Another project on the needles at the moment is a gift for Cuddlepie's 4th birthday in June. Just making sure I finish it in time!
I don't know if you have Peppa Pig in the US, but Australian and British readers will know her. She and George and a big hit here. I normally shy away from character items; they are just not something we have in our house. But this is cute and I know will be well loved.
Reading this week is Mrs Miles's Diary: The Wartime Journal of a Housewife on the Home Front.
The British stiff upper lip is always so evident in reading journals from World War II. For example, when talking about the air raids on Britain in 1940:
'Two lots of bombs last night - one lot disagreeably near us.'
Disagreeably?! I should think so!
And it was interesting how quickly food and other shortages occurred. By October 1939, Mrs Miles's is noting that soap is hard to get, by mid 1940 there was no fish at all (particularly due to the German occupation of the Channel Islands) and she had to stop writing her journal for a time due to lack of paper.
After watching the movie The King's Speech and seeing how King George VI struggled throughout his life with his speech impediment, it was strangely disarming and a bit sad to read this comment (dated 3 September 1939) about his first speech after the declaration of war:
'The King spoke on the radio, curiously slow and sad and with much lack of vitality. Better far that the Queen had spoken.'
Possibly the British public did not quite understand the King's problem when the above entry was written as there is a later entry (Christmas Day 1939) which seems more understanding:
'The King's speech was painfully delivered, but he got through it better at the end than the beginning. I wonder if his speech specialist, Mr Logue, was by his side.'
Poor King George!
As Mrs Miles's lived in the countryside, children from London were evacuated to her village very soon after the declaration of war. In an entry dated 29 August 1940, she talks about feeding the children in a canteen set up for this purpose.
'They all seemed very little and shabby and held their spoons in a firm grip. "No cabbage!" cried so many of these tiny mites. I said severely to some little girls, "You will never grow up pretty and get big unless you eat cabbage." One looked up and said: "Shall I grow pretty if I eat cabbage?" "Yes, indeed," said I. "Then I don't want to be pretty," she replied firmly.'
I cannot even imagine the heartbreak of mothers who had to send their children away for the duration of the war. The propaganda against keeping children in London was quite strong and it would have been difficult, even if you wanted to, to keep your children with you.
And please join me every Sunday, starting from this week, as I begin a new vintage journey in knitting, sewing, embroidery and other crafty goodness, with some recipes and other information thrown in for good measure.
It is all based on these lovelies and will begin with the earliest one I have - February 1933, Issue No 5.
Hope to see you there!