Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in a Pocket Handkerchief!

I inherited my mum's collection of antique and vintage pocket handkerchiefs this year, and when I was doing an initial sort-out recently this one sprang to my attention:
In the centre are the four seasons, and around the edges, as you can see, are the months. Each one is illustrated with a natty 1930s illustrations of a stylish young lady doing the Things One Must Do at that time of year! It's witty, colourful, and a good way for me to do a little review of 2012:
Let's begin with January (where else?). I didn't skate but I did spend an unusual amount of time in Toulouse, doing the cultural kind of things that there dosn't usually seem to be time or money for. It was all thanks to Son 1's work experience, and I wrote about ancient, medieval and modern Toulouse here.
February was indeed a month for staying in and recuperating - don't you love the picture? Son 1 had a big op on his knee at the end of January, and February seemed to be mainly taken up with nurse's visits and carrying food to a sofa-bound son. However, being fairly house-bound had its compensations, and I re-organised all my lovely vintage kitchenalia, and also popped out to buy some fantastic vintage tins which are still talking starring roles around the house.

Would that I looked so stylish in the wind. My only similarity with this picture is the red face. It was windy here in March, but there were moments of springtime sunshine, too. Everything was overshadowed by the killings in Toulouse towards the end of the month, and it seems that many people in the key communities (Jewish and Muslim) have had a really hard time since those complex and tragic events. Your continued prayers would be appreciated.
We had a few April showers - here and in Edinburgh, where I went to visit my dad and also to meet his lovely new friend... there was more news to come on that front as the months progressed! For Easter I looked at my vintage French chocolate moulds, and also shared an embroidered map of England, which dates from around the same time as this handkerchief.

I certainly didn't dance around any May Poles in May! I think that's what she's doing - don't you? However, things got appropriately outdoors-y and a huge Scottish foxglove burst into bloom in our French garden. I also painted the front gate and got  some great deals as the Vide Grenier season really came into play!

June is my birthday month. I love sun hats, but I don't quite go for the bonnet-effect pictured here! We wore our sun hats to pick blueberries and to spend time with our new hens....

In July I changed my blog's look - I loved the old blue flowers so much but I had to find a way to celebrate the beautiful kitchen canisters I'd bought with my birthday money! I also picked up some antique hemp sheets - this is a stunning fibre and the sheets now do sterling service absorbing whatever the boys and the dog can put on them, under the throw on our sofa. But the main excitement of July was our departure on a 28 day camping tour of Italy!

The pictures for the two months are kind of reversed, on the handkerchief - we swam in the Med in July and walked in the Appennines in August. But, close enough! The holiday was a wonderful time together - I've got over the fear that things will go wrong, mainly by relaxing and realising that, of course they will from time to time, and it's my reaction to them that will turn them into either a big deal or a short-term blip. Later on in the month I took the boys over to Edinburgh to meet my dad and his now fiancée!

September is often a quiet month for my work, as all the children I teach are busy with la Rentrée and don't yet know their timetables for out-of-school activities. However, over the month I slowly built up my own timetable, deciding that the boys are now independent enough for me to take on after-school lessons - all of them at home, and finishing around 6 or 7pm, so that the boys come home independently, relax or do homework (lol) and then we all eat together in the usual way - it's working fine, and gives me the chance to teach a lot more children and teenagers, as this is the time-slot their parents have always wanted. The hens also became more numerous, as we adopted two new littlies, whose previous owner was heading back to the US. After a nervous start, these two have settled in well and now live up to their heroic names (more or less)! In the picture, our society lady is looking at the apple harvest - for us, it was finally an egg harvest! Our little swan song to summer was a weekend camping trip in the Pyrenees for Ben's birthday.
What is our friend doing for October? Sneezing? I have no idea... Well, I was mainly working! Taking on more children in the evenings gave me more time to accept appointments with my language school in the daytime. I took a weekend out to take the boys, plus friend, to a rural science event in a beautiful village. I also popped into the charity shop near my Friday lessons and was delighted to find vintage down-filled édredons which have kept us warm though the only patch of freezing nights we've yet had this winter.

November wasn't particularly foggy, but I love the illustration! We spent a weekend in Edinburgh, for my father's wedding.
I didn't share many photos at the time, as I hadn't asked for permission to show faces, but I've got permission since then, so here are the happy couple! Don't they look great? My BiL took this wonderful photo at the reception.
December, well, that's now! We didn't find any mistletoe (it grows all around here, but only very high up). We had a lovely, peaceful Christmas, and today Ben and Son 1 have gone off to the Toulouse museum where Son 1 did his work experience back in January. He never had the chance to take his dad around it then, so today is the day. Son 2 is slowly going crazy as he waits in for a delivery of a game he's ordered with his Christmas money. We were told it should arrive today, but...

So, it's been a wonderful year. Honestly, my years are getting better and better.

Which way is the wind blowing for 2013?

We have some fixed points. What should be Son 1's final operation is set for February, so that will be another quiet month in! Our wonderful holiday in Italy has inspired us to plan another two weeks of camping, this time around Spain. Ben may, hopefully, be doing some further training from September onwards, so this will keep him away from us during the week but will allow us all to discover a new part of France at the weekends. I'll still be busy teaching, but I will commit myself to one New Year's Resolution - I will continue blogging! One of the reasons my life has got better and better is that I have learned to appreciate and cherish the good times - to record them and even to seek them out. Bloggers and blogging have taught me to do this. Busy or not, it's too good to leave behind! Happy New Year to you all.


Pom Pom said...

I enjoyed this post very much, Floss! The handkerchiefs are beautiful, I bet. I have my mother-in-law's.
You chose a perfect one to illustrate your year.
Yay for bloggers!

Elderberry-Rob said...

I do agree - blogging really makes us look for special moments and appreciate them more, doesn't it Floss. Wishing you a very happy New Year 2013 and let's raise our glasses to blogland. Betty x

DVArtist said...

This is a great post.
Happy New Year to you and your family.

Angela said...

Happy new year to you and yours - and thanks for sharing your 2012 memories. Hope you get to see plenty of bride and groom too, and that the change in Ben's work pattern proves good for you all xx

Anonymous said...

Hello Floss
Happy New Year to you and your lovely family. I hope the year is healthy and peaceful for you and that you have a wonderful trip to Spain !
I love the handkerchief and the colours. What a great way to celebrate the year - thank you for sharing this. It must have taken ages to write and create all the links!
Thank you for popping into my blog today,
Happy days dear Floss!

Serenata said...

A wonderful way to review the year Floss, and such a fabulous handkerchief! I will expect to see this each year now! ;-) So glad you have had such a good year.

Heloise said...

Happy New Year to you. Perfect way to celebrate the year. Your Father looks so very happy, that must make you very happy too.

Unknown said...

Very interesting handkerchiefs, and you used them for your year's review -smart! Glad you made this New Year's resolution:):) Wishing you all the best in 2013!

Unknown said...

A super post. A happy new year to you.

Lola Nova said...

Oh what a wonderful wrap up of the year, I love the use of the hankie and all of your words!

Happy New Year to you and your lovely family! May it bring joy and peace and the occasional belly laugh. It has been a joy to have "known" you through our blogs, and though I don't always comment, I do so enjoy reading your thoughtful posts.

All the best!

Janice said...

Happy New Year to you. This is just delightful. The hanky is gorgeous, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey through your year. Jx

Fat Dormouse said...

As usual Floss you have written a thoughtful and beautifully illustrated post - thank you! I have enjoyed following your family's ups and downs this year and reading your blog. Long may it continue!

Frances said...

Floss, it's been delightful to read your 2012 with its witty references to that charming vintage hanky's design. Truly inspired!

I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year, and so look forward to all the blogs you will be posting.


Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

Love that handkerchief! Just brilliant! Why are vintage handkerchiefs just so much more characterful than anything new you can buy?! Partly it's the lovely soft feel of many launderings but prints like this just aren't made any more seemingly. All good wishes and prayers, Floss for your son's op. So sympathise with this hanging over him. Tell him an unknown lady is praying for him across La Manche! E x

JuanitaTortilla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JuanitaTortilla said...

I cannot agree more with you, Floss, and I enjoyed this little summary of your past year. For me, it felt like the year went by really quickly, and I spent my afternoon yesterday listing the good times... And there were heaps! Like you said, the years get better and better, and blogging has helped us learn to stop and smell the roses :)

Happy New Year to all!

Sue said...

Happy New Year! So many memories all linked to one handkerchief! I have some old ones too that belonged to my grandmothers; I shall have to get them out and have another look at them now.