So I tidied my study.
Can you tell that this is going to be an edge-of-your-seat blog post, a white knuckle ride of dastardly deeds and derring-do? Well if you’d seen the state of the room beforehand, you might feel that you weren’t too far awry in that opinion.
(There was going to be knitting in this post, too, but quirky study stuff took over, so the knitted pretties are reserved for next time. Please do stick around, my fine fibrous friends.)
Anyway, would you like to take a look around, now that I’ve removed the spiders from the underside of the desk and generally had a clear-out? My study is my dark, secret, little cave, hidden away yet right in the middle of the house. Look, the door is open: come in!
There aren’t actually huge numbers of books in here because there are bookcases scattered everywhere throughout the rest of the house (we take a firm and unwavering it’s-not-a-home-unless-it’s-filled-with-books line), and most of my psychology books/journals are in my office at work.
So here’s one corner (shelves and cupboards are by the Stoic Spouse). See that Singer sewing machine? It’s been in my family for 117 years.
Look at this receipt for its purchase:-
My great-great-grandmother, Mrs McLean, aka ‘Granny Mac’ bought it in 1899. Here is the only photo that I have of her:-
She stares sternly across my desk and disapproves of almost everything I do.
Anyway, the sewing machine was originally treadle-operated, but my step-great-grandfather (whom I remember mostly for his deafness and for his love of inhaling snuff of an evening) converted it to electric in the 1950s for my great-grandmother (whom I remember very well). He was a handy chap, my step-great-grandfather, but I guess most people were, back then. In our sitting room is the wooden trunk that he made and took with him on the submarines in World War One: unlike most submariners of the time, he came back alive. His name is mounted on the lid:-
(OK, it wasn’t painted that blue-purple colour when he had it.)
My great-grandmother, although apprenticed to a tailor on leaving school at 12, didn’t like sewing. She gave up the apprenticeship. The Singer probably wasn’t her favourite possession.
In World War Two, the family was bombed out of their Coventry home (November 1940), and family folklore has it that the sewing machine sat out on the kerb for three weeks before being rescued, mysteriously unlooted (unlike many of the family’s other possessions).
It came down the maternal line to me about 25 years ago, and I set about making this patchwork quilt.
These days, I confess that it sits idle (you’ll note the dull, modern, easy-to-use Brother in the photo earlier on), but I really should get it serviced and back in use.
But let’s move on. Here’s another corner:-
Have you any idea how easy it is to spray-paint a filing cabinet? I thoroughly recommend the practice.
And another corner (they’re getting less impressive as we go round…)
Oh, and I love the mottled light from above:-
And the ceramic door and cupboard handles.
And the coat-hook behind the door, home to a couple of bags I’ve designed.
But I haven’t got round to hanging pictures yet. There’s the geological map of Britain (I’ve always been passionate about geology, ever since seeing my father’s book of minerals when I was a small child. And when I up sticks and toddle off anywhere, I do like to check this map to see what sort of rock I’ll be sitting on.)
And the Freedom Of The City Of Coventry awarded to my great-great-grandfather for we’re-not-quite-sure-what impressive deed:-
I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour. All the pretty knitting things I’d planned to add to this post will have to wait until next time. I’d best get on with them, then…