Monday, 1 July 2013


I am going to work very hard today and get work finished early so that I may call round blog visiting - where the bloomin' heck does the time go to!

Plastic offends my sensibilities.....

Oh yes - the versatility of  a Kilner Jar (you can see other ones that I use for bits of ribbon and buttons just to  the left on the picture behind this post)

I am quite sure that there others of you reading this who were also brought up with Kilner jars.  They were a feature of everyday life for us.  Clear memories of scalding fingers:  it was our job to put the seals on the jars as mum poured either boiling water or boiling syrup over the jar contents - that did smart a bit!
Clear memories  also of consuming jar content out of season - rhubarb crumble in the winter - delicisouso.  Kilner jars were indeed a necessity.  Out in the sticks our pantry was pressed into action to store all sorts for out of season use - row upon row of packed Kilner jars (wish I had a photo of that) with all types of fruit, some veg and lots of pickles! The pantry was also where the meat safe was kept (no fridge of course) and a bowl of cold water to try and keep the milk cool.  I sometimes think that we lived a hundred years ago - all essential stuff and a lot of creative thinking went into making ends meet.

This photograph below I took at Manor Farm (only just up the road and a favourite haunt of mine) - an Edwardian Farm that was 'revamped' for the BBC Wartime Farm series on the telly (which, by pure chance we saw being filmed when we were there one day).  Anyway I visit there to stare wistfully at the pantry which does indeed look very similar to the one I remember as a child....from the salted beans to the pickled walnuts we were avid preservers!

Straying from the washday theme a bit...

 Sister Gail has kept a jar of gooseberries that our mum would have bottled around about 1980'ish.....

I used to do a bit of bottling many years ago.  Funny how times change: when I was growing up  making your own jam, making your own clothes - making your own anything - was a sign of not having very much money, working class and not something to shout about.

Today I think that this has reversed somewhat: 'I make my own soap dahhling..You don't? How very non-U....'

I can see our Dad now - stooped over the kitchen sink, collar removed from shirt, bar of soap and tin soap dish (just like this one), wooshing his old razor back and forth  in the water as he shaved in the morning.  Shaving foam???  No - just soap.

The old flour sieve is used to get the lumps out of washing powder


I am rather partial to a bit of carbolic - an evocative smell indeed.  Here I am not joking.  It is a smell that I would happily dab behind my ears. Aside from working in the hospital the smell reminds me of Dr Moser - the GP -  white coat and very formal - the whole surgery would smell of carbolic - lovely.

In need of a clean......this old sink was found in our garden when we lived in London....along with some other nice bits and bobs (the house had once belonged to a pharmacist in Victorian times and I think that he took his work home with him!!!!!)

Adding this photo in this post because I am not where else to place it!  This vintage soda siphon belongs to my sister Trudie - though I am sure that one day she will give it to me .......for Christmas......perhaps.......This belonged to our Granny (our Dad hailed from Warwickshire and near to Royal  Leamington Spa originally) and our brother was prevented from depositing it into the......


My grandparents were born Victorians so this would be my type of  'Granny chic' - all this 'new' Granny chic stuff is a bit puzzling for me...

"Cripes - just how old is she?" Message from Kandyce in Missouri

Not very good photos - taken in haste at Trudie's last New Year!

I used a fair bit of liquid judging by these photos!

Please see the link here to see how I dry my washing.........Ha ha!

 I intend to make a new peg bag for this season - in the interim this one that I made one or two years ago now will suffice....

Just the ironing to do.....

Tra La La
Fiddle de dee
That is all for now
Tatty bye from me...

PS: Thank you for all the lovely garden comments - I have trawled through one or two (!!!) old photographs and found  'rare' (!) before photographs of the concrete slabs - I did not take many before photographs - it was ugly.  In a 'rare' event I will be posting some 'ugly before images' of the garden to show that I am not talking out the back of my head when I said there was nothing there previously!!!!!  I have even fewer 'before' photographs of the house - which is a shame in a way because that was even worse and now I could bathe in reflected glory


  1. My gramdparents were Victorians too. Your comment about shaving reminds me of my childhood fascination watching my father shaving meticulously on a Sunday morning before church, then fastening his stiff clerical collar with a shiny brass stud.
    Sticks of shaving soap are incredibly useful, I keep one in my kitchen drawer - but do they still sell "styptic pencils" for the little nicks?!

  2. Very true about the status of home made goods now. In the 60s and 70s it was just what we did. Would not have dreamed of making a cake or a jar of jam and taking a photo of it, let alone publicising it to thousands of people we didn't know. Still, I have to say, I love reading about other people's baking and jam making exploits, so perhaps progress isn't always a bad thing.

  3. Memories... the tin bath in the scullery on Fridays, I had the water (grey scum!) after Mum, Dad and brother had used it. Outside loo with candle and a potty for night times... happy days! EE xx

  4. We were sent to school in home made clothes and hand knitted jumpers it was a rare treat to have anything shop brought even a cake from a shop was thought to be to expensive. Those were the days when it was cheaper to make it yourself than buy it though. ... and I'm really not that old either ~ Sarah x

  5. I totally agree about home made things when we children. It was a necessity then, and an absolute luxury to get a shop bought jumper ... I remember my Mam inspecting it and pronouncing the quality not very good! My Mam invented her own Aran patterns so was very accomplished!

    Would love to make soap ... Have tried making bath fizzes before, they were lovely.

    Lovely post Lisa, very nostalgic xxx

  6. Excellent post and as Clare Thriftwood says, very nostalgic. Carbolic soap. That's a blast from the past. Can you even buy the stuff these days I wonder. My mum was an amazing dress maker, knitter and crocheter. If only I'd inherited her patience and skills......xx

  7. Lovely post ... was having fun one day last week listening to my father-in-law talking about carabolic soap ... not a misprint ... that is what he was calling it ... he is a hoot ... Bee xx

  8. Lovely!!! :) Would be wonderful to make some soaps!! Pretty pictures, happy ironing! & happy new week!! xo Holly

  9. Ooh those were the days indeed! Great nostalgic trip down memory lane...I have the same memory of my pa, shaving at the sink with soap too! and us lot getting a quick stand up bath in our kitchen sink!! 'Happy Days'....the young 'uns' don't know they are born these days! Now WHO is sounding incredibly old! haha...Hugs Maria x

  10. Couldn't stand the smell of carbolic or my grandad's hankies bubbling away in vinegar in the baby Burco boiluer!! M x

  11. My mum didn't do much "making" when I was little, but it was the eighties and I don't think anyone we knew did. Maybe the odd Clothkits pattern. I remember there was something slightly shameful about shopping in a charity shop back then - now people flaunt their bargains with pride. I'm so glad that has changed! I love to make - in the kitchen and around the home - purely for the joy of being creative. Also, pears soap is my absolute favourite, nothing else smells as good. xx

  12. Coming to visit your blog from Hens Rule. It is adorable! I love your old jars and your stories. I also am in love with the little bag you made, the fabric is wonderful!! I would think it will be perfect to make do with for a while longer.

  13. Another lovely post Jenny. I dont actually remember those jars but I do remember the ones with the wire clasp ( I do love those and still have lots which contain all my baking things). I remember the fairy household soap, I can still remember that smell!

  14. I don't remember kilner jars when I was little, maybe we never had them mum made all of mine and my sisters clothes, sis and I used to make 'perfume' out of petals which we bizarrely used to crush up in those Russian dolls....?!

  15. Washing days as a child may have been hard work for my Mum but as a child I enjoyed them. My mum had a washing machine with a roller on the top and all the clothes came out like cardboard. My job was to catch the clothes as they came out. The kilner jars look so much nicer than plastic bottles. I didn't like the smell of carbolic soup or Izal toilet paper! Thank for bringing back some memories,
    Sarah x