Although I loved writing stories as a child, and made up tales for my children when they were young, during most of my adulthood it wasn’t something I gave much thought to. When I (eventually … at the age of 57) went to university and discovered that writing and I fitted together very comfortably, I realised that I must always have had some kind of a need to create.
When my children were small this creativity manifested itself in other ways. An effective cure-all for little people who felt under the weather was snuggling up in the poorly blanket, so named by my eldest son.
The three children used to argue over whose turn it was to use it so I made two more. The poorly blanket has recently seen a revival. After a nostalgic conversation last year about what the fate of said blankets might have been, I made one for my daughter at Christmas 2016. She was thrilled and since then I have made two more as gifts. It got me thinking about other items that I used to make:
For my 14th birthday I’d asked my parents for a sewing machine. A second-hand Singer was duly purchased and even though my mother, by her own admission, “couldn’t sew a pocket handkerchief,” it seemed that I could – and a lot more too. I’d realised that the contents of my wardrobe could be greatly improved upon for very little money and every Saturday lunchtime, clutching the earnings from my part time job, I’d rummage through the fabric remnants on the market stall with a self imposed budget of a pound. Sunday was generally spent creating a dress, skirt or even, as I became more proficient, a jacket. I wish I had pictures to show you but I can’t find a single one. In fact there are almost no photographs of me as a teenager (not like my granddaughter who takes a dozen selfies a day)! My most memorable make was a summer suit – skirt and short sleeved jacket – in a yellow and navy floral design which I wore with yellow sandals.
Later came little knitted jackets for my boys with matching leg warmers for the youngest. Thank goodness they don’t read my blog. Well it was the early 1980s! (Hence the Daytona yellow Ford Capri)!
Stripey jumpers always seemed to grow more quickly than plain ones.
I made dresses & dungarees for my daughter (a good use of my maternity dresses).
What do you think of this fancy dress outfit made from a rather ugly evening dress that I found in a jumble sale?
And then I just stopped – no more knitting and, apart from minor alterations, no more sewing. I don’t know why this was. I have three quarters of a black mohair cardigan knitted. The remaining quarter has been waiting for the past 25 years.
There are handmade greetings cards, an ever- growing interest in cooking (though I concede that this may just be a side effect of a general interest in food!) and even at work I like to create. I manage many aspects of my job via the creation of increasingly comprehensive spreadsheets (sad, I know but they do fascinate me). I find myself wondering what will come next. I’ve never been interested in painting or pottery (too messy and the clay gets under your nails – a definite no-no) but from time to time I’ve wondered about revisiting the abandoned piano lessons of my childhood, water skiing (just joking) or perhaps learning a language (Spanish appeals).
But for now, it’s still writing that ‘floats my boat’. The book synopsis has been submitted to my chosen agents. Time will tell whether either of them chooses me.