Wednesday, July 6, 2011

On the mantelpiece and a little of my history

The mantelpiece is a paler version of my red, white and blue theme this month.Just some vintage French bits and bobs gathered up from around the house, plus a Florentine mirror bought in Edinburgh and a tiny Chinese porcelain box, given to me by Son 2 for my birthday - there are lots of little fossils inside!
The wildflowers came mainly from the garden - you can call them weeds if you want to be picky!
And to answer your questions about my early life in the USA (including the excellent bicentennial celebrations in 1976), my father was in the Royal Navy and was asked to teach navigation at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. We lived there from my 4th birthday until I was 7, (not long after Della Grace's grandfather was also teaching there, it turns out!) and we also went back to the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, for just under a year when I was 9. We flew back to the UK the day after Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister! I have always felt that was rather significant, although I'm not sure in what way...
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Even thought I feel extremely British, my time in America was very formative. I learned to read on the Little House books and have ever since hankered to make a rag rug (more on that later this summer, I hope...). Laura Ingalls Wilder has to be one of the most influential women in my young life, and Daisy Gordon Lowe was also significant to me in my childhood, along with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. I think I've always looked to the past to make sense of my present!

8 comments:

Pomona said...

I love Little House on the Prairie, too - although I only read it as an adult (what does that say about me)! Your mantelpiece looks really lovely - beautiful soft colours.

Pomona x

Lola Nova said...

Your mantle looks so very pretty! How interesting to learn about your time in the states. I know so many women (including myself) that have precious memories of the Little House books. I hope to pass them along to my girl when she's a bit older and wonder if she will enjoy them as much as I did.

summerfete said...

Hey Floss I had/have the whole collection of laura books!!!

And I want to make a rag rug, collected old sheets so far.

xx

Alix said...

What a sweet mantelpiece collection. Love the jar the flowers are in, and the pretty enamelware. I used to love 'Little ouse on the Prairie' on TV - oh the trauma when Mary lost her sight!
x

Serenata said...

Your mantelpiece looks lovely Floss, with all the blues and reds. Gorgeous enamel. I'm not commenting, or reading much at the moment as just feel so tired. Oh the woodpecker is back as I type this, thought you might like to know! :-)

Carolyn Phillips said...

Love the LIW books.

My dad tells me that what we call weeds are just flowers growing in unexpected places, and I adore that idea.

beck said...

How fascinating Floss!! I loved hearing about your time in the US. It seems you have had many homes in your life, in several countries! I just loved the LIttle House books when I was younger, I still do. I have every one still, all so worn from many readings. Your mantlepiece looks sweet, are those cotton reels? Beautiful, and I love your weeds, er, flowers! xo

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

HI Floss, I'm not sure why I wasn't following your blog before, I find it hard to keep track sometimes! Anyway, I have rectified it now. Your mantelpiece looks lovely, you should share it for Mantelpiece Monday next week at Fortune Favours x