Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Mum's Piggy Bank

A recent post by Ally (Life with Ally) made me smile and put me in mind of Mimuther when we were kids. Ally was talking about her washing machine having packed up but that it was easily fixed by clearing out the filter which was blocked by lots of small change which didn't get taken out of trouser pockets. I remember as kids we had a 3-piece suite (sofa and 2 chairs). It was very 50's; in fact it was very up-to-the-minute at the time. It was mostly greyish plastic with red inserts. Probably be worth a fortune today! It was worth a fortune twice a year or so then as well. The rear upholstery of each piece was held in place on the frame by a continuous line of flat-headed rivets. Whenever she was skint, off would come those rivets and the sofa or chair had to be manouevred into all sorts of positions and shaken about a bit so that all the stuff that had fallen out of people's pockets and slipped down inside got retrieved. She usually got our Syd, dad's much younger brother who lived with us when he first left school, to help her. I don't know if he ever realised most of the money they fished out was his anyway! There would usually be a couple of packets of Rizzla cigarette papers (dad used to roll his own), occasionally the remains of a sandwich or a few Dolly Mixtures, but the main loot - the money - was the aim. Mum's Piggy Bank! Sometimes she would get as much as 10 Shillings out of there. We call this 50 pence today and believe me it's not much, not when you consider that a loaf of bread was tenpence - less than 5p (one shilling) in today's money.

Talking about Mimuther, she phoned the other day and we were talking about books we had for sharing. We both have Michael Parkinson's autobiography "Parky" (he's a very popular talk show host and cricket fan). "Oh I do love Parky," said Mimuther, "I've taken him to bed every night this past fortnight." MOTHER - drink your tea!!

I am in a bit of a quandry. Because my right arm is very weak nowadays and I can't walk more than a couple of steps or stand for long without holding on I wonder if it's worthwhile to keep my sugarcraft equipment. I know I don't have the upper body strength needed either to make or handle the large fruit cakes usually wanted, nor to perfectly apply the almond paste or flat icing.

That's the lesser problem though. It's the flower equipment, I just don't want to part with it. I am - or was - quite proud of the sugar flowers I made, even if I say it myself. By getting rid of the equipment I would be admitting defeat completely. I have a lot of stuff and it would be worth several hundred pounds on eBay, though I probably spent a couple of thousand getting it together.

I should really try to make some flowers should't I? I haven't made any since about last April so how do I really know whether I can or not? If they look second-best I'll take up something else. OR I'll train myself to do the tricky bits left-handed, that might work. I've taught myself to use my left hand for all sorts of other things so maybe I can do this as well. OK, thanks everyone for listening to me rambling on. You've helped me clarify my thoughts.

Remember me telling you about that fabulous book "Baking - from my home to yours" which I was given at Christmas? My first effort was the Pound Cake on page 222. It was, strictly speaking, only a half pound cake as my Kenwood wouldn't have coped well with anything bigger. Keith loved it - buttery, melt-in-the-mouth texture and it looked just like the picture in the book! Next is going to be the choccy muffins on page 215.

But not until I try those flowers!


Saltydawg said...

I pmp at the dolly mixtures. I wonder if they still make em?

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I think you should definitely try to make some before getting rid of anything. Don't make hasty decisions as strength could return. They also say if one part weakens another will be made stronger. You could be a wiz left handed. There are all kinds of possibilities. Give it a try and take you time at it. I laughed at the story of the piggy bank. We've all found treasures left behind in a chair. I never took one apart though. 'On Ya'-ma

Marie said...

Oh Angie, I am with Ma on that. Give yourself a go at making some flowers first!! You don't want to be getting rid of anything just yet. I know how much it must frustrate you not being able to do what you used to be able to do. ((((hugs)))) I just love reading your memories of "days back when." They always bring a huge smile to my face, but then again, generally speaking, you do anyways!! XXOO

Kath said...

I'll try again after three attempts to comment.Yes Angie you try angain.Wheres thers a will theres a way I say.If at first we don't succeed try and try again.I am sorry to learn you are having problems.I rememeber my red raw hands trying to get them down the sofa to see what I could find lol!!
As for Saltydawg DO THEY still sell doklly mictures they certainly do they are one of my favourite sweeties LOL.I buy plenty.Usually for the Grandgirls but there often lucky if they get them Heeee.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

Kath said...


Jan said...

Oh yes I remember it well arms down the sofa ,knitting needles,crochet hooks lego ,and a few bob if we were lucky ,great memory ...Dont sell yet have a go ! Jan xx

Angie said...

GAZ: They certainly do sell Dolly Mixtures! I always have some handy.

MA: Yes, Mimuther must have been quite desperate to take the furniture to bits!

MARIE: It doesn't take much to start off the reminiscences does it! You almost had me confused there - you've changed your picture haven't you!

Thanks for the encouragement everybody. I AM going to have a go at the flowers.

love Angie, xx

Sandra said...

Hi Angie, as you often do you reminded me of my childhood. This time it was our old settee when I was a kid. I remember well my Dad spending ages fumbling down the back of the thing and coming up for air occasionally with a look that said "eureka!". I used to think that all settees came with built in!

Your cakes etc. are delicious, even though I`ve never even tried them, I just knw that they are. :o)

Love and ((Hugs))

Sandra xxxx

Jean said...

Hi Angie ..I loved reading this entry and it did make me laugh ,lots of memories .Have a go at your sugar flowers may surprise yourself .

Ally Lifewithally said...

Angie you must not give up making your flowers because they are beautiful ~
there was just under £1 in the filter on the washing machine but it had all corroded so I put it to soak in Cola ~ it is still in there and still looks corroded :o) ~ Ally x

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