Door Curtains And Shippam's Fish Paste

Up and almost about again...still feel decidedly weird actually, or more weird than is normal...no doubt it'll pass.

Haven't done much today...it's been bitterly cold...

We have an extremely long and thick pink velvety curtain which I found in a charity shop ages ago...the intention was to shorten it and then hang it in front of the back door...but it's enormous!

Heaven knows just how long it is...so I'm thinking Himself will have to hold it up while I hack a few feet off the bottom. Quite why we didn't have the back door replaced when we had the front door and windows done, I haven't the faintest idea...it was plain daft not to anyway, because a howling gale blows under and around it and nearly takes your toes off.

Granny had curtains in front of all her doors...they were on brass rails with big rings so they were supposed to open and close easily...they never did...you'd find yourself trapped in rolls of slightly musty fabric as you battled to find the door handle...spiders dropping out in fright at being disturbed...mice squeaking as they hung on tightly to baby mice, their nests wobbling about, as a small child almost wet their knickers in a panic at the thought of never escaping...

You see, Granny was no lover of housework...there once really was a mouses nest between the folds of the curtain over the door which led into the pantry...my cousin Ginny found it one day when she was exploring...she was determined to get into the pantry because we suspected Granny had made blancmange for tea...Cousin Denise was leaning on the garden gate flirting with a Hungarian...Cousin Stephen was away somewhere on the moors shooting small furry animals...Grandpa was playing bridge and Granny was in the vegetable garden.

That left Ginny and myself...unsupervised.

There really was a pink blancmange...wobbling about on a china plate...and a red jelly in the shape of a rabbit. And a nest of pale pink baby mice about as big as one of our fingernails...

Ginny picked it up from the floor where it had landed with a thud and carefully tucked it under the table...it was actually slabs of marble resting on bricks...we hoped the parent mice would find it and made our escape.

The following afternoon we laid the tea table...Granny said, don't bother about putting out spoons for the jelly and blancmange girls...the mice have been there before us...Grandpa winked and went back to oiling his gun...Denise and Stephen looked daggers at us...we ate bread and butter with Shippams fish paste and weren't allowed to have any cake.

7 Replies

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  • Brilliant. Waiting for the collected Vashti.

    K xx

  • Ha ha great story, remember Shipmans paste ! jan x

  • Wow that's an adventure xxx

  • I can remember making those long sausage things and stuffing them with ond stockings and tights, or whatever was available. They are great for keeping draughts out. Or at a push you just stuffed a ling nylon stocking and stuffed it.

    When we lived at our old house, we kept birds out the back, in a scruffy conservatory type place. When we bought an aviary on wheels, we took up the floor. Underneath were loads and loads of discarded seeds. Also many nests full of tiny pink baby mice.

  • Ah I was right there with you vashti. You made me see it so clearly and wonderfully. I too can't wait for your collected writings. I would even buy them. xx

  • Both our front and back doors have curtains, the back door one made by me. They are largely glass, double glazed but I just don't like to see the darkness outside at night. Sounds a scary place for children, Vashti, I never liked mice or spiders! Iris x

  • I actually managed to get a thick heavy curtain from a charity shop just last week. I intend to put it over the door leading to the conservatory. Trouble is, I also have to put the curtain pole up first and I have to be in the mood for all that drilling etc., Spring will probably arrive before my mood is right?! :-D

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