Monday, 23 May 2011

Piece and Jam

Piece and Jam
I bought this lovely boxed set of Sheffield stainless steel butter knives on Sunday.  A lovely wee treat to myself I thought.  I was not prepared for the tidal wave of memories they would bring in the morning.

They bring back my Nana to me.  

There she is in the kitchen, leaning on the counter top, drinking milky well brewed tea (there was always a pot on the stove, keeping warm, stewing).

There I am, at the breakfast table.  I can see the formica table top, the perfect colour of green larder.  The butter dish and a knife so like this one.  Robertson's Marmalade.  The shiny silver teapot, with a wooden handle. Floral china cups.  Sweet tea for me.  Broadford, floury, breakfast rolls and the smell of bacon.

I even hear the wind, whistling round this Skye house, years gone.  I catch a glimpse of Queenie or Mitch (the sheep dogs), watch the bracken being blown flat, under a mountain that has a Viking Princess buried at its summit. I hear the crunch of white Skye marble gravel, as the post lady pops in.

As I make a piece and jam for my little girl, I am once more a little girl myself and in this moment I miss Nana terribly.  I remember the nights she would bring us piece and jam (my sister and I lying feet to feet in a squashy feather mattress bed, with the blankets tucked in so tight you could barely breath, feeling so secure and warm. A hot water bottle.)  with instructions to clean our teeth and say our prayers. She would sit with us while we repeated the 'Child's Prayer'....(the more harrowing version!)

I wish so much this morning, that she could be with me now.  I think she would 'like' me so much more.  My tough teenage edges rubbed down (a little), our common experience of home, children, food and china!  I would love to tell her how much she has influenced my tastes, my home, my food.  I hope somewhere, she knows this anyway.

When someone passes on, it seems to me, that although the grieving never truly ends, its like they are always with you, and they pop round.  I suppose the trick is to take comfort in those moments and enjoy their presence with you.



Miss Holly said...

What a lovely post....don't you just love those memories.. I love to bring them on just as I doze off..they almost become real....smells...the way a hug felt....mmmmmmm

Toffeeapple said...

Ah, bless you. Memories can sometimes hit us in the solar-plexus can't they? The smell of Freesias always brings my Mother back to me.

LissyLou said...

those knives are so classic aren't they? They remind me of my Nan too. I remember making toast with her, she always set the smoke alarm off!!! xx

Anonymous said...

A beautiful post.
I always remember my nan when i'm sat at my sewing machine. It was my Nan who taught me how to dress make. I sadly lost her months before i graduated from my fashion degree.

Hala said...

Really identify with what you said in your post - I lost my Nana and she was Nana 10 years ago now. She was the sweetest, kindest lady I have ever met and a real 1950's housewife who taught me making and baking..she died before my two girls were born and before I really got into the art of homemaking - using the skills she taught me, and before I lost my rough edges and could tell her how much I loved her..think it all the time now though, and have a picture of her as a war bride up in my kitchen watching over my making and baking!

PaperFish! said...

My Nanna's BluTits fledged today - it was sooo gorgeous and i just know we watched it together x

Red Riding said...

i have the exact same knives from my grandmas house..i know what you mean,the things i could have learnt from my grandma had i known her just that little longer..
the same with my mum..we were just entering that stage where we were becoming friends not just mother against daughter and vice versa stage when she passed away suddenly..shes missed so much and so have i

Angel Jem said...

Yes! They are with you always. I find they look at me from eyes that were born long after they left; or from a snatch of a hymn on Songs of Praise (sung tunefully by a choir and not in a tremulous alto) and best of all when I read the books that they passed on to me; Jane Eyre, The Harvester, Complete Home Sewing.

maggie said...

You have broken my lovely . Big cuddle from your mummy ...have you washed your teeth and said your prayers? xxxxx

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