Friday, May 15, 2009

Loving gifts

We limped back towards health today. Son 2 struggled back to school and made it through the day, although his teacher was a bit concerned by him towards the end of it - he was a little tearful, worrying about his mother...Son 1 was just about fit enough to come to work with me, so he slumped through three lessons reading the Beano etc, and decided he was well enough to join in with the last lesson - a group of Franco-British/Irish/Swedish/American/German pupils of his own age. He did quite well on a reading comprehension from a page of Twilight!He has announced that he is not quite ill any more, but not quite healthy: 'illthy', he decided. I'm either 'illthy' or 'hill' myself, and made it though the lessons with the help of a box of tissues.
I'm writing here amongst photos from my mum's collection of First World War handkerchiefs. (Perhaps the tissues got me thinking...)There must have been a huge cottage industry producing these sad little souveniers, with women working on them just behind the lines, I imagine.I find them almost unbearably sad, and although I love the embroidery and like the feel of history, I can't look at them as a collection - more a memorial to so much loss.Over at French Garden House, Lidy has an absolutely wonderful history of Society Silk Embroidery, with many beautiful examples of this turn of the century American artform.
Most of the French handkerchiefs aren't so perfect, but they clearly share the same stitches, threads and patriotic sentiments. Even though some of the handkerchiefs haven't stood up well to washing, I think they are worth looking at.
Unbearably poignant souveniers, from sons to their mothers...

***

I am not going to leave you all sniffing! I am going to tell you instead that this weekend our little region outside of Toulouse is going to turn itself into Vide Greniersville! Watch this space...

13 comments:

Carol said...

I love hankies. Your collection is very special. I bet my Dad would be love to see then, I'll show him this post this evening he is due soon.
Dad was in the Dunkirk Landing. Oh such tales he has to tell. I have so many photos and post cards all to his beloved Mother.
Treasure themFloss they are truly beautiful.
Cx

Mandy said...

Oh the hankies are just so beautiful xx What a lovely post

Lululiz said...

What a wonderful collection!

Thecraftytrundler said...

The hankies are lovely! I have two embroidered postcards, one sent by my pap, and one from my great uncle to my nan during the First World War. Apparently, she once had a box full of them, but over the years they diminished. As you can imagine, they are precious to me.
You have a lovely collection!

Sharon xx

Olga said...

Your handkerchiefs wonderfully match your story - nice way of putting it! :)I hope hill and illthy will quickly turn into velthy (very healthy);).... and looking forward to seeing more of your precious collections!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Awww! I remember one time the Dr. said it was OK to let my daughter go back to school. She struggled a couple of days and the teacher I both felt it was to early to return. Have a great weekend.
Glenda

Hen said...

What a lovely collection. Glad you're on the mend
Hen x

Shabby Chick said...

Those are very beautiful but yes, so sad too.

Bet you're looking forward to more finds! Glad you and your son are feeling a bit better.

Thanks a lot for your comment on my post. I feel stupid that I tempted fate because actually madam is not too well today (we had to have calpol and water in the night because she was so hot) and all she wants to do in the whole wide world is go to the chippy for lunch!!!

Mel xxx

Dominic said...

This blog is SO pretty! I will tell my Mum to have a look. She loves France. And "vintage"!

Melanie said...

Those are just beautiful! xxx

Kris said...

Lovely collection of hankies. It is sad knowing that so much loss was happening while they were being made.

Have a wonderful weekend

Kris

FrenchGardenHouse said...

I hope you are all more than "hilthy" by now! I love the hankies, they are so beautiful. Many of them were made on silk, just as a souvenir, not to use when ill :) your Mum had quite a big collection!

Lidy

Marie Reed said...

How are you feeling now? Have you had a full recovery or are you still a bit on the hil side?:)