Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

My kitchen stool

You may have read a little about my kitchen stool earlier this week, and one or two of you commented on it.  That started me thinking about the memories tied up in that humble piece of wood.  It is at least as old as me - ancient!  My grandfather was an old fashioned undertaker in the days when undertakers made all their coffins to order for each funeral.  There was no such thing as buying coffins in from a catalogue in those days.  The nearest Grandad got to that was to get the plaques made and engraved at a specialist in Birmingham.  However, he was able to do that himself as well if necessary, if it was needed in a rush.

The house he and Grandma lived in was a typical three story shop and house in Walsall, right on the main road.  The shop was at the front, together with the small chapel of rest.  If that was occupied, we knew we had to creep past silently to maintain respect.  Behind the shope was the main living room and the kitchen/scullery.  The side alley was always filled with planks of wood stacked so they could season properly, after which they were taken down into the cellar until needed.  Behind the house was the garden and yard, including the coffin workshop (and the disused bridle bit workshop).  On one occasion, Dad's youngest brother was found to be missing from the family gathering, together with his youngest cousin.  They were eventually tracked down in the workshop, sitting either end of a partially made coffin with a plank of wood across between them, playing Strip Jack Naked.  

Dad and both his brothers were encouraged to learn how to work with wood and make small items of useful furniture.  One of Dad's pieces was a small solid stool.  All the wood used was coffin wood, well seasoned and strong.  I first remember it when I used to sit at the kitchen table, next to the solid fuel stove, having my tea.  By then, it had a green padded cover.   We had a new cocker spaniel puppy at that time, whose basket was under the table, just in the right position for her to hang on to my socks as I sat to the table.  My favourite tea was fried spam and slices of home-cooked beetroot with a piece of fried bread (Now I am feeling hungry). 

My stool was joined by two more, bought this time,also with green padded tops, for Mum and Dad to sit on.  They were not so robust and the joints were constantly having to be strengthened, not like mine, which was used for all sorts of things - sawing wood, climbing on to reach things from high up, and for doing the decorating on.

This humble piece of furniture followed my parents from house to house, and when we had to clear Mum's house in the end, there was no way it was going anywhere but with me.  Now it is back in real use, out in the greenhouse for me to rest on in between jobs.   It is the perfect height, strong, stable and comfortable.  It is protected by resting it on an old groundsheet to keep its feet dry.

Have any of the rest of you got a piece of furniture  which brings back memories from all your life.  Let us know.  Tell us the story of yours.

2 comments:

Di said...

Wow Maggie, this has got me thinking now. Great tale of the stool - if things could talk huh?

I spotted this linked into the playground, wonder if you've got linking probs as I sorted out the snippets yesterday. Will keep an eye on Mr Linky - I think he's going his own sweet way right now!

Have a good day. And thanks for sharing. Di xx

Di said...

Di again Maggie - I spotted your comment earlier so now it's all clear about Mr Linky :) Di xx