade of lavender! Hope you are feeling MUCH better! Happy Weekend!
xo

French Knots said...

Love your tea towels, so springy and fresh. I wouldn't want to use them as they get smeared with muck from little hands and goodness knows what!

Elizabeth said...

I recently acquired a Cath Kidston tea towel for 50p in a charity shop - didn't even realise it was CK until I got it home, just liked the fabric! Anyway, it now hangs in pride of place in the kitchen but is only used for decoration, there is a well-used check one next to it for actual 'use'.

CIELO said...

What a pretty blog you have; my send time here, and it won’t be the last.... I love that picture of your "big sister" ? Jumping in the air; enjoying life... so full of life...


Cielo

thriftymrs said...

Ooh lovely tea towels, I wish mine were like that. And they wash up so lovely, mine always seem to look drab.


Have a nice Bank Holiday!

julia said...

I'm in tea towel heaven! Make mine look a bit shabby - I'll have to stop wiping the floor with them!
Love the picture, no wonder it made you smile.
Have a great bank holiday.
Julia x

Cathy said...

I like the idea of using them as a flower border - eco-friendly too as they won't need watering in the hot, drought-filled Summer we are bound to have (!). I am a tea towel lover too - I have a nice one hanging up and a not-so-nice one to actually use!
Cathy X

Vanessa said...

I have to say as beautiful as the picture from Louise is, it would take a loaded gun to get me inspired to iron.

Have a great Bank Holiday weekend!

Vanessa x

Cowboys & Custard said...

You have jogged my memory and taken me back to the kitchen in our home circa 1960 something.. where my mum would be using an old Sarson's vinegar bottle as a shaker to dampen down the linen tea towels as she ironed. I can still smell the damp, steamy smell of the ironing ... Nothing beats that dried in the sun scent of laundered linen..
Thanks for the memories.. and the kind words Kim..
Hope the sun puts some colour in your cheeks this weekend.
Much love
Michelexx

Curlew Country said...

Oh you're a woman after my own heart Kim! Putting clothes is my absolute downfall on the domestic front, hopeless! Add I am too am a sinner regarding pretty teatowel front, I drive Woody crackers saying "no, please don;'t use that one" then back into the drawer it goes. Shameful. Yours are exceptionally pretty, love the rosy ones.
My sister has a lovely poem called "Dust if you must, but there's a world out there" and it really puts the ironing/cleaning mountain in perspective. Have a lovely, ironing-free weekend.
Stephx
P.s. My husband bought me exactly the same colour tulips to cheer me up too. Great men obviously think alike!

ShabbyInTheCity said...

Haha! I just put the iron away after an hour of so of heavy duty labor. OUCH!!! I couldn't sun mine though...only heavy rains today. Your drawer collections are so beautiful..and I have an old rack somewhere around here my daddy made me long ago...must dig it out and display something.

Pondside said...

Hello again - I'm sorry to read that you're under the weather, and I hope that, like bad weather, whatever ails you will pass and you'll be back to normal.
I truly enjoyed your post, and the other, that I just caught up on. I too love, love tulips, but so do the deer - so all my tulips come straight from the florist to the vase!

Sal said...

What a lovely collection of tea towels.I love to have tea towels around the kitchen!Yours are so pretty. Lovely pictures! Have a great weekend.Sal;-)

Alison Boon said...

We only have boring, boring checked tea towels, but that's because I wouldn't want to use pretty ones. My mum used tocollect tea towels, and had ones from all over the place. It always seemed a bit of an odd thing to collect but now I can see some sort of sense to it.

periwinkle said...

I can't believe it's May already either. You could make some of your lovely tea towels into little aprons then they would be on show? Like what you've done with the flour bin.
Lisa x

Anonymous said...

I must make a tea-towel border in the garden too! I also have some too pretty to use, and the slugs and snails here in my garden just eat everything! it would banish those slug patrols!
have a lovely weekend,
thanks for the lovely pics.

Jennie said...

Your tea towels are gorgeous, and I love the ironing picture.
You've won my PIF over on my blog!
Have a good weekend.

LOUISE @ HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS said...

Kim, I do exactly the same thing with teatowels, and don't use them as I don't want to spoil them. I also do it with special soaps, my drawers are full of them! I would be so lost without my PC and the internet, I would have to call Blogaholics Anonymous, and fancy being ill at the same time, you must have been feeling very down? My mum used to love ironing, not me though, although I don't mind running the iron across teatowels. My step-dad has exactly the same with squirrels pinching his bulbs, it is rather a problem really. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, let's hope that sun comes back out again? x

Miles Away In France said...

I was without my internet recently and I found that I did so much more around the house and garden, it has really made me think about how much of my time it eats up.

I also have a drawer stuffed with tea towels that are too pretty to use!

Racheal x

Heidi Ann said...

Hi Kim, I just read your blog entry & so much of what you described could have been my mother & my house growing up! My mother ironed EVERYTHING, including sheets for all the beds! I remember our linen closet was a work of art...so pretty with all the linens pressed, folded & stacked!...I still, after 26 years of homemaking,am trying to accomplish that!?Anyway...your tea towels are so pretty & your photos are the epitome of "Spring"...put me in a marvelous mood just to look at them! Thank you...Have a lovely weekend...Heidi :)

Hazel said...

Oooh some tea towel inspiration going on there! I shall have to keep a look out for some new ones myself. I have a couple of polka dot ones which I am too scared to use as they look too pretty and clean!
Funnily enough I quite enjoy ironing, especially in the Spring when I set myself up outside and iron whilst listening to the birds.
Love your photos.

Faye 'Country Chic' said...

Ah I am just like you with the tea towels and the ironing, in fact your whole post made me giggle as it is so like me. When I was little I used to love ironing at my grandmas alas somewhere the novelty factor wore off... I keep thinking that If I bought a wooden ironing board with a gorgeous floral cover It would appeal so much more hehe.
xFaye

~~ATTIC CLUTTER~~ said...

Love you floral tea towels ...what are they made of..would love to get some ...do you ever sell them>>?? (:) thanks Patty

Rosezilla said...

Yes, I know what you mean about getting things done when the computer is on the blink. I'm afraid this whole blogging thing is a bit addictive! I love tea towels, but I use them - they get grungy pretty quickly, but that's a good excuse to get new!

Rachael Rabbit said...

If only we could permanently install beautiful fabrics along the borders of our garden ... then my garden might have some hope for flowers - as the deer eat anything pretty as soon as it appears! Thank you for the wonderful photos :-)

Kari & Kijsa said...

What wonderful tea towels!!! Hope you are feeling better !!Have a blessed Sunday!!

Smiles,
kari & kijsa

. said...

I like tea towels so much. I understand so well you have a lot because I have too and keep buying them.

a home far away said...

Your towels are beautifl, mine does not lok like that:-)

I am a swedish woman living in Singapore, you are welcome to visit:-)

Gunilla

Katherines Dream said...

I could not agree more about ironing and then...putting it away! But I have to say I have a pet hate....dull and dingy tea towels. I do not iron mine..the aga does it thankfully!
Lovely pictures. I was hand washing the other day and decided that I must get one of those wash boards, I love the airier too.
Carol x

JuicyFig said...

I could learn to like ironing if there were extra hours added to the day to do it - even then, I would rather be sat at the sewing machine for a few more hours!

Kath
x

Brenda Hyde said...

I have this same addiction but with vintage potholders and doilies. Your tea towels are beautiful! One of my earliest memories when I was very small, 1 or 2, playing on the floor while my mom was ironing. I can still recall the smell of freshly hung clothing while she ironed. So comforting...

knitsational said...

What a lovely collection!

Thimbleanna said...

What beautiful tea towels Kim -- they all look so pretty out on your rack. I love your new picture with the little lady ironing -- so cute. And I just assumed you had April over there, 'cause it whizzed by so fast here that I don't think I even saw it!

Tracy said...

Lovely linens, Kim...Visiting here is like stepping into a favorite antiques shop...Lovely photos of all your lovelies! Hope all is going well with the new computer. It is strange being without one for too long--LOL! Happy Days to you all((HUGS))

Barbee' said...

I love this post - so beautifully put together. I share your affection for the tea towels. I adore any of the older linens and period pieces. I don't use the favorites, either. If I do, for sure, husband will wipe up mustard or tea with it and stain it badly.

david mcmahon said...

Spent a lot of time in the UK but never got to the Brighton festival!

Vintage Amethyst said...

Oh my goodness it isn't just me then, I have some really pretty tea towels but can't bare to use them!
I hate ironing too, but do like ironing tea towels as they are so simple and look lovely when they are done, but to be honest I rarely iron them they just get popped back in the drawer quickly!
Love Alison x