Reading Material

I have just finished reading Toast and Marmalade by Emma Bridgewater, it is part biography, part catalogue for EB ceramics and part living the bucolic dream.  As you would expect, it is lavishly illustrated with photographs - of her ceramics, her home, and her family.  It's a very evocative book - musing on the link between our early memories and what we surround ourselves with to make us happy home dwellers in adulthood.  Emma's passion for ceramics and patterns clearly goes back in a straight line to her childhood and her late mother.

I find the link between early childhood memories and why we surround ourselves with what we do now, fascinating.  Another book that muses on this emotional elastic cord is Justine Picardies' book My Mothers Wedding dress. She traces her love of clothes, fashion and fabric back to the influences of her childhood - and her mother - and her mothers black wedding dress.

Certain colours and fabrics can certainly directly propel me back to childhood.  My strongest fabric memory is of my grandmothers bedroom curtains.  They were white and a lovely pale yellow stripe - with a floral design over the top.  In fact I've just googled the description and it came up with Sanderson Rosebud and Candy stripe - that's it below.  Isn't the internet wonderful!

When my daughter was very young she appropriated one of my scarves to take to bed with her - it was an old one (I'm getting allergic to the word 'vintage' it just seems to have lost all meaning), bought from Covent Garden when they had a clothes market, back in the very early 80s.  Cream silk with red polka dots and a beautifully rolled and hand stitched red border, with an (unknown to me) French signature on it.  She now has a collection of polka dotted objects in her bedroom. No coincidence I'm sure.

I had thought of making my daughter a quilt made of fabric from clothes of hers and the rest of the family that I have squirrelled away.  I'm not a needlewoman, so it may end up being an outsized cushion, then when she is no longer at home she will still have a little piece of home with her. 


  1. What a lovely post, I've got the Emma Bridgewater book on my wish list, whilst I saw Justine Picardie talk about the links between mothers and daughters, memories and fashion. It was so moving, I ended up very tearful! It's a lovely book, as are all of hers.

  2. Thank you Ellen. Since I wrote that I have been to see Kirsty Wark at the Henley Literary Festival, in her chat about her book The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle she touched on the mother/daughter link, many of the audience agreed it was a theme worth exploring. Since Justine took over the helm of Harpers Bazaar magazine I now read the editors letter every month for her book recommendations.

  3. You have a very nice blog!

  4. Sounds like an excellent idea.........happy new year!!

  5. I so agree with you and keep meaning to read the justine picardie