Everything grandma gave me

Today would have been my grandma’s 100th birthday. Inspired by the online project The Grandma Museum I decided to document all the things she gave to me while she was alive, to mark the fact. She had wonderful taste, was a lover of the sale room, the auction house and an avid noser around property for sale. Not long before she died I had a flat to furnish, and she had me trawl through the garage where many of her things were stored, picking out things I needed. These items are now around me every day, forming threads of memory from my early childhood to now.

Small poole pottery jug

Above is a tiny little jug by Poole Pottery. Inside it’s a mushroom colour, outside it’s the palest shell pink. She also gave me two Poole Pottery saucers, which her highness, the cat, drinks her water from.

Woods Ware Beryl

More jugs. The largest is Spode. Swanky. The two smaller one are from the Woods Ware Beryl set of crockery I have. The green plates, bowls and cups were everywhere in the 60s, most famously ferrying tea and scones to the lips of the ladies of the WI in village halls across the country. They were also canteenware for schools and hospitals. I’ve had a thousand splashes of milk poured into my tea from the smallest of these mugs. With a Rich Tea on the side.

Tifle bowl

Grandma’s trifle bowl! I loved the story about this. During what she always called ‘the war years’ grandma moved my mum’s older sisters to a remote village in the depths of Cornwall. There she established friendships and, I don’t doubt, rivalries with other village ladies. She made one lady a trifle and delivered it to her house in a bowl. Not this one. But this was the bowl the lady gave her back when the trifle was done.

TV chair

What Grandma called a TV chair. I have two of them, the other with a cornflower-print linen loose cover which I remember watching Grandma sew on her hand-turn Singer sewing machine as a child. She gave me that Singer too, and I’ve sewn everything on it from a Swan dress for fancy dress to a set of curtains.

Vintage chintz cushion

This cushion is from the sofa in her old house. What a lovely chintz. Goes with everything.

Antique bird lamp

This lamp is part of a set of two – both wired into the same plug by Grandpa 40 years ago. It’s plugged in next to my bed. Health and saftey! When I stayed at grandma’s as a child this lamp was by my bed, and I used to spend the endless hours when the rest of the house was still asleep staring at the exotic birds on it, imagining I was in the scene myself.

Grandma's necklace

Lastly, this is grandma’s necklace. I coveted this so much as a child, on the rare occasions I was allowed into her bedroom to look at her dressing table, where it was laid out in front of the mirror. It makes me look a bit funny – I’m waiting for the day I have the gravity to wear it properly. And anyway, I don’t need reminding of grandma through things. In the time we spent together she passed on her love of the natural world, the ability to sew, an understanding of the correct way to wash up, to never put your fingers in the butter, and to find people falling down holes or off low walls hilarious. Happy birthday…

6 Responses to “Everything grandma gave me”

  1. Helene
    September 20, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Thank you so much for this post. As you can imagine it has brought tears to my eyes, for so many reasons. Here’s to Grandmas and Mums. Cheers!

    • myfriendshouse
      September 20, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      Thanks. It was nice to write and think about. Cheers to you today. Thinking of you x

  2. Trish
    September 20, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Yes, happy birthday Grandma,and thank you for everything xx

  3. Bethan - Decorator's Notebook
    September 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Quite possibly the loveliest blog post I’ve read in years. Such a sweet thing to share… it looks like you inherited lots of her taste as well as these things!

  4. Jill
    September 20, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    How lucky you are to have saved so much. Thank you for bringing back many happy memories of my own Grandma x

  5. Sarah
    September 21, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Glad the lamps have gone to a good home! Happy birthday Grandma!

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