This is terrible. I haven’t started on my Christmas Tea Towels and yet it is 5 December. This is because, when I got them out of the Christmas cupboard, they all needed ironing. Being squashed up for 11 months did not do them any good. Having ironed them, I then had to photograph them. Now I am ready but actually the two today did not need ironing.
I have a friend, Jean, who lives in Aberdeen. She is in her late 80’s and since the beginning of 2015 she has been very poorly. Jean had lived on her own, in a flat with no social care services although she has advanced osteoporosis, was prone to falling and was unable to use her hands because of osteoarthritis. In April she was rushed into hospital, then sent to a rehabilitation hospital and finally arrived at a nursing home. In this process, Jean realised she was unable to live on her own any more, even if she got better, and decided to give up her flat. Fortunately, she rented the flat and I was tasked with sorting out her things and finding them a good home. This was a labour of love which I felt priviledged to be trusted with. I got to know the staff in the Oxfam Charity Shop very well and developed a good relationship with those at the Recycling Centre. There were a number of pieces of china that Jean wanted her family members to have. It was a task that was easily completed. Jean knows of my love of tea towels and gave me all the ones she had, since she had no use for them in nursing care. I was thrilled and promised that in return I would (a) incorporate them into my collection and (b) blog about them. This was great fun because some are quite old, not antique, just bleached within an inch of their life.
She did have three Christmas tea towels. I have already written about one in my introduction to Christmas tea towels. I am priviledged to be using these for the first time this year. Like many Christmas tea towels (and I am not sure why) both these tea towels are towelling rather than linen or cotton.
The tea towel at the top of the page is the newest, bought for her by a friend two years ago, with a central figure of a jolly Father Christmas, standing in front of a mantlepiece and fire place. It wouldn’t win prizes for sophistication and taste but it brings with it a true sense of Christmas fun and enjoyment.
The second tea towel is a traditional 12 Days of Christmas with a picture in a square for each of the 12 Days. Jean remembers buying this at a Christmas sale at the church about 10 years ago. The use of towelling does mean that the images are not crisp and sharp but the overall concept is clear.
While the tea towels are not necessarily ones I would go out and buy, they will remind me of my friend Jean at Christmas. Because she lives so far away I am not able to see her over the Christmas period.
Click here to return to the Virtual Tea Towel Museum